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PUBLIC WORKS AND SAFETY COMMITTEE REPORTS 10-21-10 LMS

Councilman Bud Bartlett reported on two Public Works and Safety Committee meetings at the October 20 Salmon City Council meeting.

A request for a disconnection of water and sewer services to the old Laundromat on Shoup Street was recommended to the full City Council for approval. Property owner Jock Slavin agreed to the provision he will be required to cap the sewer line.

Don Wetherington asked the committee for clarification on discontinuing water and sewer services at a rental unit on his property. Bartlett said Wetherington will be informed that it is the property owner’s responsibility to provide the sewer line capping work.

Chuck Kane told the committee that trees around the Highway 93-Courthouse Drive “Welcome to Salmon” sign are blocking his home’s view of the city and asked if they could be trimmed. Public Works Superintendent Mickey Verbeck will check to see if the trees are the kind that can be trimmed without harming them.

Dale Boone of Lemhi Recycling on South St. Charles Street asked the committee for city water and sewer services so that a permit can be obtained for building a new shop. The property borders city limits and is in the city impact area. Verbeck expressed the opinion that the vacant lots within the city should be taken care of as well as problems with the city’s sewer and lagoon system before any further annexations or service connections are considered.

Mike Wallingford had requested a waiver on costs associated with vacation of a portion of 15th Street. The City Council voted against the waiver at its September 22nd meeting. Due to there being some opposition to the closure it has been decided the issue will go to the public hearing process.

Three months ago William Schlenk of 1303 Tendoy Street began the proper permitting process required for installing a prefabricated carport on his property. A permit was refused due to there not being enough room for proper setbacks from property lines in the area where he wished to place it.

At the October 13th meeting of the Public Works and Safety Committee the committee recommended Schlenk be given a special use permit and that the permit fee be waived since he has done everything required to obtain a permit.

Schlenk’s official request to waive the application fee on the special use building permit was part of the October 20th council meeting’s agenda.

A special use permit requires two public hearings, two certified mailings of notifications to surrounding property owners, in this case 29 neighbors, and newspaper publication costs. Total fee costs to Schlenk would be approximately $970.

Schlenk outlined the history of first being approved for the permit but later denied because the first measurements were taken from a fence line that unbeknownst to Schlenk is not on the actual property line. He said the subsequent denial caused him to lose a deposit he had made on the carport unit. He has since purchased another unit and in spite of being denied a building permit has installed the carport on his property. He said that individual council members with whom he had spoken had told him to go ahead with the carport installation.

The subject generated a 35 minute session of sometimes heated debate which strayed from the initial matter of a fee waiver request to calls for rewriting city development codes regarding the carport structures. It was also brought out that an individual council member, acting outside of a council quorum of four or more council members, has no authority and is not an agent of the city. Schlenk was told that the authorized agents for the city in this situation are the Building Inspector and the Planning and Zoning Administrator. Both entities had determined the site Schlenk had selected for the carport is not legal according to code. He was informed at the October 20th council meeting that his decision to proceed with the installation without a building permit has put him out of compliance and in violation of city codes.

City Administrator George Ambrose told Schlenk he was glad he had come forward with the carport issue, “…because it’s a bridge we’ve got to cross.” Ambrose pointed out to the council that waiving the permit fee would set a precedent for many other property owners who have erected the carports without proper permits. He then mentioned that since some of the councilmen may have told Schlenk to proceed with the installation, it has become a unique situation.

The fee waiver topic was tabled and a special work session set for Monday, November 1st at 8AM at which time the waiver along with current city codes regarding prefabricated carports will be discussed. The meeting is open to public attendance.


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