Planning board agrees to work on steep slope ordinance

Published 10:21 pm Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Polk County Planning Board unanimously decided the county would be better protected by having a steep slope ordinance on the books instead of drafting wording for the building inspector to do a pre-site assessment on all building.

The planning board met Thursday, Feb. 14 and unanimously decided to work on an already drafted steep slope ordinance that currently gives a 30 percent threshold as a trigger of calling out the building inspector. If the ordinance is approved, the building inspector would still be charged with deciding if a building site needs an engineer.

“I think it would take a lot outfor (the building inspector) if he had a threshold,” said planning board
member David Smith. “There has to be a value associated. He needs the number given to him somehow so he doesn’t have any guesswork.”

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The Polk County Board of Commissioners instructed the planning board in January to draft wording for the building inspector to do a pre-site inspection to determine if an engineer is needed. The decision followed commissioners rescinding the county’s former mountainside and ridgeline protection ordinance (MRPO) and deciding not to approve a steep slope ordinance the planning board recommended to replace the MRPO.

Both commissioners and the planning board have heard from several residents during meetings urging the county to approve an ordinance for steep slopes.