Morenci planning commission 2013.08.28

Morenci planning commission members voted Thursday to recommend to city council a change in the fence ordinance. Commissioners also started discussion on a proposed wind turbine ordinance.

The existing fence ordinance requires that a fence should be placed at least 18 inches inside the property line. This would allow the owner access to both sides of the fence for maintenance. That wording was put into law to address a particular issue between two neighbors, explained administrator/city clerk Renée Schroeder at the July meeting. 

Zoning administrator Jacob Barnes suggested simpler language that will be passed on to city council for final approval. The new paragraph would read: “Fences are permitted to be placed along a property line but shall not extend beyond the property line or into any right-of-way area. It is a property owner’s responsibility to locate property lines and it is suggested that a surveyor locate property lines before installing fences."

Commissioner Brad Frederick said that occasional disputes between neighbors about lot lines will always occur, and he favored the new ordinance language.

TURBINES—Barnes offered the first look at a wind turbine ordinance that he modeled after those in place in other communities. He urged commissioners to use this as a starting point for developing their own requirements.

The proposal would limit wind turbines to the Skyline Industrial Park on the south side of the city. 

"I'd rather not have them in residential areas," said commissioner Keith Pennington. "The industrial park is the place to have them, but our park does butt up against a residential zone."

Lowell Oberhaus said that he wouldn't want to limit turbines only to the industrial park. 

Barnes said there are few residential properties in town that would allow placement of a turbine due to property line setbacks and need for height to clear the tops of trees. He will work on establishing minimum lot size requirements and some other concerns before the commission meets again Sept. 19.

The sample ordinance submitted by Barnes would limit the height of turbine tower to 150 feet and place a turbine in a fall zone from building and lot lines at least equal to the height of the total structure. Noise must not exceed 65 dBA at the nearest property line.

Pennington welcomes comments from the public.

• A new planning commission member is needed to replace Robert Jennings who recently left the group. City residents are typically chosen, Schroeder said, but it could be someone from outside of town who is involved in the community.

Mayor Pennington would like to receive recommendations by Aug. 30.