After hearing solid opposition to proposed changes to building codes in Stanley, City Council members put off a decision until next month.
“Just because of COVID, I think we’ll have to have that discussion either in December or January,” Councilwoman Lauri Gadwa said in an interview after the Nov. 12 meeting. “We can’t meet in person, so we have to do everything over the telephone.”
Most speakers complained about revised language related on shed roofs in the proposed code changes. The proposed language stated “to prevent modernistic appearance or adverse visual impacts, flat or shed-type roofs are permitted on a case-by-case basis by the City Council.”
“Having that type of policy will bring lawsuits,” Stanley resident Jeff Welker said.
Shed roofs already exist in Stanley, which Welker and several other people said would put many structures out of compliance with city codes. It would also restrict property owners from adjusting features on their homes that are allowed on their neighbor’s property.
Based on the Stanley comprehensive plan, building codes require structures fit a rustic, Western design. In the past, Welker said shed roofs fell within that design, with pictures of shed-roof buildings included in the comprehensive plan.
Another complaint Welker and fellow Stanley resident Rebecca Arnold voiced about the proposed changes related to regulations on window sizes. City officials want the code to state “if any individual window is larger than 30 square feet then collectively windows cannot exceed more than 60 percent of the facade on any side of the house.”
“That is something aesthetic,” Arnold said. Like Welker, she said that change would also put several buildings out of compliance. “You should be concerned about health and safety,” she said to council members.
Brook Bates backed up Arnold and said if homeowners want to install big windows on their homes to enjoy the view, they should be allowed to.
Ultimately, residents said they were upset they were being told what they could and couldn’t do with their property. Welker took umbrage with the case-by-case language in the shed roof rule. He said it’s unfair to allow council members to decide whether someone can build the roof they want.
Bates spoke similarly of windows and said “we shouldn’t be dictated to on how many windows we have or how big.”
Stanley council members continue to meet telephonically because of COVID.