Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Municipalities disregarding their own zoning regs

  1. #1

    Municipalities disregarding their own zoning regs

    How many times have you seen your City/County's Public Works Departments railroad projects through with total disregard for the standards we impose on citizens every day?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Missing up north from the low country
    Posts
    1,075
    Bump! This looks like a good topic from long, long ago.

    It's not just the DPW. I worked for a municipality once that told me "well, yes, that's in our regs but I don't want you to start enforcing it". I wasn't super popular when I said we needed to enforce it or remove it -- these are your options!
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,846
    In NH, there's this:

    Governmental Use of Property
    Section 674:54
    674:54 Governmental Land Uses.
    I. In this section, "governmental use'' means a use, construction, or development of land owned or occupied, or proposed to be owned or occupied, by the state, university system, the community college system of New Hampshire, or by a county, town, city, school district, or village district, or any of their agents, for any public purpose which is statutorily or traditionally governmental in nature.
    II. The state, university system, community college system of New Hampshire, county, town, city, school district, or village district shall give written notification to the governing body and planning board, if such exists, of a municipality of any proposed governmental use of property within its jurisdiction, which constitutes a substantial change in use or a substantial new use. Written notification shall contain plans, specifications, explanations of proposed changes available at the time, a statement of the governmental nature of the use as set forth in paragraph I, and a proposed construction schedule. Such notification shall be provided at least 60 days prior to the beginning of construction. Either the governing body or planning board of the municipality may conduct a public hearing relative to the proposed governmental use. Any such hearing shall be held within 30 days after receipt of notice by the governing body or planning board. A representative of the governmental entity which provided notice shall be available to present the plans, specifications, and construction schedule, and to provide explanations. The governing body or planning board may issue nonbinding written comments relative to conformity or nonconformity of the proposal with normally applicable land use regulations to the sponsor of the governmental use within 30 days after the hearing.
    II-a. Any use, construction, or development of land occurring on governmentally owned or occupied land, but which is not a governmental use as defined in paragraph I, shall be fully subject to local land use regulations.
    II-b. The construction and operation of any solid waste disposal facility on land owned or occupied by any city or town within another city or town shall be subject to local land use regulations to the same extent as if the land were owned and occupied by a private entity. Nothing in this paragraph shall affect the construction and operation of a solid waste facility on land owned by a solid waste management district formed under RSA 53-A or RSA 53-B or any combination of municipalities authorized by an act of the general court, if the land is located within a city or town that is part of the district.
    III. This section shall not apply to:
    (a) The layout or construction of public highways of any class, or to the distribution lines or transmission apparatus of governmental utilities, provided that the erection of a highway or utility easement across a parcel of land, shall not, in and of itself, be deemed to subdivide the remaining land into 2 or more lots or sites for conveyance for development purposes in the absence of subdivision approval under this title. For purposes of this subparagraph, "transmission apparatus'' shall not include wireless communication facilities.
    (b) The erection, installation, or maintenance of poles, structures, conduits and cables, or wires in, under, or across any public highways under RSA 231, or licenses or leases for telecommunication facilities in, under, or across railroad rights of way. For purposes of this subparagraph, "structures'' shall not include wireless communications facilities.
    IV. In the event of exigent circumstances where the delay entailed by compliance with this section would endanger public health or safety, the governor may declare a governmental use exempt from the requirements of this section.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Remote command post at local bar
    Posts
    9,268
    I've seen engineers override landscaping requirements and then tell us there was no way they could have trees or grass in the retention ditch.
    I wouldn't sign off an a digital sign because the code said no. The director signed it and called it a "public sign" which was allowed.
    The city tennis events used to build bleachers every year ignoring building code.
    Everyone did changes to the city hall building with no code review.
    The list could go on if I wasn't to tired to think of more crap.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Tri-Cities, Washington
    Posts
    9,163
    Blog entries
    2
    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    Everyone did changes to the city hall building with no code review.
    The list could go on if I wasn't to tired to think of more crap.
    Back in my Building Official days, I issued a Stop Work order on a City project (renovations to the offices of the sewer plant). I walked the red tag to the PW DIrector's office and gave it to him there.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  6. #6
    This happens all the time. Muni imposes rigorous review process and zoning standards for private development. A tiny screw-up is followed by sneering, derisive language, and threats to the applicant, usually smaller developers who's primary deficiency is that they lack access to the vast legal consul as the big boys. Then one day the municipality has to go through their own processes... The municipality eventually throws up their arms in frustration and finds a way to change the rules or ignore them altogether. This is probably the biggest pet peeve of mine and happens frequently in projects initiated by economic/community development departments in small villages to the largest city. This is why I think it's important to have staff with experience on being on both sides of the counter as they serve as reality checks when something sounds good on paper, but is a travesty in the real world when implemented. [/rant]
    The content contrarian

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Remote command post at local bar
    Posts
    9,268
    My favorite excuse was always, "The city is exempt or immune from it's own codes." I challenged that one and asked our ACM and city attorney to give me evidence of that legal finding. I was no longer asked back to the project meetings.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 3
    Last post: 19 May 2008, 6:02 PM
  2. Replies: 9
    Last post: 30 Jan 2008, 12:41 PM
  3. when do zoning regs apply
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 29 Jun 2004, 3:21 PM
  4. Eavaluating existing zoning regs
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 09 Feb 2004, 7:27 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last post: 10 Jun 2000, 10:13 AM