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Any final decisions concerning the process of grandfathering existing carports was tabled by the Salmon City Council until new members of the council are officially sworn into office.

The decision was made at the council’s December 18 meeting after hearing of all the details that must be decided. The City Council had previously voted to grandfather existing out-of-compliance carports but the how-to process was not addressed at that time.

City Attorney Fred Snook presented an outline of what should be included in the process of grandfathering carports that were constructed without permits and do not meet city code compliance. It is estimated there are about 60 of the portable structures in the city.

First on his list was the need to established an ‘as of’ date. Only the existing out-of-compliance carports built before the selected date would be deemed eligible for grandfathered status.

Grandfathering existing out-of-compliance carports will have no bearing on any new carport installations that do not meet established city code requirements. Depending on the carport’s size, City codes require the purchase of a building permit for the installation of a prefabricated carport and an on-site inspection.

Snook suggested that applications for a grandfathered status permit could be made available by the City Clerk and that the City Clerk would issue the grandfathered status upon approval by an inspector. A time limit would also need to be established for how long people with out-of-compliance carports have to apply. He said the price of such a permit would also need to be established and the cost would have to cover the expense of an on-site inspection. Who would conduct the inspection is another decision that must be made along with exactly what the inspector would inspect. Safety and property line issues would be most likely.

Another approach would be to simply create an ordinance that grandfathers all existing out-of-compliance carports as of a certain date. Snook said if an ordinance was passed there would be no need to inspect the existing carports however there would still have to be an application process to document the carport installation date.

Councilman Jim Bockelman pointed out that residents who installed carports following all the codes paid for a permit and the out-of-compliance people didn’t buy a permit, “So we’re giving them a free ride!” Mayor Marshall said structures that are less than 200 square feet in size do not have to purchase a building permit but they do still have to comply with city codes.

In view of all the decisions to be made Councilman Jim Baker made a motion to table the matter until new council members are seated. Retiring council member Jesse Bender disagreed saying that after all the work it is frustrating to think of having to start all over again. She was out-voted three to two and the carport issue was tabled until January 15.

Due to the regular first meeting of the month falling on New Year’s Day the first council meeting in January will be on the 8th.

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