The proposed zoning and subdivision regulations being considered by the city of Hays represent another government effort to solve problems that do not exist. At more than 500 pages in length, these regulations are extremely complicated and difficult to understand. Do we really need the city of Hays to tell us how many caliper inches wide a newly planted tree must be, how many trees we can plant and where we have to plant them? Should the city of Hays dictate to a builder of a multi-family property how much of their property must be brick or stone, and what type of siding they can use? These are just examples of the thousands of requirements that will be placed on property owners. The regulations will undoubtedly result in:
1) A significant loss of the rights of property owners in the development and improvement of their properties.
2) An increase in the cost of development, construction and remodeling.
3) An increase in the cost of local government as a result of the enforcement and administrative costs surrounding these regulations.
4) A deterrent to new business and residential growth in our area.
We have attended numerous meetings beginning in July 2014 involving city staff and the planning commission and expressed concerns. While they have listened, we believe that after review of the new drafts of the proposed regulations, it is apparent that promising to make small changes will not be sufficient to stop the overall negative impact these regulations will have on our community. The regulations are excessive and another case of government intruding ever further into the lives of property owners.
We’d like to issue two challenges:
1) All planning commission and city commission members to read the entire Zoning Rewrite prior to taking it to a vote. We don’t need another pass first, read later.
2) All concerned property and business owners to contact a HBOR member or their city commissioners to voice their concerns.
We are asking the Hays City Commission to reject the proposed zoning and subdivision regulations under consideration. We also ask city staff to continue efforts to work with developers, realtors, contractors and property owners to identify realistic revisions needed to the existing regulations. The current regulations have served the city of Hays well, and there is “no need to throw out the baby with the bath water.”
Hays Board of Realtors