City to amend zoning code for park models
Park models currently are being placed without a permit, often in the wrong location.
This is causing owners the extra cost and headache of having to move the homes after placement or ask for a variance for encroachment into the required setbacks.
A measure before the Yuma City Council addresses that issue.
When it met Wednesday, the council introduced an ordinance to amend the city's zoning code to require placement permits for new park models within the city to ensure safety standards are complied with. The park model also must comply with all applicable zoning and building code requirements for use, setbacks and noise attenuation. And they shall be anchored to the ground and skirted.
The proposed amendment also would clarify the definition for park models to identify them as factory-assembled portable units no more than 12 feet wide and between 320 and 400 square feet in total space. The units need to be permanently connected to utilities and not contain a holding tank.
The amendment will not change the development standards of the zoning and subdivision ordinances, and no potential negative impacts are foreseen with the proposed change, city staff said.
The objective is to make sure the park models are installed correctly and in accordance with codes in the first place to save property owners the ordeal and cost of having to move them later, said Bobette Bauermann, principal planner.
Also Wednesday, Todd Mattern addressed the council during call to the public about the city's proposed curbside recycling program.
He noted that the city of Somerton has made a profit of $25,000 on its recycling program.
He explained that Somerton uses prison inmate labor to save on its labor costs. It also received a grant to help offset the start-up costs of its program.
Mattern suggested the city of Yuma consider doing the same and operating a recycling program inhouse rather than contract with a private company to sort and market the collected recyclable materials. Between the savings the city would realize on its landfill fees and by using prison labor, the city could save money and maybe reduce trash bills, he said.
“I think the city could have a good program without spending a lot of money,” Mattern said.
City Administrator Greg Wilkinson responded that the city already uses prison labor extensively. One issue, though, he said, is the volume scale.
“Yuma has a lot more trash than Somerton.”
Also during call to the public, Anne Harrison commended the city for the improvements to 32nd Street and installation of the traffic signal at 21st Drive, the main access road to the Yuma Main Library.
In addition, Cristyn Weil suggested to the council that the city's feral cat population is much higher than estimated and is approaching 60,000 cats.
Animal control methods now being used are a failure, she said. “We need to come up with a better solution.”
In other action, the council voted to cancel the Jan. 1 work session and the Jan. 2 regular meeting due to the New Year's holiday.