I wrote a column over the weekend about a move by our city's Planning and Zoning Commission that would overturn new land use code meant to regulate Dumpsters.
I interviewed one of the commissioners who supports overturning the new code, Terry Parks. Parks gave me some of the committee's reasoning for wanting to overturn the code. Mainly, he said, cleaning up Dumpsters is impractical.
I quoted Parks as he gave me an extended example about how he has a 10-acre lot and uses a Dumpster. He said his dumpster would be illegal under the new code. It turns out this is untrue. According to the Municipal Planning Department, the Dumpster rules only apply to lots under 40,000 square feet.
The column also dealt with the fact that the commission, thanks to new appointments by the Dan Sullivan administration, is weighted toward development interests. This means: people who make money from real estate and development are rewriting the code that regulates to real estate and development. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
Creating the code in the first place took years of meetings and compromises.
The person who wrote me to complain about the error raised a question that is still bothering me: are Planning and Zoning commissioners even reading the code that they say is impractical and too restrictive? Or are they making the changes just because they want to make things as cheap as possible for developers?
I wrote Parks an email explaining the error and asking for comment, but I have not heard back.