City councilors cover carports

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

A discussion about the proliferation of cheap carports found its way into city council discussion Tuesday as members approved a variance at one Portales residence.

“They’re everywhere,” Councilor Dianne Parker bemoaned. “On Friday there’s none and by Monday there are three more.”
B.J. and Annetta Byrd, who live on Oklahoma Drive, wanted to put up a nicer prefabricated carport but learned they couldn’t get a permit without a variance to the street setback limits. By the time they were through applying for that variance before the Planning and Zoning Commission, they were going to be required to erect a more expensive site-built carport attached to and matching their home.

“I’d like to see the town clean up on some of this, but I don’t think I’m the only problem,” Mrs Byrd said, after being invited to speak to the council.

She pointed out that carports like she and her husband were looking to erect are all over the city.
Building inspector Sammy Standefer said putting up one of the metal prefab carports is not contrary to city code, but the Byrd’s carport required a variance, which gave the P&Z oversight.

“People trying to follow the laws and get the right permits are being penalized,” Councilor Gary Watkins said.

Parker says she knows that many of the carports get put up over the weekend and fly under the permit radar. She said that some of the carports were ugly and wanted staff to stay on top of enforcement of permits.

Mayor Orlando Ortega Jr. agreed that the rules would have to be enforced equally and assured Byrd that they would.

Despite the somewhat sympathetic ear the Byrd’s received, council voted unanimously to uphold the P&Z’s recommendation.

In other business councilors:

• Accepted recommendations for reappointment of Beverly Bennett, Matthew Christiansen, Frankeye King and Kathie Good to the P&Z Commission.

• Voted to issue a contract to extend city services to Tommie Bennett at 179 N.M. 267.

• Approved an ordinance amending the zoning ordinances approving a more restrictive residential zone. Among its key items would be to deny mobile homes and require garages be constructed as the same facade as the dwelling.

• Appointed Portales businessman and MainStreet president Danny Woodward to the city’s final open position on the reorganizing Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation. Woodward was one of eight residents who expressed an interest in the position.

• Gave the mayor authority to execute the Community Development Block Grant for 2007. The grant will be used on a street project in northeast Portales.