|Department: Board of Supervisors|
Date: Sep 17, 2007 at 5:30 PM
The Board of Supervisors will hold a Joint Session with the Planning & Zoning Commission at 5:30 PM in the Board Room of the Administrative Office Building at 930 1st Street SW.
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
CEDAR RAPIDS, LINN COUNTY, IOWA
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2007 5:30 P.M.
The Linn County Planning and Zoning Commission/Board of Supervisors Joint Work Session was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Commission Chair Jim Turner on Monday, September 17, 2007 in the Board Room of the Linn County Administrative Office Building, 930 – 1st Street SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Welcome and Introductions
Present: Lu Barron, Chair; Linda Langston, Vice Chair; James Houser, Supervisor
Beth Cawiezell, Sharon Hannen Vice Chair’ James Turner, Chair; Stephen White
Les Beck, Director; Dan Swartzendruber, Zoning Manager; Kelli Sharpe, Planner
Brandon Yarbrough Intern and Jan Every, Recording Secretary.
Discussion of Technical Review Committee Conditions of Approval
Beck explained how the Technical Review Committee (TRC) reviews development cases submitted to the Department of Planning & Development. Conditions of approval imposed by the departments vary depending on case type.
Turner stated that conditions imposed by Secondary Roads seem to come up for discussion quite often during Commission meetings. He asked if copies of the road agreements could be made available prior to or at Commission meetings. Beck explained oftentimes the road agreement hasn’t been drawn up or agreed upon by Secondary Roads and the applicant at the time of Commission meetings. White asked if there are policies followed by the County Engineer to guide what is included in road agreements?
Barron stated she understands the Commission’s concerns regarding road agreements; applicants have said Secondary Roads conditions are sometimes onerous. Barron said applicants often do not know they can negotiate with the County Engineer regarding road agreements. There should be something that is a little bit more clear for everyone as far as what can and cannot be included in road agreements.
Langston stated there are occasions when an applicant proposes some type of improvement where no additional traffic will be generated. For instance, if an applicant is splitting off property from the farmstead and has no intention to build on the remaining land, no road improvements should be required. Conditional use permits and subdivisions should enter into road agreements for improvements; they will be generating additional traffic.
Hannen said she feels Secondary Roads attempts to get what it can to save the taxpayer money, but the little man suffers. She continued, the Commission can’t delete, amend or add to the conditions from the County Engineer. Langston stated Commission members can strongly urge the Board of Supervisors to further investigate certain conditions imposed by the Technical Review Committee by submitting a letter to the Board. Beck said Commission concerns can be conveyed through Commission meeting minutes, which the Board of Supervisors receives. Langston stated, and others agreed, that Secondary Roads needs consistently applied, uniform standards for conditions of approval so everyone will know what to expect and all applicants are treated equally.
Turner asked if there were long-range plans for future road improvements – what roads are scheduled for improvements in the future? Houser explained there is a grid map that indicates what roads are scheduled for future improvements. Langston stated if Secondary Roads takes a road into its system, the hard surfacing becomes problematic if there isn’t enough traffic to justify continuing to keep the road hard surfaced.
Beck said staff will work with Secondary Roads to summarize road improvement requirements for the various cases, such as residential parcel splits, major subdivisions and conditional use permits. Once the requirements have been compiled, Board and Commission members will receive copies.
Turner asked about the Health Department condition that requires multi-use wells. A well could be a geothermal heat source for homes, and that cannot be done on a centralized well. Beck stated centralized wells are encouraged mainly in the Urban Service areas.
Hannen asked if the Commission could add certain comments to a motion regarding onerous conditions imposed by Technical Review departments. Beck said it may be better practice to make a motion to approve or deny, take the roll call vote, then provide brief comments from Commission members about conditions the Commission feels may be onerous.
Houser said the important thing is to have consistency and that everyone is treated the same.
Whittier Village Planning Project Update
Beck updated the group on the Whittier Village Planning Project meeting held on September 6th. There were approximately 60 in attendance. The main focus was on the round table discussions – each group gave its thoughts on “what is a village” and how Whittier meets or doesn’t meet those thoughts. Most groups indicated Whittier is their idea of a village just how it is and prefer to keep it that way.
Rural Land Use Plan In-Depth Evaluation
Planning & Development is in the beginning stages of an in-depth review of the Rural Land Use Plan. One of the issues under consideration is a trails component; local food systems is an emerging issue, so there is the possibility of adding a local food systems component; there are discussions at the county zoning officials level regarding aggregate planning which may be another component. Linn County has a Critical Natural Resource Area designation on its Land Use Plan map and also a Critical Natural Resource (CNR) zoning district; however, there are no CNR written policies in the Rural Land Use Plan.
Langston said CNR policies from the county should also carry forward with the property when annexed into an incorporated city. The same for flood plain and storm water management issues; there have been discussions with Regional Planning regarding those issues.
UDC On-Going Amendment Process
Beck stated that amending the Unified Development Code is an on-going process. Currently, Planning & Development staff is working on parking standards as well as size limitations for accessory buildings. Formatting of the UDC has been problematic, but that’s an internal issue. The next set of amendments will be acted on prior to the first of the year.
Langston announced a joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors and the City of Marion regarding flood issues in the Douglas Drive / Sue Lane / Echo Hill School area. The meeting will be held on September 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the Marion City Hall.
Beck announced the Trees Forever seminar on October 26 at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. Commission members will be sent information on that.
Motion to adjourn at 6:25 p.m. All in favor.
James Turner, Chair Jan Every, Recording Secretary
Lu Barron, Chairperson Joel D. Miller, Linn County Auditor
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