The Council continued with its busy slate on the planning front. They held two public hearings, one on a change on how indoor theaters are treated, and the other on changes to how we enforce the zoning rules. In the first, they changed indoor theaters from “conditional uses” to “permitted uses,” which means someone wanting to develop a new theater would not have to go through a hearing at the Planning Commission. In the second the Council tweaked who is allowed to issue notices of zoning violations, required the municipal court to wait until a violator has gone through all their administrative remedies before taking any action, and clarified that if someone doesn’t want to let a city official look at records they are required to keep, the official has to get a search warrant to see them.
Still on the planning front, the Council also adopted two new ordinances they held hearings on earlier. One of them, dealing with VRDs, created an exception to the rule that VRD licenses can’t be transferred. Now a person who has a VRD license can transfer it to themselves and their spouse or domestic partner without running afoul of the transfer ban. This means, for example, that a person who has a VRD license and then gets married can put the license into joint ownership with the new spouse. This ordinance also set up a system of quarterly renewal dates for VRD licenses so that they don’t all become due on the same day. We have over 500 VRDs and processing all the renewals at once has become overwhelming for the staff.
The second ordinance adopted new policies for our comprehensive plan regarding housing and the economy. The new policies came out of the recently completed Housing Needs Assessment and Economic Opportunities Analysis. The new policies are wide-ranging and will form the framework for how the city addresses housing and economic issues in the coming years.