City code change gives developers, builders some additional flexibility
by Laura Haley
Contributing Writer
Aug 22, 2013 | 3640 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Moab City Council last week approved an ordinance that clarifies Moab city code and will allow certificates of occupancy to be issued in certain situations when the code requirements haven’t been completely fulfilled. The move will provide some flexibility for developers and builders who run into issues, city officials said.

Moab City Planning Director Jeff Reinhart said that, in the past, the city has dealt with requests that involved issuing certificates of occupancy when minimal amounts of work still needed to be completed.

“Recently we’ve had some significant amounts of money that had to be put forth towards construction,” he said. “That’s why we drafted this: to allow that flexibility.” Reinhart said that the ordinance creates more flexibility for both the city and the developers.

Moab city ordinance already allows for certificates of occupancy to be issued on unfinished buildings as long as a bond was posted “in an amount equal to the costs of completing the necessary work as determined by council,” a memo prepared by city staff said. However, the ordinance did not specify what type of work was allowed or how the amount would be determined.

Reinhart said the new ordinance would allow for necessary improvements that added up to no more than $10,000.

“Any health or safety issues, ADA compliance ... all have to be met,” he said.

Exceptions allowed would include work such as replacing concrete that was damaged during building, landscaping or trim issues that were not completed.

In order to receive the exception, the applicant would have to have a good reason for not meeting the requirements, Reinhart said.

“It could be vendor issues or weather,” he said, adding that an improvements agreement would have to be approved by the city council. “We would still be coming back to the council to get those approvals,” Reinhart said.

In addition to providing the Improvements Agreement, the applicant will be required to post a bond equal to 150 percent of the construction costs as well as administrative costs. They will also be required to provide a date for completion.

In the event that the changes are not done in a timely manner, it will be up to the city manger to either extend the completion date or execute the bond to pay for the necessary work, Reinhart said.

Moab City Manager Donna Metzler said that even though the new ordinance is now in place, city officials are hoping that issuing a certificate of occupancy while work still remains to be done will be a rare occurrence.

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