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Condo hearing approved at city board meeting

January 4, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY

At its meeting Tuesday, the Starkville Board of Aldermen approved Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman’s call for a public hearing on a proposed condominium ordinance and changes to city code referencing procedures related to condominium development.
Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas asked for the item to be moved to the consent agenda early in the meeting. The consent agenda is a set of action items the mayor and aldermen agree to approve all at once early in each meeting, with no discussion or vote.
However, when Dumas requested the move to the consent agenda, Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins asked Wiseman a few questions. He said he was not opposed to the item going to the consent agenda, but he wanted Wiseman to explain the intent of the condominium ordinance and the changes the ordinance would institute for the benefit of the public in attendance.
“As of right now, we have no process that’s separate ... from our standard subdivision process for condominium development,” Wiseman said. “This is a process that’s intended to speak to the unique intricacies of condominium development that can be quite different from the basic subdivision of land. I have spent a great deal of time with our staff, the chief administrative officer (and) the city attorney making sure this is an instrument that complies with state law and hopefully puts us in a position to foster sound condominium development in the future.”
Wiseman said the condominium ordinance resulted from the Starkville development community’s feedback.
“We are seeing a burgeoning condominium market in this community,” Wiseman said. “I think it’s something that has the potential to be very positive. It is a market that potentially could be one of growth and development for the future.”
Perkins then asked Wiseman if the new ordinance would require condominium developers to go before the city’s planning and zoning commission and the board of aldermen as city code currently does.
“In other words, without this ordinance, (will there) be more review and consideration by planning and zoning and the board as opposed to if this ordinance is the law?” Perkins asked. “Just distinguish that to the public. Will this proposed ordinance have less oversight by the planning and zoning commission and the board of aldermen?”
Wiseman said Perkins’ assessment was correct.
“This would not call for a condominium plat to go before planning and zoning and the board of aldermen,” Wiseman said. “As it is currently, if it was a basic subdivision plat, then it would have to go through that process.”
Perkins then said he was satisfied, and the matter went to the consent agenda without further discussion.
Wiseman said the first public hearing on the ordinance will be at the board’s Jan. 17 meeting. A second public hearing will happen at the first meeting in February, he said, and if no substantial changes necessitate an additional public hearing, the ordinance will be up for adoption at that meeting. The current draft of the condominium ordinance can be found in the e-packet for the board’s meeting agenda at http://cityofstarkville.org/detail.php?p=3&s=49.

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