City sets hearing for septic rules
Blaine planning staff have taken a jumble of rules and exceptions from throughout Blaine codes and have drafted a single policy for properties on septic connecting to the city sewer.
�The intent is not to change the policy but to clarify it,� said community development director Terry Galvin to city council January 27. �When we looked at it we realized it was complicated at best.�
The distilled policy requires properties connect to the sewer system as soon as the city lays pipe within 200 feet. Property owners with functioning septic systems can apply for a five-year exemption if connecting to the sewer would present an economic hardship. �We realize people may have just put their system in,� Galvin said. A single-family residence will pay approximately $2,500 to connect to the city sewer.
Properties within the city limits that are further than 200 feet from sewers can put in a septic system if they meet county health department and city zoning regulations.
�One of the big areas this applies to is the east Blaine area,� Galvin said. He added the hope was that simplified regulations would make it easier for property owners to develop in that area.
Council member Bonnie Onyon asked if the rules could be made even simpler, giving everyone five years to connect to the sewer when it came within 200 feet of their property. �The sense of this is to put some pressure on property owners to connect,� said public works director Steve Banham. �If we�ve already gone through the expense of extending the main we need to recoup that.�
City council will hold a public hearing on the revised rules on February 24 at 7 p.m. in city council chambers.