Sometimes in life you can act immediately and confidently based on given information. Sometimes you need more information to reflect on before you can move forward. The Shady Cove Planning Commission discussed two divergent issues during their September 8 workshop, each falling into one of those above categories.
The issue which got immediate direction was brought up during public comment. Bud Rees advised commissioners that though required no grading plan was submitted for a home being built on Bond Road; therefore there was no plan for appropriate soil compaction or proof such had been done. Rees said he verified this via county records. Concerns over this example were twofold, said Rees:
1. if soil on this home was not compacted properly it could wash out in a heavy storm leaving the city liable for damages since the grading plan is required via city ordinance.
2. the city needs a building inspector to follow up on all ordinances/conditions. Rees further clarified by explaining that presently there are no consequences for failing to meet requirements so frequently they just aren’t met; and there’s no way to verify one way or the other (i.e. the Bond Rd. compaction just might be sufficient, but there is now no way to verify that either way). Rees noted that if the city contracted or hired an inspector work on construction could be halted until requirements were met.
Commissioners were concerned by Rees’ statements. To that end Vice Chair Donna Barrett asked that Administrator Danise Brakeman, who no longer is required to attend planning sessions, to listen to the pertinent section of the recording (at least) so council could be made aware and it could be further discussed in a future planning commission meeting.
Next up was discussion of the Riparian Ordinance. Though much thought has already gone into this key goal, there are a few questions the commissioners need answered before drafting can begin. The question of ultimate import: who exactly will be doing said drafting? This is a query commissioners would like answered by their Sept. 22 meeting; they feel either Lois DeBenedetti or Dick Converse should be the scribe as they have the appropriate qualifications. The next meeting will also add some final information to the reflection pot via a presentation by the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the regulation of water temperature from the dam. Also needed is information on how the ordinance will be enforced and a list of prohibited and permitted uses within the riparian zone, which can then be tailored to fit Shady Cove needs.
Once the author is decided and these final bits for consideration are gathered the plan is to hold study sessions to discuss/draft the ordinance, then meetings to formally approve these drafts. Although still apprehensive about meeting their June 2012 deadline for ordinance completion; all commissioners left the meeting confident that big steps toward that completion would be made in the coming weeks.
By Christy Pitto
Of the Independent