Council ruling on daycare center

There was some question as to the accuracy of the story on the Winslow City Council's ruling on the controversial daycare center from the Dec. 21 issue of the Winslow Mail, so here are the minutes from that portion of the council meeting.

"The City Administrator stated that the City Planner and the City Attorney would both be presenting information on this issue. The City Planner explained that this matter was heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission at their regular meeting on Nov. 3, 2005 and that the Conditional Use Permit was approved with recomended conditions as shown in the staff report. The City Planner further explained that there is a group of citizens from the neighborhood who do not agree with the approval of the permit and they are appealing the decision to the Council.

The City Attorney then referred to the staff report and stated that after the permit was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, the appellants, who are represented by an attorney who is present tonight, met and reached an agreement wherein the applicant agreed to certain conditions. The City Attorney pointed out that the agreement is not binding to the City Council and read conditions A thorugh F from the agreement which is attached hereto and made a part of the minutes. The City Attorney stated that he has a problem with the language of the last condition and suggested that it read 'Should there be complaints from the neighborhood and/or issues of non-compliance, the granting of the prermit shall be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission.' The City Attorney stated that he generally recommends accepting a Board or Commission's recommendation but advised the Council that they do have the right to reject an application or it can be adopted with changes and that his reccoemndation would be for the council to accept the Conditional Use Permit and affirm it with the conditions that the parties have agreed to with the exception of the modification to the last phrase.

Councilman Boyd commended all invovled for working out an agreement that satisfied both parties.

Attorney Tevis Reich, Flagstaff, spoke regarding the conditions of the agreement, particularly the last paragrpah of the conditions wherein he stated that the language was extracted from the city's recommendations and conditions.

Mr. Reich then gave a brief background of the problem that the appellants had regarding the fact that the request was for a Home Occupation Permit under a DES license for a day care facility to watch 15 children (I I non-resident children) and the ambiguity of distinguishing what was appropriate for a home occupation and when that home occupation transferred over to what was more of a commercial buisness because it was so big. Mr. Reich also referred to the RI-7 zoning district and stated the purpose for that district and how a business in this district could change the characteristic of that district. Mr. Reich stated that the City of Winslow's Code for a Class II Home Occupation Permit is vague and ambiguous and explained his reasons for believing that was the case. Mr. Reich also referred to the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting and stated that several items were presented to the Commission at that meeting showing that standards were not in place. In closing, Mr. Reich suggested that beyond adopting the Conditional Use Permit with the amendments, that the City Council review the criteria set forth for Class Il Home Occupations.

The City Administrator stated that the Planning & Zoning Commission have already started the process of reviewing the language in the code.

Judy Howell spoke regarding meetings held in 2002 regarding home occupations and expressed concern over the fact that the Planning & Zoning Commission could have a finding of fact after they were presented with petitions from the neigbbors.

Jana Smith thanked everyone for their time and effort they have given to this issue. Mrs. Smith also stated that she felt the Planning & Zoning Commission was taking flack and that it was her understanding that the issues were not a problem at the present time but could become a problem in the future, Mrs. Smith does not consider her day care a commercial business.

The City Attorney then made mention to language in the appeal regarding an alleged violation of the open meeting law and stated that he was at the meeting and no violation occurred.

Councilwoman Ogilvie requested that the City Attorney read the suggested change in wording wherein the City Attorney stated that 3f would read as follows: "The Conditional Use Permit shall be reviewed annually to assess its effect on the neighborhood, and to insure compliance with all conditions and Municpal Code requirements. Should there be complaints from the neighborhood and/or issues of non-compliance, the penult may be revoked after farther review by the Planning & Zoning Commission." The City Attorney compared the conditions in the conditional use permit approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission and the provisions in the agreement signed by both parties.

Motion: Moved by Vice Mayor Sochner, seconded by Councilman Boyd, to affirm the recommendation of the Planning & Zoning Commission with those changes in language as provided by in the agreement and the language adopted by both parties (page 2, paragraph 3 a-f of agreement) with the change in the final sentence of 3f to read "Should there be complaints from the neighborhood and/or issues of non-compliance, the permit may be revoked after further review by the Planning & Zoning Commission." Motion passed unanimously.

Vice Mayor Soelmer thanked all parties involved and the Planning & Zoning Commission and recommended that there be open communication to solve any issues that should arise in the future.

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