Avoid home construction on small lots

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 22, 2016

This week the council approved a motion to amend an ordinance that would allow owners of small lots that do not conform to city codes the ability to file for a variance, thereby providing an avenue for them to build on the lot, and allow it to generate tax revenue.
During the meeting, it was outlined that the previous version of the ordinance created an issue where property owners with lots that are 50 feet wide or smaller had no way to build on it because it was a non-conforming lot. Since nothing could be done with the property, some property owners neglected to pay their taxes, which meant the property eventually ended up belonging to the city.
When a lot becomes part of the city’s property, it ceases to generate tax revenue. With that in mind, this move by the city to amend the ordinance to allow the application of a variance for a non-conforming lot makes a lot of sense.
If the variance is granted, then development of the lot will occur and tax revenue will be generated for the city’s use.
What we hope the city will work to avoid is houses being built on lots that are much too small.
Since a particular city aims for a unique feel, each city creates their own ordinances on this and other matters, for good reason. But lots that are much too small will create an issue where houses are literally too close to one another, removing much of the privacy people tend to appreciate.
Applying for a variance should cover this prospective issue, however. Since any application for a variance will have to go before the city’s Planning Commission, and then be reviewed by the council that should not be much of a problem.

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