A Lake Havasu City resident claims the City Council has broken the law.
Walter Spawr is accusing the Lake Havasu City Council of not following state public hearing and notice laws when in May the council voted to change the development code for two residential districts that surround the Main Street portion of McCulloch Boulevard.
Spawr has gone as far as publishing advertisements in “Today’s News Herald” offering a $5,000 reward to a councilmember who “will produce a copy of the law that allows the city council to obfuscate and ignore Arizona state law.”
However, the city is saying it followed all the proper procedures when it came to making these changes and there is no merit to Spawr’s accusation.
Spawr, who owns property in one of the affected zones, says the city did not provide proper notice to property owners about the changes as is required by state statute 9-462.04.
“In other words they are not notifying the property owners that they are going to change the zoning uses,” Spawr said. “…Everybody knows when you change the zoning you should post a sign on the property or you have to send them a letter in the mail or you have to publish something in the newspaper.”
The city did publish a notice in “Today’s News Herald” on April 3rd, however, regarding the public hearing at the April 20th planning and zoning meeting. The legal notice had the city’s seal on the top of it and a signature from zoning administrator Luke Morris.
Spawr says he can’t recall any “true” legal notices in the paper during April.
Background documents provided by Mayor Cal Sheehy also say one of the subsections (9-462.04 A3) of the statute Spawr is pointing to in his complaint is not applicable to the situation because the changes made to the developmental code did not constitute a rezoning of the property.
At its May 24 meeting the city council voted 4-2 to make multiple changes to the development code for the residential-uptown main street and residential commercial healthcare districts.
According to previous reporting from Michael Zogg, these changes to the code included requiring a minimum density of 15 dwelling units per acre with no maximum density, requiring at least 50% of the footprint of residential structures include at least two stories where height allows, requiring structures facing the right-of-way to have architectural enhancements such as pop-outs or decorative stone, and requiring any doorway facing the street to have a minimum 3-foot wide sidewalk linking the structure to the street.
These changes come into effect, 30 days after the May 24 meeting.
Spawr says he is currently formulating his next steps and will publish more about the situation in July.