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N. Logan council, planning commission, continue struggle over zoning

November 8th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Jessica Sonderegger

NORTH LOGAN—As the City Council approached the fourth item on Wednesday’s agenda, an invitation was extended to members of the Planning Commission to formally join the meeting’s discussion.

Wednesday’s meeting, anticipated as much by the city council and  planning commission as the citizens of North Logan, was the meeting at which a long-awaited  zoning ordinance modification would be proposed. The ordinance would replace the current mixed-use zoning between 100 East and 500 East, and 1800North and 2500 North, with form-based code, for the future occupancy of the town city center.

Decision to adopt or reject the ordinance modifications will not take place until December, though all parties are recognizing how quickly deadline is approaching. The planning commission needs to complete ordinance revisions by Nov. 28; the city council will determine the final standing of the ordinance later in December.

North Logan City Attorney Bruce Jorgensen says the public hearing on Nov. 28 will present the ordinance to the council and encourage one of three options come December: Adopt the proposed ordinance, reject the proposed ordinance, or adopt and amend the proposed ordinance.

Planning Commission Chairman Mark Hancy, as well as members of the commission, reiterated the time crunch. If the council failed to give them direction during last night’s meeting, then further modifications could not be drafted in time for the public hearing, Hancey said.

Debates aboutf density values, building classifications and road structures dominated the discussion—even though technicalities of the ordinance can be altered by the city council as long as the deadline is met.

Chris Nelson of the planning commission joined Jorgensen in explaining that the job of the planning commission is to create the structure of the ordinance, while the city council will ultimately have the opportunity to revise the ordinance as they see fit.

“It’s a living document,” Jorgensen said, explaining again that the third of the three options is to approve and amend the ordinance. In that case, the ordinance can be addressed and modified like any other.

Running short on time, Mayor Lloyd Berentzen suggested that the planning commission take into consideration the opinions that were voiced from the city council, and use any time available during the upcoming planning and zoning meeting to modify the ordinance accordingly.

The Planning Commission will be meeting at 7  p.m. at the North Logan City Library Nov. 8.


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