Surprise council balks at small side yards, large number of narrow lots

By Richard Smith | Surprise Independent

Surprise councilors, planners and staffers have compromised with home builders’ representatives and developers during the process of updating its proposed land development ordinances.

But as the council nears its final hearing for health code regulations and possible approval at the Dec. 15 Surprise City Council meeting, the council and developer interests remain divided on two areas of proposed code language. During its Dec. 1 work session, the City Council reached a consensus on the other seven language alterations suggested for the document by developers.

Developers wanted the minimum size of side yards for new houses to be five feet on each side — while the council and the Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission agreed that one side of new yards should be a minimum of seven feet on one type of lot, and a minimum of eight feet on larger lots — the other side yard can be five feet.

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