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People to commission: allow bigger buildings


Last updated 5/12/2014 at 3:33pm

About 45 people gathered last Tuesday at Electric City’s fire hall to tell how they needed larger accessory buildings to house their “toys” and to criticize government for being too obtrusive.

It was the city’s planning commission workshop, held to discuss the pros and cons of the size of accessory buildings as outlined in the comprehensive plan.

Most who spoke were in favor of larger buildings; currently, accessory buildings are limited to 850 square feet.

They suggested that the size be raised to 1,600 square feet, and then 2,000 square feet, and some didn’t think there should be any limitations.

One lone person, Clark Perman, spoke about large accessory buildings blocking the view of other property owners. No one wanted to tackle that problem, they just wanted larger buildings.

Some wanted to know when the limitations were put in the city’s comprehensive plan and why they didn’t know about it. The city did hold public hearings on the plan that was developed by the planning commission and approved by the city council several years ago.

One thing seemed certain from the meeting — that the planning commission will make recommendations to change the size of accessory buildings. This would then go to the city’s planner, Vivian Ramsey, for review, and then the city’s attorney, before ending up at the city council for action.

The whole process would take about six months, those attending were told.

Wayne Snyder told commissioners that he had some boats and other things he would like to get inside. His was typical of the comments during the evening.

One resident, Ted Christianson, said he paid his taxes and the government shouldn’t have anything to say about what he did on his property.

Mike Dennis, who started the process nearly a year ago, said the allowed size of accessory buildings should be larger, but that he agreed buildings could match houses with siding and paint.

He added that those wishing for larger accessory buildings should be considerate of neighbors.

Mark Payne, the city’s fire chief, who also has sought a change in the zoning law this past year, said a property owner should be able to lock up his stuff. He said he had had some things taken.

His son brought down the house when he told planning commission members to allow larger accessory buildings because he was “going to inherit it all some day.”

Gary Haven, the city’s enforcement officer, stated that the city would be enhanced if everyone could get their boats and motorhomes and other toys inside rather than parked on the street.

One man told commissioners, “Old people need a small house and a big shed.”

Todd Kinzel, proposed 44x60 shed size (2,640 square feet) and announced he was going to run for mayor next time it came up. He said he was going to “ask for their vote.”

The meeting was orderly and commissioner Monty Fields thanked people for coming.


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