FARMINGTON — The city council has passed temporary zoning regulation for demolition permits involving historic structures, even as city staff continues to work on details of how the permit process and potential appeals will be handled.
In action taken recently, the council voted unanimously to enact temporary zoning regulations in regard to demolition permits.
Dave Petersen, community development director, said staff is actively working on drafting an ordinance for consideration by the planning commission and city council regarding the issuance of demolition permits.
The temporary regulations impact only buildings on the Farmington historical sites list and the Farmington historic landmarks register.
Petersen said the temporary regulations are not about demolition, but the process to get there. He noted demolition of old buildings often pit two separate camps against each other: those who press for private property rights versus those who believe in historic preservation.
“We want a venue where people can be heard,” Petersen said.
He suggests a hearing officer could hear potential cases where people seek demolition permits to take down historic structures, which would allow both sides access to make arguments. Any appeal of a hearing officer’s ruling could then potentially be appealed to the city council, Petersen said.
“This is a question of process and authority,” Petersen said of the issue.
Petersen said the new ordinance being considered will impact only a few number of historic structures in the community.
Councilman Cory Ritz said that, since he has been serving in the city, he has seen structures come and go.
He suggested the key issue would be finding the right person to serve as a hearing officer.