2012 Mar 09. Res. No. 2012-R14 (Patron: Mr. Samuels) – To declare a public necessity to amend City Code § 114-930.8(c) and to initiate an amendment to the City’s zoning ordinance to extend the period of time allotted to the Council to consider a modification or reversal of a decision of the Commission of Architectural Review when the occurrence of City holidays, the closure of the City government due to the declaration of a local emergency, or the cancellation of regular meetings of the City Council or its standing committees, result in a delay in the Council considering such a modification or reversal.
February 27, 2012
Dear Honorable City Council,
I think this ordinance should be stricken for four reasons:
First, it proposes to lengthen the time a property owner may have to wait for a decision. Any additional burdens on property owners requires good justification and appears to be lacking in this case.
Second, 75 days (2.5 months) is ample time for Council to act under any foreseeable circumstances. The only situation that possibly could require special attention is the month of August when Council goes on vacation. The burden should be on Council to get its work done before it takes a vacation. In anticipating the highly unlikely occasion that Council could not act in time, it should simply be willing to let the CAR decision stand.
Third, Mr. Samuels has incorrectly characterized the situation. He said “I put in the appropriate paper but before it could be heard, because of the Christmas holiday and the lack of a second meeting in December, the 75 days in which the paper needed to be heard lapsed.” He failed to mention that he was notified of the appeal to Council on October 13 2011 and waited 39 days to request that the city attorney prepare a resolution for introduction. He also failed to mention that he did not take the steps necessary to have the resolution considered on Nov 28, Dec 5 (special meeting, expedited consideration), or Dec 12. Instead, he allowed it to be scheduled for a date past the deadline.
Fourth, the proposed ordinance will not change the status of the North Allen Street property. City Council has already affirmed the CAR decision. And, the time for the property owner to appeal the Council’s decision has expired. The current ordinance states that “…failure of the city council to affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the commission within 75 days from the date the petition is filed shall be deemed to constitute affirmation of the commission’s decision.” (The city clerk also notified the owners on October 13 2011 that the deadline for Council action was December 27.)
I would also like to note one curious fact. The request form attached to the proposed ordinance is the only example I could find that has a faulty date and is not stamped as received by the city attorney. It appears that the form may be a substitute.
I believe I have all the law, facts, dates, and deadlines correct. If not, I stand corrected.
Samuels statement (at 0:40) |….12-2|….