4. The commission will consider the request of the property owner at 21 E. Long Lake Road for a variance from the sign ordinance.
Key words variance and ordinance. Much of City Government concerns them
The ordinance says "permanent detached structures (other than garages) for one's property must be approved by the planning commission. The applicant in seeking such approval is seeking a variance from the ordinance.
If you wish place a generator or air conditioning unit closer to your neighbor's property that City Ordinances permit you seek a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeal. Key word Appeal because without the a variance the answer per City ordinances is no.
In all such matters City commission is always the court of last resort.
5. The commission will consider the request of the property owner at 150 Lone Pine Road for a grading variance.
Grading variances are serious business and usually start and end with the elected represented of the people, City Commission, making the call. That is because grading and drainage can effect other properties especially in terms of flooding.
This item caused quite a stir at the May meeting with Mayor Hardy and Commissioner Dul supporting the variance along the lines of "it will be a wonderful house." The problem with that argument" is that enough wily-nilly wonderful structures and the City will look like a Hodgepodge. Houston Texas is just finding that out. Commissioners Sheer and McClure pushed for closer adherence to City's ordinances. With a two to two split and commissioner Coakley absent the matter was tabled with suggestion that applicants come back with a plan more in keeping with ordinance of the City.
During the discussion however it became evident just how weak City Commission has become, Instead of a formidable force that represents the best interest of it's citizens and City, the commission, it seems to this observer, to be a mere formality to be ignored or bypassed.
In that regard the t moment occurred when Commissioner McClure asked about a "semi trailer" that seemed to be parked permanently of the applicant's the property which would be in violation City Ordinances. City Manager Cravens said the trailer wasn't visible from the road. Commissioner McClure said she saw it from the road and asked City Manager Cravens knew of it. After a moments hesitation, Cravens said he got "a verbal approval about the trailer from then building official Larry Rospierski. The department Building Department is intended to enforce ordinance compliance and has no authority to waive ordinances ordained by City Commission the elected representatives of the people.
On more than one occasion during the variance discussion. Attorney's for the property owners seeking the variance said they consulted with Hubbel Roth and Clark as though HCR, (a consultant firm hired by the City) was part of the decision making process.
HCR was hired by the City to advise both the City and applicant of matters at hand. It not a decision maker. A one point, during the discussion HCR representative Jamie Burton felt obligated to make that clear.
Unless it avoids or abdicates its authority, through lack of knowledge, or indifference, City Commission per our Charter makes all the decisions.
6. The commission will consider the request of the property owner at 598 Barrington for a grading variance.
7. The commission will award the 2014 Road Improvement Program contract.
8. The commission will discuss local road weight and vehicle restrictions. A popular topic of the day and one that HCR consultant Jamie Burton addresses with City Manger Jay Cravens. Scroll down to read.
9. The commission will discuss the MDOT Woodward Avenue Signalization.
10. The commission will consider approval of water and sewer rates to be billed for actual consumption beginning July 1, 2014 and approve the resolutions authorizing new water and sewer rates.
11. The commission will consider approval of budget amendments as presented by Finance Director Karen Ruddy.
12. The commission will hear City Manager comments.
13. The commission will hear an update on individual lead responsibilities.
14. The commission will consider other business.