The City Council has voted to hire a consultant to help study whether
a view preservation ordinance would be appropriate, but several
council members warned that any such regulation would be a difficult
Several hillside residents asked the council Tuesday night to help
prevent the so-called “mansionization” of the area, and Mayor Stacey
Murphy said the council needs to take action to help those residents
maintain their property values.
“When you bought your house, you bought it with that view,” Murphy
said. “What we’re talking about is changing your initial investment.”
The council voted unanimously to authorize Community Development
staffers to find consultants to aid in a two-step process that could
result in a possible ordinance. The consultant will first be asked to
solicit public input on a view ordinance, and if the community
desires, develop that ordinance. The consultant will be paid between
about $5,000 and $7,000 to gauge public opinion, and about $30,000 to
$35,000 to develop the measure.
While all council members agreed to examine a potential ordinance,
Councilman Dave Golonski suggested that developing a mechanism to
regulate view protection would be no easy task.
“We have to balance protecting one neighbor’s view and another
neighbor’s right to have trees or develop their homes,” he said.
Even agreeing on what constitutes a view could be difficult,
Councilman Jef Vander Borght said. He pointed out that some might
want to see trees while others might not, and some may want to see
the mountains while others want to see the valley.
“Whose view are we worried about?” he said. “Is it your view or
your neighbor’s view? It’s really, really hard.”
Home construction is currently restricted by what city officials
called generous “mansionization” restrictions, with roof peaks
required to be less than 35 feet high and homes to take up no more
than 60% of their lots.
A consultant will likely not be hired until October or November,
and Assistant Planner John Bowler said the city plans to work with a
consultant experienced in view protection ordinances.
“We want to hire a consultant with previous experience who can
talk about the limitations of view protection,” he said.