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Soldotna council changes city code

Posted: February 13, 2014 - 8:40pm

The Soldotna City Council talked city codes at its Wednesday night meeting.

Of the two ordinances up for public hearing, the council postponed one and adopted the other. A third code-related ordinance was introduced on the consent agenda.

An ordinance prohibiting commercial vehicles from using certain city streets was originally introduced to council in October 2013 and was postponed then for clarifications.

It was scheduled for public hearing Wednesday and council voted to amend the ordinance as recommended by administration. The ordinance originally didn’t allow commercial vehicles on collector and secondary streets. The council amended it to prohibit commercial vehicles from all city streets unless they are making deliveries or pickups or performing services requiring travel on the street.

“Simply because there are no city streets that any commercial vehicle should be on unless they’re using it for local delivery,” City Manager Mark Dixson said.

The council voted to postpone the pubic hearing on the ordinance to its next meeting to allow for additional time for public response to the amendment.

The council unanimously approved an ordinance introduced by council member Keith Baxter to amend special assessment district code.

Previously the code stated that the council may not proceed with a SAD if property owners bearing 50 percent of the estimated cost of the improvement object, unless it is passed with a 75 percent majority vote or the council revises the SAD so the objections are fewer than half of the improvement cost.

If the city is funding 75 percent of the project, the code sets an impossible standard for the property owners’ objections to reach the 50 percent threshold, Baxter said in a previous Clarion interview.

The ordinance revised the code so that objections are applied to the estimated improvement cost to be assessed to property owners instead of the whole project cost.

“The council still can override objections,” he said. “It just gives more weight and validity to the objections process for property owners.”

An ordinance amending city code concerning streets, sidewalks and public places was introduced on the consent agenda for public hearing at the Feb. 26 meeting at 6 p.m. Revisions to the code include giving projects more flexibility by changing “minimum right-of-way” in definitions of different types of streets to “recommended right-of-way.”

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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