The Orchard City town trustees meeting at a March 7 work session discussed lightening up on some of the town's regulations.
Possible changes discussed could increase the size of structures that are exempt from building permit requirements.
Another possible change would end the town's current rule that a building permit has to be purchased before a water meter is installed on a lot with a paid tap.
Both of the proposed changes are "backwards looking" and would institute policies that were in place at previous times.
The town's public works director Mike Morgan explained that the current 120-square-foot maximun exemption from the building permit reg went into place in 2006 when a new standardized building code was adopted. Prior to then, the town code allowed up to a 200-square-foot building to go up without having a building permit from the town, he explained.
Trustees discussed reinstating the 200-square-foot exemption. There would be no fiscal impact with the change. Morgan reported that the town would have foregone less than $100 last year if the 200-square-foot exemption had been in place.
A 10x20-foot building on a foundation would serve as usable storage for some vehicles and equipment, or for a small work shop.
The trustees are likely to take up the proposed change at an upcoming business meeting.
The other change discussed at the work session was championed by Mayor Don Suppes. It would allow owners of vacant lots with paid water taps to have a water meter and water service installed prior to buying a building permit to construct a home on the lot.
Trustee Jan Gage said that she and her husband had come across the regulation when they wanted to build a home. There was a water tap for their lot and they wanted a meter and service installed so they could plant some trees before they were ready to build.
They couldn't, unless they bought a building permit first.
The town used to sell "agriculture taps" that allowed people to have water for other than domestic use. The agriculture taps had their own use rates. They were eliminated amid the many changes in water charges and rate structures the town has adopted in recent years.
At the trustee work session, Suppes told the board that he saw no reason why people shouldn't be able to use water for landscaping, livestock or for other uses without first having to buy a building permit. That is especially true if they already have a lot in town with a paid water tap, and they are paying the monthly minimum water service charge.
Suppes suggested a straight $2 per thousand gallon use rate for the "vacant lot taps."
Trustees seemed agreeable to the idea and it too could come up as a business matter at a regular meeting soon.blog comments powered by Disqus