|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 30 December 2009 13:12|
A serious effort to overhaul the Town of Camp Verde’s outdated and bloated land-use codes is moving into the next phase, after a consulting firm hired by the town conducted a series of public meetings over the past several months.
Dava and Associates, a Prescott-based firm, has been working with the town and its Special Projects Manager, Matt Morris, to address the issue of the codes, which have caused numerous headaches for government officials and land owners alike with vague language, seemingly contradictory rules and other weaknesses in the rules.
In recent years the codes have contributed to issues with pigs on private land and the controversy surrounding a local wood yard, among other things.
The codes were largely copied and pasted from Yavapai County’s codes when the town incorporated in late 1986. They were meant to be temporary.
And while 23 years may be “temporary” in a cosmic sense, fixing the codes and making them more user-friendly was something town leaders felt was long overdue.
The meetings were held in several different areas of Camp Verde, said Dava Hoffman, the firm’s founder.
“The purpose was to analyze the codes and get public input on problems and inconsistencies,” Hoffman said. “We’re looking to streamline and improve the development process.”
The mission of code revision has been made Morris’ top priority by the Town Council. The former town housing director, Morris was given his new assignment when the town’s housing department was abolished last year as a cost- saving measure.
The town agreed in August to pay the firm up to $150,000 over the next two years to help with spearheading the code revision process. The money is there to pay for this thanks to a recent loan refinancing effort from the Camp Verde Sanitary District. The town has agreed to pay $135,000 a year to the district to help fund a new sewer plant; the district recently took advantage of lower interest rates and saved the town $40,000 this year and around $15,000 a year for the next two decades.
Dava and Associates handed over a report based on their findings, but that’s just the first step, said Richard Counts, a longtime planner who is working alongside Dava and Associates.
The next step is to coordinate these findings with the town’s overall general plan and vision for the future, Counts said.
Eventually, Counts said they would be ready to start creating a pre-draft of the new codes, opening the way for another round of workshops and public meetings.
“This next phase is very important to the Town of Camp Verde,” Mayor Bob Burnside said.
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