Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner passed an ordinance for new City Land Development Code amendments.
David Knopick, community development director,  presented the new amendments at the March 15 council meeting.
The amendment changes ranged from rezoning petitions to the county, clarifying definitions of mobile homes and other small home units, conditional use permit language, administrative adjustments for the roles of the director and planning commission and temporary construction development offices on residential developments.
Randy Gregorcyk, member, said the predecessors had done a lot of work and he had a few questions.
Gregorcyk said he wanted to know about street trees and if they could go between the curb and sidewalk.
Knopick said yes and it was important to have that definition.
Gregorcyk said he also wanted to know about pre site  plans with developers.
Knopick said they had received good reception with starting a discovery stage with developers and putting plans together prior to pen to paper.
“It is a 70 day window from the first day to when it goes to council for consideration,” he said. “We don’t want to bring partial applications as it is a more costly development process.”
Gregorcyk said he liked the positive feedback. “It’s a good move, creates a good partnership and keeps developers developing the community,” he said.
Kacy Deaton, member, said she wanted to know if the conditional permits for mobile homes were automatic or if people had to come back.
Knopick said mobile home owners are automatically approved already and once the amendments go through the owners will be held to those standards.
Steve Shute, mayor, said he wanted to know more about the definition of small format homes.
Knopick said the regulation change was for the flexibility size of homes and lots in a district and the standards would come later.
The question of newly appointed council member’s Deaton’s planning commission seat came up during council updates. Deaton replaced  former member Rich Melton. Melton recently resigned due to a conflict in residency.
Jim Pruetting, city administrator, said he needed a clear direction to follow for the precedent of the remainder of Deaton’s term.
Tory Roberts, member,  said she thought it should be decided on in the next election coming up in November. “You get someone in quicker than just appointing,” she said. “I was appointed and people don’t treat you the same.”
Deaton said she understood where Roberts was coming from.
“I would go for the continuity of the term,” she said.
Gregorcyk said he agreed with Roberts. “It would behest the citizens to go through an election process,” he said.
Mark Baldwin, council vice president, said he always thinks citizens decide best, but in this case continuity of the council seat to stagger terms instead of stacking terms was best.
Shute said if they were to hold a special election Deaton would only serve two years until the next election and three other council members including the mayor would be in the special election too creating too much confusion.
Gregorcyk said he wanted to look at city precedents for these situations.
Shute said it was more complex than just holding a special election.
“There aren’t many special elections out there,” he said. “City staff can do research as we want to be open and transparent as possible.”