City ordinance revision retains fence permit requirement but without fee

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home City Council on Sept. 1 held the first reading of updates to the fence ordinance that will continue requiring permits to build or repair fences but dispense with the associated fee.

The council held a public hearing on the revisions, recommended by the Planning Commission, during its regular meeting on Aug. 25.

The council had declined to move forward with the ordinance following a public hearing on a previous version on July 14.

Objecting to the permit requirement and especially the fee, the council referred the ordinance back to the Planning Commission, where the ordinance revisions originated.

The existing ordinance is unclear about what constituted a repair so the Planning Commission originally included a requirement for a permit for replacement of more than 25 percent of a fence, said Planning Services Manager Laura LaRoque.

The new version of the ordinance revisions dropped that language and now will require a permit “prior to the construction or reconstruction of a fence.” The commission also recommended removal of the permit fee following its public hearing, held on Aug. 3.

“No fee is included in this ordinance,” said City Manager Craig Martin. By resolution, “the council could continue with a permit fee or strike the permit fee.”

The current fee is $20.

LaRoque said that the Planning Commission thought a permit was important as an educational tool for those planning to build a fence.

The council voted 5-0 to move the ordinance to first reading.

The ordinance will be read for the second time on Sept. 8 and for the third on Sept. 22. Following the third reading, the council may decide whether to approve or deny the ordinance revisions.

Present at the meeting were Marybeth Angulo, Ryan Underwood, Greg Mahler, Mayor Jim Gourley and Dave Trask. Bruce Hobbs and Jeff Goodwin were absent.

In other business, the council:

n Appointed Edie Wilcox to the All-Hazard Mitigation Committee. The committee has two vacancies remaining.

n Held public hearings and the first readings of two ordinances vacating rights-of-way.

One is an undeveloped alley located behind A&W, between Main and Long streets west of 12th Avenue and east of Ninth Avenue.

The second is an undeveloped right-of-way designated 59th Avenue in the Scholl’s Addition to Foster. It is 60 feet long and 14 feet long. The property borders Edgwater RV to the east.

The second reading will be held on Sept. 8. The third reading will be held on Sept. 22, when the council may approve or deny the proposed ordinances.

n Held the first reading of an ordinance that will restrict smoking and drinking alcohol in city parks. The ordinance will limit smoking to designated areas and prohibit the consumption of alcohol except by permit.

The second reading will be held on Sept. 8. The third reading will be held on Sept. 22, when the council may approve or deny the proposed ordinance.