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.
One to protect property rights as much as possible.
Second was to minimize regulations and costs as much 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.
My 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 PGVoice Facebook page.
Sidewalks is an issue for several reasons. The city does not or plans to fund sidewalks. There are citizens demanding sidewalks, elected officials, and staff also desire to have them so an ordinance was voted in to trigger a requirement to install sidewalks by the property owners. This trigger is property improvements or expansion of a certain square footage or the value of $30,000.
The ordinance allows for a waiver to be approved by planning commission. Since 2008, this trigger happened 14 times. the waiver was granted 12 of those 14 times. The waiver is a bit complicated but if granted the property owner waives their rights to protest in the future, the waiver can be revoked at any time the city chooses and a few other legal clauses. I have a strong stance on property rights and individual rights.
This waiver is a big conflict between my stance and my role as a commissioner. Here is my biggest rub on this waiver. It stays with the property, not the owner who waive their rights. This means the new owners rights have been removed by a previous ownership.
We have a city ordinance that is not being equal because of waivers that are approved or denied at the discretion of an appointed body, not reported to our elected representatives and allows an individual to waive all future owners of said property to lose their rights to protest and the cost is imposed on them.
I personally find this as a great violation to individual rights and feel if this ordinance remains waivers should be removed or if the property changes ownership that the cost and installation of the sidewalks are imposed on the owner who waived their rights to protest. There is a lot of information about sidewalks that most citizens don't know.
To keep this post short, I won't write about everything and wait for the discussions to drive the information. Please comment, ask questions or state concerns.
PGVoices for responsible government following Constitutional principles. True Conservatives who stand for private property rights, limited government and a free market economy. This blog will be a combined effort to give you easy to understand researched local government information.