A carry-over item from Jan. 5, an amendment to the zone test had been requested by local builder Keith Salmon,who wanted to rebuild a fire damaged duplex he owned.
Salmon was originally told he could not rebuild the structure. Damage to the residence was judged to have exceeded 50 percent of the replacement cost, and the use did not conform with the area's new Old Townsite Residential zoning or, for that matter, the prior zoning either.
Appearing before the Farmington Planning Commis-sion on several occasions, Salmon asked that the zone text be change to permit rebuilding, regardless of the level of damage. Members of the commission, in a split vote, approved recommendation for such a change, but only for single- and two-family homes.
During the latest go-round, Salmon once more contended that all of Farmington's neighboring cities allow reconstruction even for non-conforming uses that suffered 100 percent damage.
"And this change has been scaled back for only one- and two-family homes," he added. "I don't understand why it's such a problem."
Many older homes in the OTR zone, including some that could be considered historic, do not conform with the zone in some fashion either. As it stands now, if those homes suffered damage judged 50 percent or more, they could not be restored.
City planner David Petersen responded by noting that a wider search of cities showed that Farmington's ordinance is not out of ordinary. He further reminded council members that the idea of such zoning provisions is to, eventually, weed out non-conforming uses.
Salmon's argument about older, potentially historic homes appeared to strike a chord with council members Sid Young and Larry Haugen.
It may have also prompted Rick Dutson to take action.
"It's a tough issue," he admitted, "but I don't have a problem with the planning commission's recommendation. I move that we approve the enclosed ordinance."
Silence followed and the motion died for lack of a second. For a moment it appeared the issue had run into yet another roadblock. But only for a moment.
Apparently there was some misunderstanding as to what Dutson had actually proposed. After a figurative clearing of the air, Dutson tried again, and this time Young seconded. The motion passed unanimously.