Matt Hagan on Ordinance 1287 (Planning Commission Meeting 04/17/13

Audio: Matt Hagan's comments (others: Darcy Schmidt -city employee, Linda White -P.C. member)

Audio: Matt Hagan's rebuttal of Tim Schmidt -city employee

Ordinance 1287 - new parking/landscaping ordinance currently going through the venting process and is at the Planning Commission level.

I've attached the 3 documents I referenced in the Planning Commission meeting the other night.

The drawing titled "homeowner or rental" explains the ordinance as it is currently written. What is most alarming about this is not what is currently written in the code, but how staff has stated they interpret it. Currently the wording talks about the number of spots "provided". This is a key word because both homeowner and rental property alike "provide" parking spaces. The number of parking spots "provided" then triggers certain landscaping requirements. Staff stated at the meeting that even though that was the way it is written, they have never interpreted it that way and required a homeowner to follow the requirements of the code.

Home owner or rental

I am asking for the city attorney to give his written opinion on this interpretation.

The drawing titled "as proposed" shows the difference between homeowner and rental if the current proposed wording is approved. Basically you have 2 of the exact same layouts, but one requires landscaping around the driveway just because it is "required" to have 4 parking spots. The word "required" is key because homeowners are only "required" to have 2 parking spaces and the change in the code from "provided" to "required" changes this landscaping requirement from one that effects everyone in the city, to just rental property. This is part of the reason I'm asking for the city attorney's opinion on the current interpretation. Staff has suggested that the revision is not a significant change; that the wording is already in the current ordinance and is just being moved to a different location so it is more clear. This is not an accurate statement and the people voting on this need the correct information to make the proper decision.

As Proposed

The drawing titled "current and proposed" shows the absurdity in the proposal. The language in the ordinance talks about the goals of the landscaping requirements are to help with .....heat radiation, siltation, etc... So apparently the heat radiation off a driveway of a rental must be significantly greater than that of a homeowner? Why else would landscaping be required around a driveway that holds 4 cars at a rental and not at a homeowner's house where the driveway is big enough to hold 20 cars?

Current and Proposed

There are safety concerns, negative visual impacts and the basic difficulty in complying with the proposal on smaller lots that also need to be considered before moving forward.

Matt Hagan
Additional Documentation

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