Planning Commission Minutes
Monday, December 7, 2020
6:00 PM at Greenland Community Center
Commissioners present: Brenda Reynolds, Bill Yoes, Charlotte Carnes, Paula Schoonover, Hunter Collins, Mike Rutherford
Motion by Chair to amend the agenda to add “residential development- non-subdivision”; 2nd by Commissioner Carnes. Carried 4-0 (Collins arrived later)
- Burton Pools—additional review. Mr. Burton is not present so there will be no discussion. Item tabled.
- Residential development- non-subdivision: Chair advised this is to address continuing problems with residential development. Chair addressed concerns presented this last week regarding 292 Yoes. Troy Enochs, Building Inspector, was present for discussion. The house is 21 feet from the curb and the porch is 11 feet from the curb. Chair asked Mayor how this was allowed due to being in code violation and how the previous building inspector allowed it to happen. Mayor Groom advised the property owner put out stakes marking the project, but then didn’t comply. Chair asked Mayor why the project wasn’t stopped once the foundation was being poured. Mayor advised “a mistake was made- we’ve had 3 different inspectors.” Chair advised it is clear that 3 different people, appointed to this position, did not know the Code, was not required to learn the Code or apply the Code, even though assurances were given to the Council about their qualifications with the resulting non-compliance. Chair asked Mayor if he would be directing Mr. Enochs to issue a Certificate of Occupancy. Mayor advised yes. Chair advised Mr. Enochs needs to refuse to issue the C of O, and Mayor should not ask current Building Inspector to knowingly violate Code. Chair advised this is the problem which arises when the Building Inspector does not know Code, and Mayor has stated it would be too much to require the building inspector to know Code. The only option that can be seen by PC is for fine/penalty to be issued to the builder or resident and they need to come before the planning commission for a variance. Variances are not granted for willful violation or failing to know the Code, but the City is also responsible for the violations, so the PC is put into a position to try to “correct” the problem after-the-fact. This is a recurring problem in the City: shop building on Wilson which was going up until Chair contacted Mayor to get it shut down; the tiny home on Shadow, portable ‘house’ on Napier, accessory building on Partridge. Codes need to be enforced. Lee Guthrie stated she gave the owner the Code provisions so they would know about the setbacks and she was told it would be addressed. Discussed that we do not know where the property line starts, but if we simply allowed all the way to the curb, any further setback would only increase the size of the violation. Our current building inspector does know our code.
It is proposed that all residential building projects come before the Planning Commission before the project has started. All applications should be given to PC and Building Inspector, item reviewed and heard at PC meeting, and then Building Inspector assumes rest of tasks. Chair addressed issue that building permits have been issued when application is turned in, instead of a process being in place to have the Building Inspector involved from Step-1. Mayor advised a plan is in place- Chair redirected that this is not the case, or a building would not have gone up that completely violated the Code. Commissioner Yoes advised he is aware of other issues that exist, but he would not divulge that at this point, but address that later with the Building Inspector as needed. Chair also reminded Mayor about the email sent to him outlining the procedure because nothing had been in place. This non-enforcement of Code and non-supervision of appointed personnel puts the City in a very bad position legally. Chair advised only known option at this point is for fine/penalty and require owners to apply for variance so that a C of O could be legally obtained—Commission really doesn’t have any other choice at this point, but to make clear this would not establish precedent because the PC would never do this again, but shouldn’t have to once an actual process/plan is put in place to ensure compliance. Commissioner Rutherford advised he wouldn’t want to pay a fine or fee because the City allowed him to proceed. Some of this responsibility was a City of Greenland error. Other known code violations, not discussed, will be investigated further. If the building inspector signs certificate of occupancy base on Mayor’s direction, Mayor is asking the BI to knowingly violate Code, which cannot continue to happen. Mayor is building inspector’s supervisor and should have directed him better. Rutherford suggested that we contact the City Attorney for advice because this appears to be a legal matter.
Chair advised Rutherford that the City is in transition with a City Attorney. Mayor advised no, that has been taken care of in staying with the same firm. Chair asked if Council had voted on that yet—no. Chair advised until the Council has voted on the matter, Mayor cannot speak for the Council on their position until it is determined, so yes, even if the City stays with the same firm, ultimately, we are still in transition at this point.
Commission was all in agreement that we review all residential developments. Chair learned today that the Building inspector had still not received a Code Book; after 2 months. Lee Guthrie loaned hers, and Chair instructed Mayor to get BI a Code Book.
PC will propose to the council that the planning commission will review all residential developments for now.
Public comments: Joseph Sprandle discussed a parcel of land that is part of LKQ, and they are thinking about splitting the property for sale. There is an issue about the easement. There is not enough street frontage for 2 businesses. The proposed business is moving AutoHouse for an auto repair shop only, minor repair- not rebuild or long-term parking of inoperable vehicles. Their current repair shop is being leased; located south of stated property in question. No sewer on proposed property and need to address this issue. PC advised there are a lot of things that we need to review before a variance could be given. Discussed screening would be needed if vehicles parked outside, and whether screening would block ingress/egress for LKQ. He stated current taxes go to Fayetteville and not Greenland; Chair advised that needs fixed. Wants to be repair only and not sell cars. He thinks he could meet the setbacks for his building. Suggested that he have a drawing that we could see how the layout would be with setbacks and screenings, and for him to look at Section 14 for zoning requirements. Sprandle advised they are a Bosch company, and they have requirements on the building designs. He discussed the exhaust from the airport is a concern. He will get some drawings for commission to look at. Will put Autohouse, 491 N. Main, on the agenda for next month for further discussion.
Yoes asked Building Inspector about property on Brittany and Foothills. Troy has not been contacted about this property. Yoes advised he does not think the property has been finalized. Owner is not complying with sidewalk requirement. Troy will go look at the property. If the sidewalk is required, it will be added to his requirements before C of O will be issued (if not already), however someone is living in the house.
The city issues the certificate of occupancy, but Tammy said she has never issued a certificate of occupancy, so not sure how C of O’s have been issued. The city building inspector can issue the certificate of occupancy, but would not keep the records. The communication with the inspector is vital. He states he will not approve based on pictures, he will look at the property. Planning Commission recommends that the building inspector be the one to issue the certificate of occupancy upon final inspection.
Inquiry made if city inspector comes to meetings, would he get paid and the Mayor said yes. Job description, however, doesn’t say “with pay”—needs clarified. Question is: independent contractor? Or city employee? Does job description apply? Job description has always required to attend both commission and council meeting. Troy states that he does not work for the City, he works for himself; Thornton asked if he wanted a contract; Troy advised he would consider anything the City offered. PC Chair advised this matter is not a PC matter, but rather a Council matter. Council needs to put this on their agenda to address so everyone is on the same page. Yoes stated “as a council member, I’m requesting a contract be presented at the next council meeting and Troy can decide.
No further public comment.
Motion to adjourn: Commissioner Collins; 2nd by Commissioner Rutherford. Pass 5-0
Adjourn @ 7:37