Grand Lake officials will discuss a plan next week to halt new construction in downtown Grand Lake.
Last week, Grand Lake administrators held a joint workshop with the city’s planning commission to discuss a possible construction moratorium in the downtown district. The joint workshop is set for 4:30 p.m. on May 24. The programming item appeared on the agenda of the directors on May 10.
Over the phone, City Manager John Crone said the city is approaching the proposed moratorium with caution and officials are strongly encouraging public comment during discussions next week.
“We have a few flaws in our code, I’ll be very honest, and we’re working on it,” Crone said on Friday. “For me it’s not such a big deal as we should – I’m adamantly opposed to a moratorium on building – but the planning commission has asked the board to take this into account during the update. code.”
There was talk during last week’s lineup that the commissioners believed the building code could be updated in as little as a month. Not seeing this as a realistic timeline, Crone said he thought it would take at least three. New ordinances require one month after their adoption to take effect.
As a city administrator who also sits on the planning commission, Ernie Bjorkman said commissioners were hesitant to use the word “moratorium” for fear of scaring people off. However, Bjorkman added that they also feel the city needs a brief break to catch up on its building code and better protect the city’s historic character and beautiful structures.
“Basically, our biggest concern is trying to protect our downtown with some sort of superimposed design decree,” Bjorkman explained. “A lot of the wording says, ‘Developers are encouraged to,’ (or) ‘Developers, we hope they will,’ and what we’d like to do is put more teeth into that. and say, “The devs will…”
The eventual moratorium would only cover the downtown district, and Bjorkman told administrators the commissioners wanted to put new building plans on hold for a month to prevent property owners from submitting plans before the city could enforce the language.
Although he expressed hesitation about issuing a moratorium on construction, Crone told trustees it was important to hear from the planning commission.
If the trustees want to act quickly on the recommendation of the commissioners, an emergency order regarding a moratorium on construction could come at the regular meeting of the trustees immediately after the May 24 workshop.