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Enforcement of Existing Ordinances

The question of enforcement of ordinances has been raised publicly in several City Council meetings by various community members.  The city had hired an enforcement officer last summer, but there is no one in that position currently.   At the Dec. 15th Planning and Zoning meeting, Gay McAnally raised the issue of the clear-cutting of development sites and Mayor Anderson assured us that there were ordinances in place to keep this from happening in the future.  Since that time, we have tired to understand if the issue is enforcement or

From: Dee Woodham [mailto:deewoodham@msn.com]
Sent: Friday, December 23, 2005 3:12 PM
To: Sharon Anderson
Cc: Catherine Legg; Becky Rodgers; Greg Pendleton; Hollie Cost; Willie Goldsmith; Gay & Lauren McAnally; Herschel Hale; Beth Stewart
Subject: Ordinance question

Sharon,

Could you please show me what ordinances the City has in place to keep the clear-cutting (also called rape-and-scrap) that Gay showed in her picture the other night at Planning & Zoning from happening again? I understood you to say that we have ordinances in place to keep this from happening and that we have penalties for violating these said ordinances. I've looked through the Zoning Ordinances and I'm sure I could have missed it, but I didn't see anything directly on point. I did see some amendments that were on point about keeping certain size trees, but these were for Urban and University Zones (I know I'm using incorrect terminology, but you know what I mean).

I also saw penalties that were up to $100/day for violations. How does this compare to other cities? As a business person, this seems very low and could be considered just the cost of doing business.

The Executive Director of the Cahaba River Society told me there were numerous ADEM violations at the Hidden Forest sites. Does the City work with ADEM in any way as it relates to development in Montevallo?

Please let me know if I should be directing this to someone else. I just assumed you were the appropriate person, especially given your comments the other night.

Thank you for your help and information on these topics,

Dee

From: Sharon Anderson

To: 'Dee Woodham'

Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 10:15 AM

Subject: RE: Ordinance question

Dee,

Sorry for the delay in my response.

In answer to your questions –

The applicant or developer must obtain a permit for any clearing as defined in Article XVII Section 2, and also is required in the new landscape amendment to the zoning ordinance – Ordinance 05A, ₤352 to have the approval of the Planning Commission.

Penalties for violations are outlined in Section 8 and 9 of Article XVII.

We require an ADEM permit prior to our issuing any clearing or grading of one (1) acre or more. Violations of any of their requirements are subject to ADEM action.

Sharon

From: Dee Woodham [mailto:deewoodham@msn.com]
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 10:50 AM
To: sanderson@cityofmontevallo.com
Cc: Becky Rodgers; Gay & Lauren McAnally; Herschel Hale; Mike Hardig
Subject: Re: Ordinance question

Sharon,

Thank you for the response, but I'm still unclear.

Both the 05A and the Article XVII simply require Building Inspector issuing a building permit and written consent of P&Z for movement of earth. These ordinances do not address what a developer can and cannot do to property. I understood you to say that we have ordinances in place to keep 'rape and scrape' from happening.

May I request a copy of the building permit, the ADEM permit and the P&Z consent for this property? I'm glad to pay whatever research fee is appropriate.

So, if I'm understanding this, I would assume Edwards Specialty received both permits/consents and therefore, is not going to be assessed penalties?

As a businessperson, a maximum penalty of $100/day/violation is insignificant. Should I address this concern to the P&Z Board? I would suggest we compare our fines to other cities and even if we are in line, I would suggest raising them to make violations something developers pay attention to.

Thank you for your help on this important matter,

Dee

From: sharon Anderson

To: 'Dee Woodham'

Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 2:31 PM

Subject: RE: Ordinance question

Dee, I am forwarding your request to Catherine Legg and John Abercrombie.

Sharon Anderson

From: sharon Anderson

To: 'Dee Woodham'

Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 12:12 PM

Subject: RE: Ordinance question

Dee –

I feel that I answered your question regarding “rape & scrap” in my previous e-mail.

Catherine and John made available the copies that you requested. They are here at the front desk for you. You will need to fill out a request for information form and pay the applicable fees.

Sharon

From: Dee Woodham [mailto:deewoodham@msn.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2005 11:43 AM
To: Sharon Anderson
Cc:  Becky Rodgers; Greg Pendleton; Hollie Cost; Willie Goldsmith; Gay & Lauren McAnally; Herschel Hale
Subject: Ordinance question

Sharon,

 
I'm sorry to be so dense, but I still don't understand.  I feel that I have average intelligence and I encourage my students not to think any question is stupid, so I must ask for your patience in explaining this to me.  Maybe if I ask the questions differently?  Let me try again:
 
1.  A new developer wants to build in Montevallo, where would he/she find ordinances or rules telling him/her how he/she could clear land in preparation for building?  
 
2.  I picked up the permits on Edwards Specialty and there was no written permission from the P&Z Board as required in Ordinance 05A  11-352, per your notation.  Does this mean no permission was granted? 
 
3.  In your opinion, is $100/day an appropriate fine?  In my opinion, it's not.  I'm interested to see if you agree.  Is that an issue I should discuss with P&Z or is that a City Council issue? 
 
Thank you for your patience,
Dee