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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ex-councilman proposes limit on occupancy for SL homes

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Occupancy limit?

Former city council member Jack Kooker continued to urge Storm Lake officials to work towards cleaning up residential property issues.

Kooker said that he has seen some action since bringing his concerns and photo documentation to the council a couple of weeks ago.

He now proposes additional efforts to cut down on cars parked in front yards, and instances in which many people are crowded into single-family homes.

"We need to keep working on front-yard parking," said Kooker.

He is questioning whether the city will define vehicles which have not been moved in long periods as either "junk" or "abandoned" to allow for action to have them removed.

He also proposes replacing the seasonal snow ban with announcements on days when snow is expected, so cars can be parked more often on streets instead of yards. "The snow ban was for 144 days last season, and we had snow on only six of those days - on all the rest, cars could have been parked on the streets," Kooker said.

He suggests using radio and the local cable TV channel to announce days on which cars should not be parked on the street due to advance forecasts of considerable snow.

On occupancy, Kooker said some cities are passing ordinances limiting the number of people who can live in a particular amount of space. He had earlier spoken of several families sharing one single-family residence in Storm Lake, with 13 children being seen leaving the property to go to school.

He suggested that the city could follow state health codes, which define proper living space as no less than 400 cubic feet for each adult, and an additional 200 cubic feet per child. "We have a lot of people who are not aware of the issues of overcrowding," Kooker said.

He also reminded the council that city officials had earlier pledged to use the funds gained from the proposed sale of golf course land to pay for the reconfiguration of the course. "That was a promise made," he said.

Kooker was a member of the council several years ago that made the purchase of the golf course from a private land trust for $300,000 - what he termed as a "shrewd" investment. While some are critical of the sale of a portion of the public property for condos, Kooker said that it should remain clear that no parkland is being sold, as some contend. "That land was never a park, it was a golf course."

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