BUZZ Duluth: Should city council grant speedy approval to Unified Development code?
By: Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune
Peter Passi covers issues related to the city of Duluth. Follow BUZZ on Twitter.
Now or later for the UDC?
The Duluth City Council will take up one of the most complicated measures it has ever encountered on Monday: a 347-page document that if passed will become the community's new unified development code.
It establishes new building standards, redefines zoning districts, establishes approval processes, dictates parking for different forms of development and addresses wetland and water management issues, among other things.
On Thursday night, the council held a special meeting to read into the record some last-minute amendments to the UDC, and Mayor Ness' administration made clear its hopes that councilors will see fit to enact the sweeping reform at the beginning of next week. But some members of the council suggested the process was being rushed.
The second reading of the UDC will occur Monday, and a vote up or down could follow.
Councilor Jim Stauber questioned whether the process would give the public enough time to digest the proposed changes, however.
"The reason the charter calls for two readings is so that the public would have an opportunity to weigh in," said Stauber, as he explained his misgivings.
Council President Jeff Anderson also suggested more time for public input may be needed, as well, perhaps pushing a vote on the UDC into August
Assistant City Attorney Allison Lutterman acknowledged Thursday that the ambitious code was sure to have its flaws, but she stressed that within six months of its enactment, the council would have an opportunity to tweak the document and address any issues that arise
City Land Use Supervisor Cindy Petkac, who has led the UDC charge, said continued amendments are to be expected but urged the council to maintain the momentum of a process that has involved more than 500 community participants and swallowed hundreds of hours of staff time.
What do you think? Should the council push ahead with the UDC or cool its jets to allow for more public discussion?