Wednesday, August 19, 2009
GRANDVIEW - For the past year-and-a-half the Grandview Planning Commission has been in the process of revamping the city's current zoning laws, according to Yakima Valley Conference of Governments Senior Transportation Planner Drew Miller.
He has been working with the city's planning commission to create a document containing modern zoning laws that are easy to read.
"The timing was good," Miller told the Grandview City Council at its regularly scheduled meeting this past Monday, stating there are new codes that were implemented within Yakima County and the state of Washington recently.
The problem, he said, was that the planning commission began trying to rewrite codes from various cities. But, that was quickly fixed with the use of language in the codes used by the city of Pasco. The planning commission found the codes used by that city to be "comprehensive and up-to-date," Miller said.
What this means is the city of Grandview, using the new zoning codes proposed to Grandview City Council, can attract future development and provide developers with clear guidelines for use of property.
Current property owners need not worry, Miller said. Zoning changes will affect approximately 100 properties, but current use will be grandfathered in if the use does not conform to the new zone changes.
"We need to emphasize to property owners that current use will not change," said Mayor Norm Childress, stating citizens may become concerned when the public notices are issued.
If a property owner uses land for agricultural purposes, for example, they may continue to do so. If, however, the property owner discontinues using the land for that purpose for more than a year, the property is subject to the new zoning codes.
If property is used for a specific purpose and sold, the new property owner can also continue using the property for that purpose.
A change in the code eliminates manufactured housing restrictions in R1 zones. Miller said the state has enacted a law that prohibits such a restriction.
What the city can do, he said, is set guidelines requiring the manufactured home to be in good condition. The guidelines could also prevent an older manufactured home from being set up.
Rather than an office district, which is in the Pasco codes, Grandview would have a business park district zone.
Other zone changes have been made to the code, allowing the codes to fit the city and its population, such as a planned density development code for development of areas such as gated communities.
All of the proposed changes must still go before a hearing examiner.
Childress noted the public will also be provided with a public meeting.
When asked when the new codes can be adopted, Miller said the earliest date is Sept. 21. But, the rezone hearing and public hearing must take place before that step can be made.