The city of Washington is considering changing its boundary adjustment process.
Community and Economic Development Director Sal Maniaci said the city gets several boundary adjustment requests a month. City staff reviews the requests, signs off and then sends them to the council. A ordinance is then needed to approve the adjustment.
At Monday’s administration/operations committee meeting, Maniaci proposed cutting out a step and just letting the adjustments be finalized by staff. He said he checked with Franklin County and it doesn’t need an ordinance to have the adjustments authorized.
Maniaci said cutting out the council would streamline the process and save people time. He pointed out the procedure has already been changed by the city in recent years.
When City Administrator Darren Lamb was in Maniaci’s role, he eliminated a step where all boundary adjustments were sent to the planning and zoning commission first. That shortened the process from months to weeks.
If the current process is changed, the time line could shrink to days.
Maniaci said nothing would change on the staff level. Each request would be reviewed and staff would still look and see if the new lots meet zoning codes and check to see if all the easements are correct.
Once the review process is complete, Maniaci and City Clerk Mary Trentmann would then sign off like they do now. The next step, sending it to the council, would be eliminated.
Maniaci said he could still present the adjustments to the council to keep them in the loop, but eliminate the need for an ordinance.
The council seemed mostly in favor of the plan. Councilwoman Susan Watermann said less “red tape” would benefit everyone.
Maniaci said he would bring up the code amendment change at March’s planning and zoning meeting. From there, a second public hearing would be needed at a council meeting before the code could be changed.
Maniaci said he needs to speak with City Attorney Mark Piontek about the request, but, since the city amended the code under Lamb, it should not be an issue.