Ferndale City Administrator Greg Young graciously provided the following summary of the upcoming Ferndale City Council meeting scheduled for Monday evening. Hopefully this will become a regular feature.
We will begin Monday night at our regular 6PM start time. As I look outside and see the signs of spring, I’m remined how good it is to not be in New England now. Our agenda is very manageable.
On the Consent Agenda, we have the following items:
• Ordinance continuing our Development Fee Deferral Program – As you are aware, the State allows certain development projects to defer the payment of their fees until later in their project. We have been doing this and have seen no issues with the payments eventually being made. This ordinance will continue this program.
• Ordinance relating to Temporary Occupancy – It is not uncommon for certain commercial development projects to want “temporary occupancy” – that is, while there may be small (non-life safety) issues still uncompleted (read: landscaping, final asphalt lift, etc.), they would like to have their tenants occupy the structure now. This ordinance will allow this to occur if certain conditions are met (primarily payment of a fee and hard deadline for completion).
• Ordinance for Temporary Occupancy Fee – This will set the fee discussed above.
After the Consent Agenda we will hear from Katy Radder, our Capital Projects Manager, on the status of our current city capital projects. We are well into the spring construction season and we have many projects that are teeing up for work in 2018. As has been the case for much of the last decade, this year will see many projects that will improve our city.
Following this, our Community Development Director, Jori Burnett, will provide an update/overview of the current thinking regarding Transfer of Development Rights (TDR). If you are not aware, TDR is a process whereby rural development is lessened by the developer being able to build to higher density within a city. The developer’s legal ability to build on a rural lot is “transferred” to another lot within an urban area. This this way, the developer can build all the units he originally wanted to and the rural lot is forever preserved from development.
Next, we will hold a Public Hearing on modifications to our Variance Ordinance. A variance is a request to depart from the city’s development regulations due to unique circumstances. It may be that someone wants to build closer to their property boundaries or construct a roof that exceeds our height limitations.
Normally these variances are site specific – I don’t want to build so close to a hillside or my lot is very steep so I want to build a home that is actually taller than normal. Variances are normally very hard to get – it requires the Hearing Examiner (HE) to find that a number of unique conditions exist. These modifications will allow the HE to permit these variances if he feels that the circumstances warrant.
Our next item is the bid award for our Washington Street Project. We have opened the bids for this project and have determine the appropriate contractor for this project. You may have already seen some of the advance utility relocation activity along Washington. This project will hopefully be completed by October of this year – barring any unforeseen occurrences.
The last item is modifications to our development standards related to curb cuts (driveways). It is not uncommon for home builders to want to take out the sidewalks and curb cuts for the purpose of putting the driveway in another location on their lot. This causes damage to our street that had just been constructed. We are proposing that we adopt a policy that states that no cuts to the street/sidewalks can occur until five (5) years after the improvements are constructed. In this way, our new developments maintain their original condition for a reasonable amount of time.
Well, that is all for now – see you at 6PM Monday night.
The public is encouraged to attend City Council meetings. They are held at the City Hall Annex in the Council Chambers at 5694 2nd Avenue.