Amend Layton city "setback" ordinance. Drop Rackham's criminal "shed" charges
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Chad Rackham is a man who has served Layton city through CERT and has been an upstanding citizen for over 15 years. He serves his neighbors, and strives to beautify his neighborhood by keeping a beautiful yard, he serves in his political party as a state and county delegate and precinct chair. He's an active scout leader, a disabled military veteran, of both the US Army and Air Force. And now faces adding "convicted criminal" to his record, all because he built a workshop in his own backyard.
Once he completed his structure, he was charged with two class B misdemeanors, and a class C misdemeanor. Both of which are affiliated with criminals, persons who are charged with assault, public intoxication, and possession. And all because of Layton city's lack of communication, mis-information, and unwillingness to help. The city's response? That his mistake "was asking for permission."
Chad Rackham has attempted for several years to build a secondary structure in his terraced backyard to use as a workshop. When Chad went to the city to get a building permit, he was initially told he was supposed to be 20 feet back from the curb and was given the go ahead. With that, he started his project. Because no one assisted him in finding out more information on the overall structure and situation, they gave him the go ahead, only to take it all back after the fact. Chad then went to appeal the case and asked for a variance on the city building ordinance, to which he was given the run around. He was sent to so many different people, his appeals and appointments were canceled and set up again, only to be postponed time and time again.
Each roadblock that he has met with is something that the average homeowner in Layton doesn't have to contend with because it only affects those on corner lots. The problem is the 20' setback requirement, where only 3' is required for all other homeowners. When he ultimately sought a variance, he was not allowed to present his case and it was ultimately denied. He eventually became so frustrated with his attempts to work with city planners, that he eventually finished building his shed, disregarding the unnecessary ordinance, as many of his fellow neighbors have done.
Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Layton city residents on corner lots are currently in violation of this ordinance and probably aren't even aware. Layton city is not unique, as other cities may have a similar ordinance. A neighboring city was one of those, but recognized the problem and took proactive steps to remedy it by a simple rewrite of the ordinance. This involved amending the required corner lot setback to the normal 3', unless there is a driveway connecting the structure to the street, which would require a setback of at least 20'.
This petition would not only help him in his current situation, by dropping these ridiculous charges, but it would also help those who are currently in violation or plan to erect a secondary structure in the future. Help Chad keep his workshop and his upstanding personal record. Help others, who like Chad have been lead to believe that they're so called freedom from homeownership only goes so far... in this case,"20 feet."
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