City nixes certified mail mandate for applications, rezones

Aug 26, 2012 By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

People making applications in the city that require public hearings no longer have to pay for certified letters after Riverton City Council members voted to pass a new ordinance Aug. 7.

Title 17 of the Riverton Municipal Code currently requires anyone with a planning action in the city to provide individual notice through certified mail to property owners within 140 feet.

City staff proposed changes to the code at the council meeting June 5 after residents said they often never received the letters.

City administrator Steven Weaver said some people who come to the city with a proposed zone change might have to send nearly 20 letters to property owners.

"Mailing the letters can become really expensive at $5.75 a letter," Weaver said. "We spoke with our attorney and found out the city is not required to make people use certified mail. We can actually use first class regular mail with the ordinance revision."

Council members voted unanimously to change the code.

Other ordinance

Council members passed two ordinances on the third and final reading at the city council meeting Aug. 7.

One ordinance changed the property at 412 E. Park Ave. to residential B zone. Originally, the address was residential property, and it was zoned commercial when the property was converted into a lawyer's office.

The owner of the property, Kristine Anderson, requested the property be changed to residential B because the lots to the east are also zoned as B.

The planning commission had a public hearing and recommended approval of the rezone on June 21.

A 4-3 vote passed an ordinance that changed 701 Village Drive lot 68A from residential zone A to residential zone B.

Council members adopted the ordinance July 3.

James and Karalee Schaefer requested the rezone, which would allow for a duplex on the lot.

Councilwoman Mary Ellen Christensen said she had received one phone call against the zone change, and councilman Richard Gard said he had received many calls against the change.

"This is unique, once again, just like all zoning is unique," Gard said. "It is difficult when you change zoning because everyone else bought their property under the pretext it was zone A, and now we are wanting to change something to zone B."

Councilwoman Diana Mahoney, councilman Lars Baker, councilman Eric Heiser and Mayor Ron Warpness voted to approve the zone change.

Christensen, Gard and councilman Todd Smith voted against the change.

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