A request from Tim and Sue Taylor, who are renovating the buildings at 301 and 305 Main Street, for a 30-day extension of their encroachment permit brought out a plethora of supporters, some of whom took the opportunity to take pot shots at the Placerville City Council during the July 8 meeting.
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The encroachment permit was set to expire on July 1. The city has received complaints about the scaffolding that blocks sidewalk use and parking on Main Street and part of Center Street, but city staff administratively extended the permit to July 11.
The extension was required because of issues with the original roofing contractor that resulted in a new roofing contractor being retained. Sheet metal must be shipped to the roof manufacturer and the metal roof panels must be fabricated before delivery and installation.
Encroachment permits are not usually reviewed by City Council. “But, with the complaints about how long the scaffolding has been up, we thought it would be a good idea to air this out in a public setting,” said City Manager Cleve Morris. “We think it’s in the best interest of the city to grant the encroachment permit so that the work can be completed and the scaffolding removed.”
Mayor Carl Hagen said he thought the Taylors were doing a good job, but that the merchants and public want the sidewalk back.
“I think you shouldn’t hassle the Taylors,” said resident Sue Rodman, “but applaud them instead. They took on a work of love and art which takes patience and courage. If it takes another month, so what?”
Seasons owner Robyn Rawrer also attacked the council. “You used the word ‘consider’ as if you could deny them. Let them have whatever it takes.”
“This is the most significant preservation in town in my lifetime,” said resident Kirk Smith. “It’s very dangerous to reroof without scaffolding.”
“West end businesses have had problems with this, but the Taylors are giving back to the city,” said Stan Morris, a self-described transient resident of historical Main Street. “No one would want to see the scaffolding come down more than I, but this will reveal a beautifully restored building.”
Others spoke, asking that the extension be granted with no conditions, commenting that the permit process was stupid, and commending the Taylors for taking on the project.
Even the Taylors appeared surprised by the onslaught. “The delay was aggravating and disappointing for all,” said Tim Taylor. “We set a timeline with the city manager to make the fence go away and we made a task list. It’s a very short list now.”
Sue Taylor thanked the supporters, but later said that she had not wanted the permit extension request to be a negative focus for the meeting.
The Taylors did dispute a notation in the staff report of their failure to install handicapped accessible sidewalk ramps around the building.
“This was not part of the encroachment permit, ” said Tim Taylor. “I’ve never seen a written request to do so.” The Taylors said the ramps are being installed.
City Council voted to extend the encroachment permit by 60 days to September with a 5-0 vote.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.