The Patterson Planning Commission was tasked with addressing various ordinance changes after city staff identified areas within the code that needed to be modified on Thursday, Sept. 10.

A total of seven different wording changes were recommended by staff to Chapters 18.38, 18.62, 18.78 and 18.98 of Title 18 of the Patterson Municipal Code.

A total of four members of the commission approved the recommended changes. The set of adjustments will now be forwarded to the Patterson City Council for final review and passage.

The changes amended:

  • The medium density residential development criteria to allow single-family homes in the medium density residential zone on smaller lot sizes
  • Development standards for accessory structures by providing separate setback criteria for open, attached structures, such as raised decks.
  • Removing a requirement that mechanical pool equipment be located at least five feet away from adjacent buildings.
  • Amending the Second Units Chapter, consistent with State Law, providing criteria, under which, a fence in a residential area could be extended to seven feet in height
  • Requiring that at least 50 percent of front yards in residential areas be unpaved and landscaped.
  • The definitions for tobacco shops and large and small vehicle storage facilities.

Medium-density residential zone requirements

The new changes took away the 50-foot minimum width and 70-foot depth requirements resulting in a minimum size lot requirement for single-family units to be 3,500 square feet. Staff found that there was no big differentiation between medium and small zone under the language used previously. The new language raises the units per acre to give the medium zone some distinction.

Attached accessory structures

The current code addresses structures that aren’t attached to the main building on the property lot, but it did not address structures that are connected to the home. The new language provides more clarity by defining what requirements a structure attached to the main building must have to comply with city code.

Swimming pool mechanical equipment

The current code requires that mechanical pool equipment be located five feet from property lines and buildings, intended as a noise reduction measure, but reportedly led to the equipment being placed in awkward locations on properties. The new language removes the requirement regarding the distance from buildings, while still keeping the requirement that the equipment stays at least five feet away from the property line.

Second units

In order to be in compliance with new state requirements, the commission passed a recommendation from city staff to change rear and side setback requirements to four feet for second units built on a property.

The new language also eliminated the minimum lot size and dimension requirements and raised the maximum size to 850 square feet or 1,000 square feet if more than one bedroom is installed in the second unit.

If the second unit is created by converting a garage, carport, or other parking structure, the city code can no longer require that the parking space be replaced. These changes were made to line up with state requirements.

Fences, walls and screening

New city code language would require residents to get a permit in order to install a new fence line. The new proposal allows for an additional foot of fence from six feet to seven feet if it is topped with a decorative lattice or something similar.

A straight replacement of a fenceline would not require a permit, but if the homeowner wishes to change out their fence, then a permit would be required under the new proposed language.

This would allow city staff to catch any issues before the project begins rather than code enforcement visiting after the project is completed and potentially cost the owner more time and investment to modify the fenceline to stay within city code regulations.

Residents would have to apply for a permit and provide information on where the fence is going to be installed and what the fenceline would ultimately look like once completed.

Single-family residence landscaping

New language in the city code would require that no more than 50% of the front and side yards to be paved and require a driveway permit. The reaming portions would need to be maintained with at least one-third landscaped with plant material. Exceptions would be permitted through the Architectural and Site Plan Review process.

Definition of tobacco shops and vehicle storage

The new language would include hookah lounges under the “Tobacco Shop” definition in the municipal code. Opening a hookah lounge would require a conditional use permit.

The new language also adds definitions for large and small vehicle storage requirements. Small vehicle storages will have a ten vehicle threshold. Any more than that is defined as large vehicle storage. Both small and large vehicle storage units used the same wording in the old language of the municipal code.

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