The Page City Council (the City) had a joint work session meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission (Commission) last night. There were multiple topics discussed during this meeting, and all of it is still in the draft/proposal stage. All that was discussed during the meeting, LPNN covered in a separate article (see link at bottom).
However, even though it is still in its building stage (pun intended for those of you still under construction), if you own a facility that is used for storage and doubles as living quarters, you may want to continue reading this; yes, those of you on Vista Rd. and in other places, you are who I am directly speaking to.
The City and the Commission know you store your high-end toys in these facilities, and that some of these facilities also have places where you, your family, and/or friends can sleep, hang-out, and have an overall good time. However, since it is the Commission presenting these changes, it appears that the Commission doesn’t want you to be able to do any of that; unless that is you decide to build a house within a residential area and pay more in taxes.
Your storage/living quarters are up on the chopping block, and there is no grandfather clause. It doesn’t matter that you followed the guidelines, or even went beyond what the recommendations were, the Commission doesn’t want you there. Why? Thought you would never ask. Because according to them, the two-hour fire-resistant sheet rock you paid extra for doesn’t qualify as meeting safety standards, and the Commission is worried that if there is a fire, no one will know that you need rescuing.
Don’t believe me? Here’s what the draft ordinance says for storage/stay quarters (which you are):
These will only be allowed within the following zoned districts: C-2, C-3, and Commercial. The Commission also made note that none of your property can have an outdoor yard. You know, the one you use to let your pooch run around in
Only you, your immediate family, or your leasee can use the property
You can stay there no more than 119 days per calendar year, period
Your living space cannot be greater than 25% of the gross floor area; or no more than 800 sqft.
Naturally, you must meet all other applicable codes for the district you are in
You must sign an acknowledgement with the City that you understand that you built this facility in a non-residential zone
The address must be clearly marked on the exterior of the unit.
I know some of you are well within these guidelines, however, I would bet that certain members of the City and/or Commission will have their own idea of what constitutes as living quarters if these ordinance/code changes are passed.
Have a second floor? Bet you dollars-to-donuts that will be considered living quarters.
Oh, you not only have a place where you can sleep, but a kitchen and full bar? Bet that will be living quarters too.
You are a seasonal visitor that is here greater than four months out of the year? Sorry, better find a hotel or buy yourself a house instead.
You’re a full-time resident? Bah! It doesn’t matter, we (the City, or rather, the Commission) want you to purchase a house, rather than skip out on the property taxes, building taxes, and have to meet our new beautification standards.
Wait! You know you don’t live in a residential area? That can’t be! You must sign a form that says you understand this fact, and won’t sue us (the City) if something happens.
You spent extra to ensure your living quarters were up to current national housing codes, including paying the extra cost for longer fire-retardant materials? Tough! The fire department knows better than the engineers who wrote the building code, and won’t know if there is someone inside, thus leaving the City in a position to be sued (the Commission must believe the local fire fighters are idiots, or at the very least don’t do their jobs by knowing what is in their district). Both of these reasons seem highly unlikely since this area is small compared to other cities whose emergency response teams know their districts (which are larger than Page itself).
According to the City, and the Commission, their main concern is your safety…should something happen, like one of your toys catch fire, you would die because you lack fire-rated walls. Ultimately what it boils down to, is the Commission is worried that if something happens to you, you or your family will sue the City.
Still don’t believe me? Check out the City’s audio recording on their meetings & agendas page. The session is the July 14, 2017 City Council Work Session Agenda. The audio is a direct download, and this portion of the meeting (the storage/stay facilities) begins at the 1:21:18 mark.
If you want to read LPNN’s coverage of the entire meeting, check it out here.
This article was prepared or accomplished by Anonymous. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Lake Powell News Network LLC, its staff or any of its affiliates.