P&Z considers changes to building code
By Aubreyann Hansen
November 16, 2008 | NIBLEY -- Planning and Zoning Commission
discussed updating and approving the design standards
for commercial and institutional use so new buildings
have a code to follow.
Zoning Administrator Shari Phippen said she noticed
that as of now there is no code for the engineering
of design standards for buildings in industrial or commercial
areas as located on the land use chart. However the
city has a booklet to guide developers, architects and
engineers. Phippen is asking the commission to review
the information and suggest changes to make the guidelines
better and bring the suggestions to the next meeting,
which is not until Dec. 10.
"If it is not code, how do we enforce it?" Commissioner
Aaron Bliesner asked.
The guidelines would not be written into the code.
Bliesner is concerned if the standards are not part
of code that anyone can come to the city office and
change the requirements, as well as the city having
no power to enforce the regulations.
Commission members said there is a way to require
the changes go through city staff and council or commission
members before officially being changed. This can be
done by writing an ordinance that says standards referred
to in other portions of the code must go through approval
before being changed, Commissioner Wayne Anderson said.
The commission talked about the importance of having
the standards as official code to keep the community
looking nice. Having the standards "codified" insures
the code is properly changed and enforced, as Bliesner
said using his finger quotes. They soon were referring
to places in Salt Lake City that would be better if
there were design and engineering standards enforced.
Phippen said, "If there is some change to an isolated
part, that can be [changed], approved and switched out
without recoding the whole thing."
Anderson said he is concerned the code will become
"It's not our job to tell people they can or can't
dig up a tree on their property," Anderson said. "There
are requirements [planning and zoning] want but is it
our right to dictate that?"
After small discussion Anderson said the commission
can make suggestions toward what they want but what
they want should not be part of the city's code.
The commissioners took the current recommended standards
and promised to look them over and bring recommendations
for changes to the next meeting.
Anderson said some items are redundant and the standards
for the code should be cleaned up before being official.