Change sought in way Aurora notifies residents about variance requests

by KEN LAHMERS | EDITOR Published:

Aurora -- To save the city money and manpower, Ward 1 Councilman Jim Vaca has proposed a change in how it sends out notifications to residents living near a property where a variance is being sought from the board of zoning appeals.

Vaca presented his proposal to the planning commission Feb. 19.

A city ordinance now requires that all landowners within 750 feet of a property for which a variance is being sought must be mailed details of the variance and the date of the meeting when the BZA is scheduled to discuss the issue.

If they so choose, those residents either can voice their support for or opposition to the variance by appearing at the BZA meeting or submitting written comments to the planning-zoning-building office.

Vaca believes the 750-foot distance is unnecessary, and the city is wasting money sending notifications to property owners who are not even within sight of the property in question.

"With postage going up every few months, and because it requires much of a city employee's time to send out so many notices, I think limiting the distance for notifications would save the city money and manpower," he said.

Vaca suggested for residential properties, notifications either be sent to contiguous landowners or those within 300 feet of the property in question.

He added the 750-foot requirement could remain for commercial and industrial properties since they do not have a lot of other homes and/or businesses around them.

Interim Planning-Zoning-Building Director Denise Januska said Council discussed changing the ordinance a few years ago, but never did so.

She told planning panelists that she would scour through the minutes of those previous meetings and find out the reasons why a change in the ordinance was not implemented.

Panel chairman Kathi Grandillo also requested Januska check into how surrounding cities handle the variance notification process.

The matter will be placed on a future agenda for discussion. City Council would have the final say on whether the process is changed.

Email: klahmers@recordpub.com

Phone: 33-541-9400 ext. 4189

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