Commissioners want lids on trash cans

PRESCOTT - The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commissioners Wednesday said "no" to litterbugs and unanimously agreed to recommend a zoning amendment requiring lids on outdoor trash containers.

The commission also recommended adopting ordinances that would allow residents to use an RV or travel trailer as a secondary medical dwelling and to allow guest homes to have separate utilities.

The Board of Supervisors hears the zoning amendment recommendations Sept. 2 in Prescott.

Development Services Planner Tammy DeWitt told commissioners that complaints from the public about trash blowing out of uncovered trash containers prompted the request for the amendment.

The commission approved additional language to the amendment requiring "any owner, occupant, person in control or manager" of any property to store trash in a container that prevents trash from blowing out and rodents from getting into the container.

The amendment would equally apply to businesses and residents.

Commissioner Curtis Lindner noted that the county does not define "trash" and asked Land Use Manager Steve Mauk if that would be grounds for appeal if a business or resident was cited for an ordinance violation.

Mauk noted that the county would use the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's definition of trash. He added that it "does not take a rocket scientist to know what is trash."

Persons in need of special care or supervision could qualify to live in an RV or travel trailer as a medical dwelling if approved by a licensed medical physician, Chad Daines, development services assistant director said. The commission excluded campers and tent trailers from the ordinance and limited the number of medical dwellings to one per property.

Development services processes the application for a medical dwelling permit administratively without a hearing unless a member of the public opposes the dwelling, and reviews the dwelling permit every three years, Daines said.

"This is not a carte-blanche permit," he said.

The county currently requires that guest home utilities be connected to the property's main dwelling. Under the new zoning amendment, property owners would be allowed to wire guest homes separately.

Guest home permits are for non-paying guests and are permitted separately from rental units.

Contact the reporter at bcolbert@prescottaz.com