City votes on moratorium

Building on lots in Fairview may be put on hold

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Some residents in the Fairview subdivision area may have to wait if they want to build on their lots.

The City Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday to approve the first reading of an ordinance extending a moratorium on applications for building permits on certain lots in the area. Council President Ken Brenner was absent.

The city annexed lots in the area in 1989 in connection with west of Steamboat plans. It then sold the lots to adjacent landowners. The Fairview neighborhood is west of Bud Werner Memorial Library off 13th Street.

Some of the neighborhood's residents have said that when the city sold the lots, it agreed not to allow building on those lots.

According to city staff, the lots were sold with deed restrictions that prohibited landowners from selling the lots separately from their primary, adjacent lots. The deed restrictions do not prohibit building on the lots.

The council passed a moratorium on building-permit applications on the lots in April and extended the moratorium in July. Last month, the separate sides met with a professional mediator; no agreements were made final during the 15-hour session.

On Tuesday, Dan Foote, an attorney for the city, asked council members to again extend the moratorium. He told council members that more discussion was needed to promote further negotiation between the groups.

Fairview resident Scott Tracy told the council he thinks the moratorium should be extended only if it involves a dispute between the lot owners and the city. Because the dispute is between neighbors, the ordinance should not pass, he said. He also asked the council to lift the current moratorium, which will expire Jan. 18.

A few residents agreed with Tracy, but two neighbors said they wanted the moratorium to pass so the issues could be resolved.

Council member Paul Strong said he sympathized with both sides. He said although he doesn't like moratoriums, he would vote in support of the ordinance. He said he wanted to see negotiations go further.

"It would be irresponsible not to pass this," Strong said.

Council member Steve Ivancie agreed with Strong. Ivancie said he understood that some people feel held up by the moratorium but that it would be better to see negotiations come to an end.

Council member Loui An--tonucci agreed, adding that it was a difficult issue for the council to review.

For the moratorium to become regulation, it must pass a second reading by the council. That reading is scheduled for Jan. 10.

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