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'Steep slope' law has some opposition

YATES COUNTY—There are already regulations in place when it comes to construction, and building on an incline may add more.
If not done properly, the ground becomes unstable and can slide down the slope. Because of this concern, some municipalities are working on “steep slope laws.” These land use regulations cover construction on ground with a 15 percent degree or higher.
However, there are also concerns about the cost of the required engineer’s study under this type of law.
In Barrington, the planning board has been working on a steep slopes law for about three years. At the most recent board meeting, several board members had concerns about the potential cost to people wanting to build on a slope greater than 15 degrees.
“A lot of people don’t have the extra money for engineering plans,” said Board member Bruce Castner. In the proposed law, if the construction were on a slope of 15 degrees or greater, an engineer’s plan is required.
Board member Ken Christensen Jr. said it seemed too controlling. He suggested the law be limited to the lakefront district.
Planning board chairperson Sue Lange said if changes are made to the focus of the steep slopes law, then the comprehensive plan would also need to be changed.
These are similar concerns expressed by some Milo town board members. Leslie Church said in addition to the cost for people, there is also the cost for the town to enforce the regulations. She said the town would need to have a qualified person on site to make sure the law is implemented.
“All agree something needs to be done,” she added.
Church explained there are already some regulations in place that cover steep slopes. She said it is a matter of expanding on that, but without making it too restrictive.
“We don’t want it so expensive and restrictive it prohibits growth,” Church added.
While Milo and Barrington are still working on steep slope laws, some towns already have them. Jerusalem and Torrey have regulations covering inclines in place.



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