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The Hastings City Council Monday had the first reading of an amendment of the ordinance dealing with required public notices by the city. The change would align the ordinance with state requirements and, at the same time, save money and staff time.

 

During routine zoning business earlier this year, the staff found that if an ordinance change affects the entire city, the city has to send notifications to every resident in the city by first class mail or personal delivery. That’s about 3,000 notifications, plus one for every one who lives within 300 feet of the city.

 

The state law says if more than 11 parcels are involved, the city shall publish a notice in a general circulation newspaper. City Manager Jeff Mansfield said in July the council should change the code to match the state rules. To do that, they must notify all the residents of the change, at least this one time.

 

“We will still make notifications in the paper and also to those within 300 feet of the city after the change,” he said then. “Just one zoning district change still involves hundreds…even if it’s just the B-1 zoning, that’s 300 mailings.”

 

The planning commission recommended amending the ordinance earlier, however, Mansfield asked the council to put off acting on it for a month to let citizens know what was going to happen.  The council will act on the ordinance after a second reading at its next meeting.

 

The council also approved:

Hastings Central Elementary School students holding the walk-a-thon fundraiser STOMP Sept. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

 

Thornapple River Watershed Council staging a clean up of the Thornapple River on Sept. 16, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the 22nd  year of the annual cleanup effort.

 

The request by the Jingle and Mingle Committee and the Downtown Business Team to hold its third annual Christmas activities on Dec. 1-3.

 

 

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