Ordinance Committee Recommendations on Competing Heavy Public Use Ordinances

Here is the text just released of two competing ordinances regarding heavy public uses. The City Council will take these up at its September 17 meeting, 7:15pm in City Council Chambers, 212 Main Street (see agenda and related documents).

See also:

Video: Planning Board Meeting of 9/10/09; Heavy Public Use Ordinance Options

Gazette: “Planners ask council to keep permit authority” (9/11/09)
The Planning Board Thursday decided against recommending a proposed ordinance change that would move special permit granting authority for the city’s landfill expansion under its wing.

Instead, in a 4-3 vote, the board forwarded its own plan to the Ordinance Committee that calls for amending the heavy public use ordinance to make landfill expansion a legislative decision, rather than a zoning decision that requires a special permit. Voting in favor of this “legislative option” were members Stephen Gilson, Kenneth Jodrie, George Kohout and Jennifer Dieringer.

The other three members – Marilyn Richards, Katharine Baker and Francis Johnson – backed the ordinance amendment presented by Ward 4 City Councilor David J. Narkewicz that would transfer the council’s special permit granting authority for any heavy public use to the Planning Board…

Videos: Planning Board Meeting of 8/13/09; Special Permits for Heavy Public Uses
0:29:40… Kenneth Jodrie: “I just feel very strongly that this is a decision that has to do with the economics of how the city is run…in fact we say to lots of applicants, ‘Don’t tell us about the economics of it because we don’t deal with that. That’s not our thing.’ That is a big part of the decision on that landfill–the money. And that’s a city councilor decision. That’s all about the finances of the city… If you close that landfill, there’s a huge impact on the city’s budget. It’s a political decision. That’s not a site plan approval issue, and I don’t think it’s…a special permit, at least in the way that we typically deal with special permits.”

0:30:36… Stephen Gilson: “The ramifications…of the landfill are far beyond what we are typically involved in… I think there’s so many issues that are outside what our general background and our decision-making typically covers that I still think it’s a political issue.”

Video: Committee on Economic Development, Housing and Land Use, 8/10/09 Meeting
0:56:40-1:50:58 …Should the City Council retain special permit decision-making authority over landfill expansion (the landfill is a “heavy public use”) or transfer that authority to the Planning Board?… Discussion of ballot questions regarding landfill expansion…

Sunday Republican: “Landfill project prompts debate” (8/2/09)
Ward 4 Councilor David P. Narkewicz submitted an ordinance change that would relieve the council of permitting authority for so-called “heavy public use” projects and give that authority to the Planning Board. As it now stands, the council will decide whether to issue a special permit for the controversial landfill expansion on Glendale Road, if the Department of Public Works brings that project forward…