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City supports Lake Ewauna trail grant application

Back in 2016, Joe Wall, management assistant to the city manager, speaks to council members about a grant application that could help fund the Lake Ewauna trail, a long-proposed project at the city. Five years later the project continues, as a grant may add 1,600 feet of additional trail to the project.

The city of Klamath Falls is again trying to streamline its city development ordinance in an effort to make codes more user-friendly for staff and the public.

Klamath Falls City Council on Tuesday voted to authorize up to $75,000 for a Portland firm to restructure the city’s land development code. Winterbrook Planning, selected for the project among three applicants, has previously worked with the city to reorganize Klamath Falls Urban Area Comprehensive Plan.

According to the firm, it would reorganize and streamline the structure of the city’s development code to include public works and engineering standards and ensure compliance with state laws.

City Manager Nathan Cherpeski said the city hasn’t had an outside firm reorganize the structure of the city’s code since 1996.

“We need some professional help to finish, to get a polished product that is easier for everybody,” Cherpeski said.

If council members eventually approve phase two of the project, planning manager Joe Wall said more substantive changes could be made to the ordinance. The city had already budgeted about $130,000 to rewrite it for the current biennium.

“As with any code update, I know we want to be a little careful with phase I as to not make it too broad,” said Joe Wall, planning manager. “Because as soon as you look at the code, you can find all these items you want to change."

Improving the accuracy of cross references between sections of the multi-page document and ensuring compliance with state laws are just some of the components that Wall said could be addressed in the future, under a separate phase of the project.

“Additionally, we’re looking to go to a different organizational structure that is really meant to be clear for not only staff to implement, but for the general public when they come into our office,” Wall said.

The reorganization of the CDO would somewhat mimic the Klamath County Land Development code. Currently, Wall said it can be confusing as to what rules apply to which zones and developments. That can make a building project a house more complicated.

“Every application type is supposed to have and will have very clear review criteria and processes and not have overlap between those,” Wall said.

In other action, city councilors approved a $40,000 match in the event the city qualifies for a $345,000 grant that would help finish 1,600 feet of the Lake Ewauna Trail.

City parks manager John Bellon said he’s been working on the project since 2007.

“It’s most important that we finish something that we started rather than taking on little bits and pieces of new things," he said.

Cherpeski said the city would not appropriate the $40,000 unless they receive the grant, which would pay about 90 percent of the cost.

Councilors also voted to approve a business license for Jazzy Rose Limousine, a vehicle for hire service.

Applicants James and Victoria Holcomb were on hand at the meeting and said they plan to provide the service for birthday parties, anniversaries, as well as other special occasions.

The couple started the business in memory of their granddaughter, Jasmine, who was killed when she was just six months old. The business owners want to provide the limousine service free of charge to those who have lost a child.

“If there’s a family that loses a little one, we want to offer our services to them for free,” James said.

In other council activities, Mayor Carol Westfall asked for a moment of silence for the recent passing of Dave Andrews, who worked for Klamath Falls Parks Department for many years.

“He was a wonderful part of our team,” Westfall said.

Councilors also voted unanimously for Matt Dodson to serve as council president.

Westfall also awarded certificates of service for the following individuals:

- Capt. Ryan Brosterhouse – 25 years (Klamath Falls Police Department)

- Sgt. Dennis Davenport – 25 years (Klamath Falls Police Department)

- Dan Tofell – 10 years (City Council)

- Eric Thornton – 10 years (Public Works/Water Division and Utility/Billing Department)