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Council to consider code changes

By Staff | Apr 3, 2010

City council will tackle some of the city’s more controversial codes on Monday, as they begin discussing making changes to regulations that deal with commercial vehicle parking, RV’s, boats and trailers at residences.
Code Compliance Manager Frank Cassidy said the issue is being brought up for discussion at the request of council.
He said his department is looking for direction from council, as to whether the codes need to be more in depth, or if they should be left the way they are.
Cassidy said in the last six months there have been 560 commercial vehicle complaints, and 561 complaints had to do with illegal parking on vacant lots.
“Boats have probably been more controversial than commercial, but commercial has been picking up because of the economy,” Cassidy said.
Mayor John Sullivan said codes have the ability to turn into a hot button issue, one that city council might find to be a no-win situation.
He said he understands both sides of the argument, especially for people who make a living using their vehicles and trailers, but there will undoubtedly be issues no matter what council eventually decides.
“We’re going to have to be careful what we do. We’re going to make some people happy, and others unhappy,” Sullivan said.
District 5 Councilmember Erick Kuehn said that some of the codes are archaic, and could stand being slightly tweaked.
Like the mayor, Kuehn thinks there will ultimately be a group of people left unhappy by the decision council makes.
Still, the bottom line, he said, is that codes were meant to be followed.
“It’s a fine line and a touchy subject,” he said. “People think code enforcement is you’re enemy but they’re not. If you follow the guideline, they’re not your enemy.”
District 4 Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said the codes need to be revisited every five to seven years as the community and the economy evolves.
He added that council can find a reasonable solution, something that might please everyone.
“If we have the communication, and know what the need and desires of the residents are, we can make the codes work for all parties involved,” he said.
City council meets 4:30 pm, Monday, in council chambers.