Feb 20 2018

Window Installation Guidelines Will Require More Homeowner Expense and Staff Time

What will happen when you want to replace a window?

Staff site visits, measurement of recesses, materials, compatibility with existing windows, additional time to gain a permit, increased costs, and drawings are part of the newly proposed Window Guidelines.

Piedmont Planning staff once more scheduled important public input on changing building permit guidelines at an undetermined time near the end of the February 12, 2018 Planning Commission meeting.  The draft Window Guidelines were not publicized. Generally, a public hearing follows publicity and involves ready access to a hearing at a specific time. One person was in the audience.  For practical purposes, the Window Guidelines consideration by the Planning Commission did not constitute a public hearing,

The Commission discussed changing a keyword to “recessed” to indicate window depth from the wall of a building to the window. 

More administrative cost and involvement will be required with the new guidelines, including staff site visits, measurements of the recesses, materials, compatibility with existing windows, drawings, etc.  The resulting additional cost of the Window Guidelines to homeowners and the additional City staff time for window replacement was not detailed or integral to the Commission’s recommendation. 

Consideration of expense to homeowners appeared of little concern to Commissioners following a commissioner remark that standard manufactured windows are not always desirable. 

The recommended Window Guidelines will need to be acted on by the City Council who typically credit the Commission’s recommendations with involving broad public consideration and information.  Although the Commission considered the issue in public and the meeting was recorded, broadcast, and a video was made, available in the City archives, it was apparent there was little public participation or knowledge.

Read the staff report with examples of windows >PCA PC Report Window Guidelines 2-12-2018.doc

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