04-04-2019 Watervliet City Commissioners consider reducing allowable size of outbuildings in reside

BACK, BETTER THAN EVER! The Hartford Dollar General Store at 118 West Main is back open after being idled since May of 2018, the result of an arson fire that did serious damage to the structure and inventory. No one has ever been arrested for the crime and it is still under investigation. A $5,000 reward is still being offered for information about the fire. Following major reconstruction and a complete makeover, DG is back up and running with a fresh new look, and is currently accepting applications; hiring for both full and part-time positions. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)

Watervliet City Commissioners consider reducing allowable

size of outbuildings in residential areas by amending zoning

By Annette Christie Watervliet City Mayor Dave Brinker had an agenda addition put on the April 2, 2019 meeting agenda. Brinker wanted to discuss an amendment to the zoning ordinance with regards to the language on accessory structures. Prior to the meeting Brinker had worked with contracted Zoning Administrator Bob Lohr on the subject. Brinker said that he would like to see additional restrictions on the types of accessory structures that are allowed within the city limits. Among the changes being considered are a limitation on the height of 14’ and a maximum size of 1,000 sq. ft. The structures are limited in use to storage by the home owners and may not be used for any type of business, service or industry. Commissioner Jennifer Helms stated, “One thousand square feet is still pretty big,” but added, “My biggest thing was answered, no business use.” She commented that the urgency in getting the language updated is that there could be other residences that may want a larger structure and might try to push it through before the ordinance is changed.

Other topics were discussed such as adding that the structure has to have a stone or blacktopped driveway; making sure that a certain quality of materials are used to finish it which complements the area it is located in; and only one on a piece of property no matter what the size of the property. Citizen Rick Rasmussen told the Commission that he supports the changes to the ordinance. “We want it to remain in the appearance of a residential neighborhood,” Rasmussen said. City Manager Tyler Dotson said the action needed is to amend the definition of an accessory structure. “We need to protect the sanctity of our neighborhoods,” Dotson said. The subject was just a discussion item at this point and will look for passage of the changes in future meetings, including a public hearing that is required with a zoning amendment. Other business In other business the City Commission approved the equipment needed to outfit the new patrol car. Chief Tim Sutherland said that the major cost is mostly lights and other equipment that didn’t swap over. “We do this every time we buy a car. It is in the budget and was pre-approved,” Sutherland said. The City Commission approved the purchase of equipment in the amount of $4,242.50. The City Commission approved the re-appointment of three Downtown Development Authority members until July 1, 2022. Mayor Brinker brought the recommendation forward to re-appoint Rochelle Ulleg, Krista Krogel and Tom Gear, which passed unanimously.

Meeting dates under discussion Some discussion was held about an upcoming Committee of the Whole agenda for a meeting scheduled Monday, April 15, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. Dotson said he would like to talk about the budget process, budget amendments, and recreational marijuana. The City Commission changed their long-standing meeting schedule effective in February from the second and fourth Tuesdays. The second meeting is a workshop style meeting and is optional. At their January meeting the discussion was held about changing it to accommodate one city commissioner. Bill Whitney, who is also a firefighter with the Watervliet Fire Department, has a clear conflict with leaving the first meeting of the month on the second Tuesday. The fire department does its monthly training on that date. At that time, the motion wa