Council OKs rules for landscaping

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Toby Spikes would agree that timing is important.

He probably also would agree that he's stuck in a fix brought on by bad timing.

Spikes signed an improvement agreement with the city of Craig in June, which outlined the parking and landscaping plans for his business, Action Motors. The agreement gave him until Oct. 10 to install the estimated $24,000 in improvements.

But if he had negotiated the agreement after Tuesday night, when the Craig City Council modified its parking and landscaping requirements, he could have saved thousands.

Despite the change, Spikes is bound by the agreement.

"He approached me three weeks ago to see if the new ordinance applied to him," Councilor Don Jones said. "It doesn't because he already signed an improvement agreement."

The council agreed Tuesday to give Spikes until Oct. 26 to complete the work. That gives him time to start over and present a new plan to the planning and zoning commission.

That plan will comply with the new, much less stringent, landscaping requirements.

Whether the planning and zoning commission will vote in favor of vacating the original agreement won't be known until its Oct. 18 meeting. The city council will act in the commission's recommendation at its Oct. 26 meeting.

The council approved the second and final reading of the ordinance. Under the previous requirements, property owners in certain zones must landscape 15 percent of their property. Now, residents on property zoned as high density still must landscape 15 percent of the square footage of their lots, but they can deduct the square footage of their home. Business and commercial districts are required to landscape 8 percent, minus the building's square footage and industrial builders must install a minimum of 4 percent landscaping.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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