I think most people would agree that how things look matters. It’s in the application of this concept where people start to disagree. On the one end of the spectrum are those folks that say nobody, including their government, should be able to tell them what to do with the look of their house or building. It’s their property and the constitution assigns them property rights, end of story. On the other hand, folks will also argue that they have a right to not have your bad looking property diminish the value of their property so the government needs to protect their property rights too, which usually takes the form of some level of architectural design standards. This is a great example of choosing between 2 rights — which is what makes setting public policy so difficult. There is no right or wrong answer, just the best expression of what the Kent community believes is best for Kent — which is what the Planning Department will be reviewing next Tuesday night, August 18 at 7:45 pm in the Council Chambers.
Here’s an email update from the Planning Director:
After a brief hiatus in July, we are due to continue our review of the Kent Zoning Code. The next session will be Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 7:45 PM. Please note the changed starting time which is due to the fact that the Planning Commission has two cases (both zoning text amendments) on its agenda and their meeting begins at 7 PM.
The next topic for discussion relates to Architectural Review Standards (ARS). For those who may not know this, the City currently has no specific architectural review standards in its zoning code. It does have an architectural advisory board which serves at the pleasure of the Planning Commission and does have input on some projects. Since this is a rather complex subject, I have broken the topic down into two parts. We will deal with the first of the two parts at the coming meeting. Our focus will be on determining how ARS would potentially fit into the current development review process. It seems prudent to have this discussion first and to get some direction on this before actually trying to define the standards themselves, since the manner in which the standards are applied may actually have some bearing on the content of the standards.
Attached you will find the agenda for the meeting, along with a copy of what had been drafted (the draft is not complete) for the Unified Development Code undertaking about 5 years ago, and also our staff report on this matter. I hope to see you all there. If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me.
To see the agenda and review the handouts prepared for the meeting, click here.