Housing request halts plans for Wellsville subdivision
By Ruth Russell
WELLSVILLE - Questions about new state laws and failure to follow city ordinances brought plans for new subdivisions in Wellsville to a halt at the city's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last week.
What started out as a simple request for permission to build a house turned out to be a much bigger problem, when it was discovered that the lot was part of a larger group of lots and had been recently sold individually, without going through the city or state.
A new state law says people cannot split land and sell it without it becoming a new subdivision, and the Planning and Zoning Commission said Ordel Cooper had not followed correct procedures to do that. The Commission voted to not approve the building until the owner complied with the state law.
Subdivisions continued to be the topic of the night as the final plat of the H.S. Cooper subdivision was brought to the Commission for approval. The problem this time wasn't with state law, but with Wellsville's own city ordinances.
City Ordinance 16.12.040 states that both the project engineer and the city engineer must sign the plans before the Planning and Zoning Commission can recommend it to the City Council for final approval, and H.S. Cooper had not gone through those steps. The Commission can approve the majority of the plan, but said only the engineers have knowledge of correct guidelines for sewer and water systems, which are imperative in new division and planning of land. And although the Commission approved it, they could not sign without the previous signatures.
"It's our job to follow the code exactly," said Commission Member Phil Bankhead. "And if that's what it takes from this point on, then that's what we'll have to do."
Archived Months:September 1998