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Front Page » August 11, 2009 » Carbon County News » Helper looks to redefine property zoning policies
Published 2,248 days ago

Helper looks to redefine property zoning policies

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Sun Advocate writer

A distinguishing trait of Helper is the city's lack of space. Everything in the town is close and, while in some ways the situation can be a good thing, it can be restrictive in others.

During the last city council meeting on Aug 6, a measure was introduced to Helper officials to specify the city's stance on a zero lot line policy.

Several members of the Helper community were present to comment on how best to address the issue. But because lot sizes in Helper tend to be long and narrow, complications dogged the discussion.

If a zero lot line policy were adopted, it could lead to a "townhouse" situation, noted Councilmember Dean Armstrong. At the moment, the townhouse effect is not desired.

However, residents present at the meeting indicated that, without building reforms in place, they are being penalized for wanting to add to their homes.

Aside from townhouses, the council raised concerns about how neighbors would be affected by such policies because maintaining structures that go up to a property line would often require utilization of an joining property.

It was eventually decided to adopt a policy, pending the addition of language about requirements such as getting neighbors' approval and other zoning laws that involve water runoff as well as fire and safety measures.

"All of us would want to see new developments and renovation in Helper," said Armstrong.

Other actions the council approved included BEH's use of a city communications tower located close to the water tanks by Gun Club road.

BEH is going to install a limited amount of electronic equipment to expand their network service at the tower.

Several questions arose, however, when it became apparent that sensitive police and city equipment is also stored within the tower facility. Other concerns also surfaced regarding who else can use the tower.

"We can turn people away," commented Councilmember Chris Pagliese about granting privileges at the city tower.

But on the issue of the city servers, it was decided BEH can use the tower, but only with limited use that does not allow the police servers to be accessed.

To conclude the council reviews some of its financial undertakings and some animal control issues within city limits.

The Helper Arts Festival which is currently under budget despite being a bit behind schedule. Currently the festival has cost around $27,000 according to councilmember Brandon Wyse, who also reported that this figure is about $30,000 less than what was spent on last year's event.

$3,000 was given to PRWID to keep city water levels up and council approved $600 for a new air conditioner for council chambers.

Animal control was addressed since the council believes that the city has a problem and that the regular police force is struggling to handle it on top of police duties. Although no action was taken, discussion took place regarding the establishment a new position for an animal control officer. The council will likely look into the position, as other cities around the county have similar programs in place.

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