“Whereas the Coalville City Council has determined that administrative enforcement and administrative granting of variances to the Coalville City Code is in the best interests of the citizens of the City” – Preamble to the proposed ordinance creating the Administrative Code Enforcement and Variance Hearing Officer Program within Coalville City.
At The Meeting
The Coalville City Council Meeting held on Monday, March 8 included a public hearing for a newly proposed ordinance to the Coalville City Code. If approved, the ordinance would create a “Code Enforcement and Variance Hearing Officer Program within Coalville City”. It was presented by staff member Don Sargent. There was a lot of discussion on the issue by the Mayor, Council and City Staff as they discussed the 27 page document. A couple members of the public also spoke via Zoom during the public hearing portion of the meeting. There was concern over the cost of this new program and questions about the impact of the ordinance on residents. The council requested many changes be made to the original document. It was also pointed out that the public should have access to the document before they are asked to comment on it at a public hearing. Due to this concern, the public hearing remained open and will be continued at the next City Council Meeting on Monday, March 22.
The Nuts And Bolts
Members of CFRG have scoured the city website both before and after the public hearing looking for a link to the document containing the proposed ordinance. It was mentioned by city staff during the meeting that the document was available in the City Office if members of the public wanted to request it. Council Member Rodney Robbins asked if the city could post it on their website to make access easier for the public. He recently posted a link to the updated version (with the council’s requested changes in red ink) of the newly proposed ordinance on his facebook page and it is linked here. Some highlights of the proposed ordinance follow:
- “1.2 Purpose – The Coalville City Council find that the enforcement of the Coalville City Code and applicable state statutes is an essential public function to provide relief from the particular unforeseen application of the requirements of Coalville City Code that create unreasonable hardships.”
- “1.12 – Authority to inspect – Enforcement officials are hereby authorized, in accordance with the applicable law, to enter upon any property or premises to ascertain whether the provisions of the City Code or applicable state statues are being obeyed and to make any reasonable, lawful examination or survey necessary to determine compliance with the City Code or applicable state statutes. This may include the taking of photographs, samples, or other physical evidence. All on-site inspections, entries, examinations, and surveys shall be done in a reasonable manner by providing advanced notice prior to entering the property. If a property owner or responsible person refuses to allow an enforcement official to enter the property , the enforcement official shall obtain a search warrant before entering the property.”
- “2.1 Authority – Any condition caused, maintained, or permitted to exist in violation of any provisions of the City Code or applicable state statutes may be abated by the City pursuant to the procedures set forth in this ordinance. “
- “3.4 Appeal of Decision – Any person adversely affected by a decision of the Administrative Law Judge regarding a variance may only appeal such decision to the District Court as provided in Utah State Code (10-9a-801)
“In The Best Interests of the Citizens of the City”
This ordinance has the potential to have a significant impact on the residents of Coalville City. The Coalville City Council is tasked with determining if this proposed ordinance is truly in the best interest of the public they represent. Since the public hearing was left open, residents still have the opportunity to read the ordinance and let the council and the city staff know of any questions or concerns they may have.