Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

At its last regular meeting Dec. 18, the Crescent City Council voted not to introduce a revised municipal code ordinance requiring street improvements for some property owners making improvements.

According to the amendment, the city will require property owners to construct certain curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements when structural modifications or additions to a structure equal or fall below 25 percent of its market value.

The action amends Section 12.04.030 to say construction of curbs, gutters and sidewalks will not be required if they already exist, if the dwelling or building is not being moved and the inhabitable areas is not increased and if the cost of the work does not exceed 25 percent of the market value, as determined by an appraiser.

“Where curbs, gutters and sidewalks, or any combination thereof, are required under this section, the cost of constructing... will be limited to 25 percent of the cost to erect, construct, add to, or move the dwelling or building,” the amendment reads. “In such a case the City will determine which of the required curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements are to be constructed.”

The requirement will be made before a permit can be issued.

Interim City Manager Mike Young said the city previously required property owners to make the improvements when a building is constructed or modified, except when the value is less than 25 percent of the value of the improvements.

“This has, on occasion, discouraged routine home improvements, and can, in the sense that .. a home that was assessed a number of years ago and a person wishes to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, can easily break over the 25 percent,” he said. “If they do not have curbs, gutters and sidewalks that comply with City standards, they would be required to ... remove the ones that are there, if there are some, and reinstall them, meeting City standards.”

“When property owners decide not to make improvements to their properties, due to the cost of the City requirement, it is to the detriment of the city, neighboring property owners and city residents,” the amendment reads.

He explained that the amendment clarifies a few points and exempts those doing projects such as interior remodeling.

However, the streetside improvements are to be required for any new construction, he said.

Following some discussion about the amendment’s language, the ordinance was introduced by 4-1 vote with Mayor Blake Inscore voting no, to send the revised ordinance back to City Staff for revision of requirement amounts.

If revisions are approved the amended ordinance will be reintroduced at the next regular meeting and will be voted on at the subsequent meeting.