Reject family transfer changes

Published 8:17 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I was sorry to see on TV that when a public hearing on the Family Transfer Ordinance was held by the Planning Commission Jan. 20, only two individuals showed up. Was this public hearing properly advertised? In the past, public hearings for discussion of the Family Transfer Ordinance were always well attended.

The city staff has messed with and complicated this ordinance for more than 10 years and still has not got it right. I cannot understand what was wrong with the original ordinance.

Were the planning commissioners provided a copy of the original ordinance? Have city council members or the mayor ever read this original ordinance? It is very short and has all of the requirements necessary for a landowner to cut off a lot from his property for a family member.

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Why has the city’s staff wasted so much time and effort over the last 10 years to restrict property owners’ rights?

I used the family transfer 10 years ago and thought it was too much of a hassle.

There were unanswered questions at the Planning Commission meeting Jan. 20. There is also the issue of costs. The Planning Department charges $100 to go to the Health Department; the Health Department will charge you $300 for the perk test; and a well permit costs $205.

On Dec. 18, 1996, the City Council rejected this ordinance with many of the same changes now included in its proposed update. These changes were unnecessary then and still are not needed today.

I hope that on Feb. 18 the City Council will use its good judgment and reject the unnecessary changes to the Family Transfer Ordinance.