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Davis Journal

Kaysville council receives 2022 Annual Community Development Report

Oct 09, 2023 02:20PM ● By Cindi Mansell

Community Development Director Melinda Greenwood took an opportunity recently to provide the City Council with an annual report on Community Development and its statistics for 2022. The numbers are from the department divisions, including Business Licensing, Building, Plan Review, Building Permits, Building Inspections, Planning & Zoning, Code Enforcement, and Economic Development. A staff of eight accomplishes all department duties.

Greenwood said Community Development generates revenue through building permits, including $689,269 in 2022. She said however, between Plan Review & Permit Fees, they are down 34% in revenues. She said permits were down from 966 in 2021 to 780 in 2022, which is to be expected based on the economy, interest rates, supply chain issues, and inflation. She said historically, the lowest years of building permits were after the recession that started in 2007. They remain ahead of those low numbers and anticipate continued increase.

Greenwood said in 2020, the city switched over to web-based software that allowed them to manage all plan submittals and reviews electronically. That software also tracks the number of inspections. She said in 2022, staff conducted 7,978 inspections, or approximately 665 inspections per month divided amongst three inspectors.

Greenwood said with the pandemic, there was an increase in swimming pool permits. She said the number of new home permits have gone down, but Kaysville issued 146 new home permits, which is a respectable number based on economic conditions. She said most building permits issued are for residential, with about 3-4% being commercial; business licensing is similar with 50/50 home occupation versus commercial businesses. She said overall, “Kaysville has been holding steady with the numbers of business licenses and revenues coming in.” Business licensing entails about 15% new and 85% renewals. Greenwood said due to the pandemic many municipalities lost businesses and numbers have dropped and have not yet come back, but Kaysville is holding steady with just over 1,000 licenses being issued in 2022.

“For how small Kaysville City is, Planning and Zoning is a busy area,” said Greenwood. Most items that come through the department and Planning Commission are conditional use permits; there also have been some rezones that require development agreements. She said subdivision development has slowed off because there is not much developable land left in Kaysville. Last year, the city adopted the General Plan amendment and has not had as many rezone or text amendment applications this year (12 this year/24 last year).

Greenwood said, “code enforcement is one of their most difficult tasks because all parties involved are unhappy.” She said by the time residents come in and complain they are fed up and have endured a situation for some length of time. Code complaints typically involve weeds, junk, debris, and some sidewalk obstructions. When staff contacts the property owner who is in violation of code, they are unhappy about being reported to the city. She said staff makes every effort to address these complaints by manner of voluntary compliance. The goal is always to maintain good relations with residents, but there are times when people violating the laws do not care to come into compliance.

Greenwood continued that code enforcement is something that typically is raised to elected officials and it is hard to help the public understand limitations that city staff has. She said this process is a reactionary/complaint-based function, as they do not have staff dedicated to go out and drive around to see what violations exist. They also cannot just go in and clean up someone’s private property without an order from the judge; it takes longer than people think necessary. She said at times, prolonging the process to obtain voluntary compliance is time well spent.

Greenwood explained with code enforcement, there are certain situations where the Police Department becomes involved (when there is the need to ensure staff are safe when they approach the location). Also, code enforcement staff do not have authority to enforce parking. She said there is challenge in trying to document and address issues from the public right-of-way and not accessing private property, particularly if an issue is invisible from the street. Staff are mindful of private property and some items are referred to the police department.

The Mayor and City Council thanked Greenwood and her staff for their presentation and work ethic. λ