Propane project begs the question

Letter to Editor
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What’s it going to be with the JS West propane tank proposal this time (Record, 4/1). Three time is the charm or three strikes and you’re out? Bulk propane tank facilities are not a permitted use in any of the city zone districts. The property picked this time around is zoned light industrial with a green belt overlay. So the city has proposed giving JS West a conditional use permit changing the zoning to heavy industrial. If you read the municipal code or the zone district handout from city hall, you will not find heavy industrial listed. Apparently city staff thinks a new zone district can and should be created by conditional use permit. Even though the public notice for the hearing on this project says the planning commission will hear it, it actually won’t. At the Dec. 9, 2009 city council meeting, the council adopted a resolution dissolving the planning commission and appointed themselves instead. The planning commission and its functions are part of the municipal code. The council can’t just pass a simple resolution repealing or changing city code. If that were true, then there would be no reason for a municipal code in the first place. The council could make it up at any meeting. By removing the planning commission, the council has also denied citizens and applicants their right to appeal any commission decision because city councils are the appeal hearing bodies. I think the city council might as well go ahead and throw out the municipal codebook, They don’t read it anyway. This new process certainly appears to be more developer-friendly. Elizabeth Armando, Colfax