The North Bend Eagle


Council eyes sheds, sewers

by Nathan Arneal
Published 9/12/12

Rogue sheds and unruly sewer lines were among the topics at the Sept. 4 North Bend City Council meeting.

Sherie and Kurt Van Slyke attended to discuss the letter they received about a shed on their Riverview Shores lot being out of compliance. City ordinances prohibit accessory buildings on lots that don’t have a house on it. Those ordinances are in effect for one mile beyond city limits, which covers the Van Slyke’s lot.

Sherie Van Slyke showed the Council pictures of lots without sheds that were unkept and overgrown. She contrasted it with a photo of their own lot, which was clean, but had a shed.

“It’s hard for me to understand that a lot of these other properties that aren’t being maintained look better than a lot that has some type of enclosure to make sure there isn’t junk lying all over the beach and there’s someplace to contain your trash,” Van Slyke said. “I think there’s a drastic difference.”

She said they use the shed to house a grill, chairs and beach maintenance equipment. The letter the Van Slykes said they were being fined $500 a day until the shed was removed from the lot.

City Council members said the information about the fine was incorrect and should not have been included in the letter. The ordinance allows violators six months to comply.

Kurt Van Slyke asked for an extension to allow his shed to remain on their property for a year without a house. He said it would only be fair since other property owners at Riverview Shores had sheds on their land for longer periods of time before the ordinance was enforced.

The Council did not officially act on his request but said it would revisit the issue when the six-month compliance period is up.

Kurt Van Slyke asked for a letter saying that they are not being fined $500 a day and mayor Jeff Kluthe said they would send him such a letter.

Later in the meeting Chuck Brodd told the council about an incident in his house the prior week.

While maintenance work was being done on the sewer lines near his house, several gallons of raw sewage came up through the drains in his basement. He said during such maintenance in the past a few splashes in the toilet water was the most he had seen.

City clerk Theresa Busse told Brodd that this time the workers were cutting tree roots from the sewer lines so the work was more traumatic to the lines than usual.
Brodd asked if advance notice could be given before such work. Busse said the work is often done on an emergency basis, and as in this case, the city office isn’t even aware the work is being done.

Busse said that in the past workers for PeopleService, who contracts to maintain the city’s water and sewer system, have alerted neighbors when work on lines is being done. Currently, PeopleService does not have a full-time employee assigned to North Bend as it usually does, so sometimes there is a break in communication.
Council members agreed with Brodd that nearby residents should be alerted when sewer work is being done. The Council promised to take steps to improve communication with PeopleService.

In other business:
• Public hearings were held regarding the city’s budget and tax levy. No one spoke during the hearing and the budget and tax levy ordinances were passed.

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