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The Pierre City Commission is considering two ordinance changes. One relaxes the City’s current landscaping ordinance. The other requires that lots for new construction have public street access without crossing private property.
LANDSCAPING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT
The City’s current landscaping ordinance states that properties being paved or properties where 50% or more of the pavement is being replaced or resurfaced, must be brought into compliance with the landscape ordinance. This would require shade trees and or green space to be added to the property.
The amendment would remove the shade tree and green space requirement and instead recommend that those elements be added.
“As written, relative to the repaving language, the ordinance wasn’t working very well,” said John Childs, City Engineer. “Because there’s no permit required for resurfacing, there was no trigger to let people know that they needed to adhere to this ordinance. Based on staff experience, the new language is far more practical.”
ZONING ORDINANCE CHANGE
The proposed ordinance would restrict the ability to construct a building on a lot that relied solely on crossing private property to reach a public right of way; access to a building lot requires a minimum of forty feet of property adjacent to a public street.
The change would apply only to new construction and would not be retroactive.
“We have a number of locations in our community where a home is tucked behind another home. That can make access very difficult for emergency responders, particularly the fire department,” said Childs. “Additionally, it can lead to neighborhood conflicts regarding the maintenance of private property that’s used by multiple property owners to access their homes.”
A public hearing is scheduled for both ordinance changes at the June 19 City Commission Meeting. For full proposed ordinance language, visit cityofpierre.org.