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Barking Dogs, Parking RVs Discussed in Edgewood

Edgewood City Council agreed Monday night to look at a recommendation to change the city's ordinance about parking RV's, campers, trailers, boats, and other vehicles on property within the city.

One property has incurred a few complaints about having two such vehicles with one being on the side of the property. Because of the complaints filed, the ordinance was consulted, and loopholes were discovered. One problem was the result of unspecific language on the website which seems to say the city allows such vehicles to be able to be parked in the side yard. The resident who lives at the property apparently suggested that he could park his vehicles in the back yard, as long as it was on a slab, and that brought up another potential problem, that the ordinance does not specify how many vehicles can be parked on slabs in the back yard.

Then Planning & Development Services (PDS) started looking around at the complaints and the ordinance, and came up with more potential violations. The city asked PDS to hold off on serving citations until they could tighten up the language of the ordinance.

"We would like to define the ordinance further, such as how many vehicles are allowed on what size lot," said Mayor John Link. "We will come up with a recommendation, and then have council tweak it to what they want to see in the ordinance."

Council also listened to City Administrator Brian Dehner's plan to tighten up the barking dog ordinance.

Dehner said that almost all of the other ordinances in surrounding cities that pertain to barking dogs are similar to the one that Edgewood has. However, Police Chief Tony Kramer found one in Los Angeles that defined the problem of barking to a more satisfactory level. The model ordinance specifies that barking has to be incessant for 10 minutes, or intermittent for 30 minutes within a 3 hour period. With this description, the person can file a complaint, but it would help if the complainant recorded the offending barking. If the dog owner disagrees, there would be a hearing by the code enforcement board, and an officer would testify.

Council agreed to instruct City Attorney Frank Wichmann to add the language to the ordinance.

Dehner also brought up the subject of the property at 196 Barnwood Drive, which is zoned as professional office, one of four areas in the city zoned that way. Thomas More College wants to be able to use the property for offices for professors, and classrooms, as well as physical therapy, but the zone currently doesn't allow that. Council listened to the possibility of allowing the conditional use for educational purposes, but then all the professional office spaces would have to have that same conditional use, which could open the door to other businesses.

Councilman Dale Henson asked Wichmann if the conditional use could be for higher education, and Wichmann said he thought so. Dehner wanted an OK from council to raise the possibility of a conditional use for the property so he could get it on the agenda for planning and zoning.

Council also agreed to a plan to put  a line in each department's budget for a Cost of Living raise plus a cost per Index merit raise capped at 3.5 percent. Dehner wanted to run the  plan past council so that when it shows up in the budget talks they will know what is going on.

The second reading for the the Recreation Trails Grant was held at the beginning of the meeting, which fulfills the requirement of the grant to have a public hearing and two readings of the intention to use the grant. The public hearing was on March 21, and the first reading was at the meeting on March 21.

There will be a meeting on Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30 pm at the senior center for anyone who wants to offer their opinion on the project at Edgewood and Lyndale Roads. Some of the topics include sidewalks and speed humps.

Bree Martin, Vice President of the Dixie Raiders Youth Football, came to the meeting to introduce the organization to the city, and tell them some of the plans they have to expand within the city. Mayor Link said they are welcome and the city would work with them to help with the teams.

Written by Patricia A. ScHeyer, RCN contributor