Building official discusses permit process
Editors note: This is the first article in a two-part series that seeks to answer the question: Are Craig and Moffat County open for business? The first part of the interview seeks to learn how building permit decisions are made. The second will explore the recent impact of those decisions on building in Craig and Moffat County.
CRAIG — Craig and Moffat County are sharing a single building department for permits and inspections in an effort to make government more efficient and reduce budget expenditures.
The regional building department is housed in Craig City Hall and is overseen by building inspector Marlin Eckhoff.
A citizens advisory board also plays a role in the permitting process.
The Craig Press caught up with Eckhoff, who explained the building permit decision-making process.
Craig Press: What decisions are the city Planning and Zoning Commission responsible for making?
Marlin Eckoff: The role of the commission is to enforce our current Land Use Code and approve or deny the following.
• Site plans for new commercial development and subdivisions.
• Variance requests.
• Zoning or rezoning issues.
• Annexation and development.
A majority of these decisions are recommendations to City Council, which has the final say for approval or denial. A variance does not automatically go to City Council for approval, however, if a variance is denied by Planning and Zoning, it can be appealed to City Council and possibly overturned.
CP: As building inspector, what is your role in the process?
Eckoff: My role as a building official is to inform applicants of the requirements and get them the necessary information, review application submittals to make sure they are complete and whether or not they require any variance request or not, get all necessary review material to the commissioners prior to the meeting, post property notification and legal notices (and) attend all Planning and Zoning meetings to answer questions or give additional information.
CP: Who is on the City Planning and Zoning Commission?
Eckoff: Randy Kloos, Mike Tucci, Tom Gilchrist and Rich Sadvar.
CP: How are they appointed?
Eckoff: The Planning and Zoning Commissioners are appointed by City Council.
CP: What are the lengths of each member’s term, and are there term limits?
Eckoff: Typically, terms are four years, however, terms are required to overlap, so initial terms may vary.
CP: Are all seats filled at this time? If not, how many vacancies are available?
Eckoff: The commission is made up of five regular members and two alternates that fill in when regular members are unavailable. We currently have four regular members and no alternates, so we would love for some community members to get involved.
It takes a minimum of three members to approve a motion. When there is a limited amount of members, it makes it difficult to schedule meetings, due to illness or prior commitments. I also believe it is nice to have more points of view for discussion.
CP: How do people express interest in serving as part of the commission?
Eckoff: Any member of the community can submit a letter of interest to the Craig Community Development Department, at 300 West Fourth St., or contact me at 970-826-2013 or firstname.lastname@example.org. After that, it will be presented to City Council at a regularly scheduled meeting for a vote. If they receive a majority vote of the council, they will be appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission as a full-time or alternate member.
We truly appreciate all of the current commissioners and the ones that have served in the past.
CP: When do planning zoning meetings occur?
Eckoff: Planning and Zoning meetings are held on the third Monday of every month at 6 p.m., unless there is insufficient business to hold a meeting. With the growth we have now, we typically do not meet every month.
CP: Are they open to the public?
Eckoff: Meetings are open to the public.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.