Planning Commission shores up erosion control ordinance

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague Planning and Zoning Commission shored up an ordinance for residential erosion control at its Wednesday, Sept. 29, meeting.

The consensus of the commission was to support an amendment to the ordinance. Planning Director Ken Ondich explained the changes are suggestions made by two local builders.

The ordinance requires a $1,500 escrow deposit for new residential houses to ensure that at least one tree is planted in the front yard of a lot, the front also be sodded and the rear yard be seeded, hydroseeded or sodded. Also all of the plantings must be alive and well at the end of 30 days before the escrow is refunded.

The two builders questioned using just sod in the front yard and suggested that requirement be eliminated except in cases where slopes are greater than 4 to 1. It was proposed that sod or an erosion control blanket with seed be used in the front yard.

Ondich noted the city's Building Official Chad Lunder reviewed the proposals and had no questions. Ondich will also have the city's attorney look at the amendment. The ordinance revision will be brought back to the commission at a later date.


The commission began discussion on detached accessory dwelling units or what are also termed as MedCottages. They are a small portable living unit that can be moved into the backyard of a single family home to provide living space for an elderly relative. The main area of the unit is the bedroom with a bathroom off to one side and a kitchen on the other.

Ondich noted discussion points included a possible age limit, where there be a requirement for doctor's orders, the minimum and maximum square feet of such a unit and should the units be required to use the connection to existing sanitary and water services.

City council representative Kay Wilcox thought they were good ideas, but felt they should be a licensed medical unit.

Ondich said he would also be discussing the units with the city's building inspector, with more information to be presented to the planning commission.

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