Monticello needs to review zoning code

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, 

The situation on S. Cedar Street is one of a series of problems the City of Monticello has faced with its simplistic, and often full of loopholes, zoning ordinance. 

Having a decent building code and inspection requirements would do wonders for putting an end to these tendencies to try and get around the requirements. Charging for inspections would offset the costs and using the money for permits for that purpose would do so as well. 

The unsuspecting public would be shocked at what some builders will try and get around, and once a building is up and closed in, it is far too late to catch what happened. The repairs can become exceedingly costly, and in some cases, even deadly if wiring is done wrong for instance. Having a building inspector would catch many mistakes and poor workmanship and would give us a better sense of what we need to include to protect the public. 

As it stands, building permits aren’t even recorded so the public would even know if work has been permitted by the city unless they call the city clerk. There is no posting process on a building that says work has been permitted by the city and even re-zoning doesn’t have postings on the property as to the time of the hearing and that a property is being re-zoned. 

It seems the less anyone knows about what is going on, the better. That is exactly what leads down this road of zoning violations and poor quality building and repairs. I would think any operation that depends on their reputation to secure work would be glad to know the cheap and crappy people who bid jobs will have to maintain a level of acceptable quality of workmanship or suffer the costs involved with having to keep doing the work until it is right! In doing so, builders would find those bidding would be more in tune with a level playing field and bids would be much closer.

Steve Hanken

Monticello, Iowa


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