Item Coversheet
City of Independence
BILL NO. 21-0521R.

Agenda Title:

21-052 - 1R.  An ordinance amending the Unified Development Ordinance, Chapter 14, of the Independence City Code pertaining to Administrative Adjustment Appeals.

Commissioner Michell motioned and Commissioner Wiley seconded the motion to recommend approval. The Independence Planning Commission voted as follows:

Commissioner Dreher




Commissioner Weir



Commissioner Ferguson




Commissioner Wiley



Commissioner Michell




Chairwoman McClain



Commissioner Preston



- Yes





The motion was approved 7-0 and such application is forwarded to the City Council for its consideration. 

Executive Summary:

The City proposes Amendment #50 of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) regarding Administrative Adjustment Appeals.


This amendment modifies language to the UDO in regards to the appeals process for administrative adjustments.


The current UDO under Article 5 Section 14-506 Nonresidential Design Standards allows an applicant the option to apply for a waiver or modification of the Nonresidential Design Standards through the Administrative Adjustment procedures outlined in Section 14-706-01 of the UDO.


Section 14-506 includes design standards for items such as Façade materials, roof forms and heights, building horizontal and vertical wall architecture, building entrance features such as canopies, overhangs, arches, window displays and building projections. This Section also includes guidance for parking lot designs for large stores and shopping centers and building requirements for street façade coverage along minor arterial and collector streets throughout the City.


The Director will compare the adjustment request to criteria set out in Section 14-706-01-F that includes comparing the request with the stated purpose of the development ordinance and making sure the request does not have and appreciable impact on the health, safety, or general welfare of the surrounding property or public. 


Currently, if an applicant does not agree with the decision of the Director through the Administrative Adjustment procedures, the applicant may appeal the decision to the Board of Adjustment.


Any requested deviations to the Nonresidential design standards outlined in Section 14-506 includes deviations that may have an impact on the neighboring community’s growth, development, redevelopment, aesthetic appeal and welfare of the surrounding properties. One of the core principles of the Planning Commission is to guide land use and development within the City. The Planning Commission also considers how those land uses impact citizens and business owners within the subject area. Considering these factors, it is staffs belief these appeals are better suited for Planning Commission consideration. Therefore, staff recommends amending Section 14-706-01-J of the UDO for Appeal request on Article 5 Subsection 14-506 be taken before the Planning Commission.


Draft Planning Commission minutes:

"Case 21-175-06 – UDO Amendment #50 – Administrative Adjustment Appeals

Staff Presentation

Rick Arroyo stated this is an amendment to UDO regarding an administrative adjustment appeals process. This would be an amendment to Article 5 Section 14-506, part of the development code, for Nonresidential Design Standards.  Section 14-506 provides design standards for façade materials, roof forms, parapet heights, building entrance features such as canopies, overhangs, arches, and window displays. This also includes guidance for parking lot designs, space requirements, and site plan issues.  The Director can adjust within 10% of the code. In this section, there is a clause that allows an applicant to apply for a modification to outlined design standards. In that process, the Community Development Director can make certain modifications. If the request is denied or if the applicant is unhappy with the Director’s reply, there is an appeals process.  Currently the appeals process goes to the Board of Adjustment.  Since these design standards have a direct impact on a neighborhood, existing commercial development, or the economic growth of an area the amendment would state that any application appeals would now go before the Planning Commission rather than the Board of Adjustment.


Commissioner Comments

Commissioner Preston stated he believes this is a good change for the UDO.  Commissioner Wiley added that she feels it is up to the Planning Commission to stay on top of the ordinances and changes and to stay educated. Chairwoman McClain agrees and feels this amendment seems more efficient.



Commissioner Michell made a motion to approve Case 21-175-06 – UDO Amendment #50 – Administrative Adjustment Appeals.  Commissioner Wiley seconded the motion.  The motion passed with five affirmative votes."

Department:          Community DevelopmentContact Person:          Tom Scannell

Community Development DepartmentApproved
Finance DepartmentApproved
City Managers OfficeApproved
City Clerk DepartmentApproved

Council Action:          Council Action:         

Draft OrdinanceOrdinance
Staff ReportBackup Material
UDO AmendmentBackup Material