Disclosure: I am posting as a private individual. My opinion and role in these discussions as a planning commissioner were based on a few criteria.
First, protect property rights as much as possible.
Second, help existing accessory apartments to be allowed with as little regulations and cost as possible and third to adhere to our current codes, ordinances and my role as a planning commissioner with it's limits, restrictions, and rules. These criteria can conflict with each other at times as I have learned.
Third, criteria were the priority influence as a planning commissioner because planning commission is not a legislative position but just an administration position. We are bound to abide by current code and ordinances.
To change code or ordinances would be in the role of your elected representatives!!
I am only one voice on the planning commission and the commission only gives recommendations based on a majority vote to the city council.
This website and blog contain my personal opinions and political stance as a private citizen.
Last night was a joint meeting with the City Council and Planning Commission. We discussed accessory apartments, conditional use permits, and sidewalks. I will address each issue as separate posts so to keep the post shorter. Here is some background on accessory apartments. These meetings are live-streamed and can be watched on our PG Voices Facebook page.
ACCESSORY APARTMENTS -
Accessory apartments- PG City has gone through phases on this issue where they have been allowed and not allowed. They are currently not allowed. The city council has asked the planning commission to help propose an ordinance to allow them again. Here are some of the hot issues.
The city wants all accessory apartments to register with the city. I was against a registration fee, but the city council plans to charge one. There will be a fine if not registered within two years of the approval of the new ordinance with addition fees possible for not complying with new regulations.The suggested fine is $750-$1000 for not registering and unknown with not complying with new regulations.
There are regulations being considered that our city does not have the money or resources to enforce. One of these regulations is parking. We currently have code on parking that are not enforced so......
How do we as a city enforce the additional parking unless we have every tenant register their vehicles to make sure they are parking correctly?
What keeps the owners from parking against code but allowing tenants to park to code?
Will that will be enforced more than our current code?
Putting in additional parking is an expense to the property owner but does not guarantee compliance.
All regulations will be required to show proof of compliance with the registration but after that it will only be enforced if complaints are made or discovered by emergency responses. There may be permits and cost to bring some existing accessory apartments into compliance and based on that cost, it may trigger property owners to install sidewalks if they currently don't exist. Some current accessory apartments may be denied and shut down if they can't come into compliance based on new regulations. The trigger is any improvements to the property of $30,000 or more. Some regulation are separate entrances, widening steep or narrow staircases, egress windows, smoke/carbon dioxide detectors, off street parking, and any other city code associated with building permits requirements.
There is a definition the city classifies as "family" in our codes that are associated to single family, multifamily housing that the city wants to mimic in the accessory apartment ordinance. City code 10-6-2 definitions:
"FAMILY: Unless otherwise expressly provided herein, means any one of the following:
A. One person living alone; or
B. Two (2) or more persons all related by blood, by marriage, by adoption, by legal guardianship or foster children and up to two (2) other unrelated persons who do not pay rent or give other consideration for the privilege of staying with the family; or
C. Up to four (4) related and/or unrelated persons living as a single housekeeping unit.
A "guest" under this definition is defined as a person who stays with a family for a period of less than thirty (30) days within any rolling one year period and does not utilize the dwelling as a legal address for any purpose.
For purposes of the definition of family, the term "related" shall mean a spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousins, great-grandparent, and great-grandchild. The term "related" does not include other, more distant relationships.
Did you know that this definition current exists on every current single family home? Do you want this enforced? Do you think the city needs to regulate and/or enforce this to restrict who can live in your home?
The city is protected from any liabilities associated with accessory apartments, so all liability is on the homeowners.
My stance on property rights causes me to be very concerned about this ordinance as a whole and specifically several of these hot issues. This is currently at the proposal level, so you still have time to get involved. It has not been voted on yet.
I would love some discussion on this so please comment. This issue will be coming up as public hearings in the next month in the planning commission meeting and a city council meeting.
Please get involved and let your voice be heard on this issue.
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