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Grandview Council tables gated community ordinance

GRANDVIEW - After a lot of discussion Tuesday night, the Grandview City Council opted to table an ordinance that would set rules for future condominium and gated community development in the city.

The ordinance, which was prompted by the Boboth Subdivision, would amend the city's rules about private community compliance with the Revised Code of Washington's Condominium Act. All declarations must be approved by the city, also.

Boboth was the first gated community approved by the council late last year.

Many of the issues raised during the ordinance discussion involved compliance with city building standards and access to private property.

Access to the private property for city police and fire officials was something City Attorney Jack Maxwell said wouldn't be a problem from what he's heard from fire officials.

"The fire chief indicated to me that if there was a locked gate, the fire department would go right through it," Maxwell said.

Access by police, however, was something the council didn't address specifically. City Administrator Jim Sewell said most private developments hire private security to patrol the areas periodically, and police can respond to the property only when called.

Mayor Norm Childress said Boboth has served as a template for future gated communities and common property developments in the city.

"This just happened to be the first one so we're going through all this stuff," Childress said.

The ordinance was tabled after Richard Cassidy, a community member in attendance, raised questions about whether gated developments like Boboth actually fall under the Condominium Act.

Childress said rather than risk getting it wrong and having to do things over, the city staff should check with other municipalities to see how they've handled gated communities.

"We're not in Missouri, but it's a 'show me' thing," Childress said.

Sewell and Maxwell both insisted to Childress that the current ordinance draft was sufficient to set standards for condominium development as well as gated communities, but council members decided to table the issue and will revisit the ordinance at the next city council meeting.

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