Have more than three RVs parked on your property? It could be too many if the county passes an updated zoning ordinance.

On Tuesday, consultant Scott Buzan in a supervisor’s work session introduced a few revisions to the county’s zoning ordinance — all possible hot-button issues the county will deal with down the road. These included the matter of residences exceeding 30 feet in height and more than three stories; pot-bellied pigs and domestic farm animals; and how many recreational vehicles, such as fifth-wheelers, can be on a single lot.

He said the goal of the revisions are to make the ordinance more user friendly for the public, staff and the Gila County Board of Supervisors.

Building heights

• Revised definition: The vertical distance of a building measured from the lowest final construction grade next to the building to the highest point of the roof, fascia, or parapet. Architectural elements that do not add floor area to a building such as chimneys, vents, and roof equipment, with or without screening, are not considered part of the height of a building.

Current: measure to roof mean height; 30 feet maximum in most use districts

Proposed: measure to roof peak; 35 feet with standard setbacks, 40 feet with increased setbacks (most districts).

Height and setback table

• Measuring to roof peak is preferable since that is the actual roof height.

• Measuring to the mean height between the eaves and ridge requires a calculation by staff and a greater chance for an error to be made.

• Most common way to measure building height.


Current: maximum 2 in most use districts

Proposed: eliminate limits on number of stories

• A set building height will self-limit the number of stories due to building code ceiling height requirements and thickness of floor support joists.

• Using windows to count stories is no longer viable.

Pot-Bellied Pigs

Current: all swine defined as livestock; requires a Use Permit in most use districts.

Proposed: maximum of 2 allowed as household pets (can limit by weight as well).

• No such thing as a miniature pig

• Pot-bellied pigs can weigh 70 to 200 pounds

• Domestic pigs can weigh up to 300 pounds

• Some jurisdictions have a weight limit. Staff’s concern is how to verify actual weight.

• Owners are required to maintain the pig and pens in a healthy and sanitary manner.

• Code Enforcement would be the enforcement authority.

Domestic Farm Animals

• Revised definition: Animals, other than household pets, that are kept and maintained for commercial production and sale and or family food production, education or recreation. Identified by the following categories: Large animals, which include horses, donkeys, mules, cattle and other bovine animals; Medium animals, which include pigs, swine, hogs, sheep and goats; Small animals, which include rabbits, chinchillas, roosters, hens, turkeys, ducks, geese and pigeons.

Current: roosters and swine are not included

Proposed: add roosters, pigs, swine and hogs

• Pigs, swine, hogs, and roosters require a Use Permit (exception for 2 or less pot-bellied pigs)

Recreational Vehicles

Revised definition: A lot in which three or more spaces with or without utilities and improvements are located for the parking of recreational vehicles as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, and vacation purposes. Can be for private or commercial use.

Proposed: Allows for property owners to have two RVs. (i.e., truck camper, trailer)

• Clarifies that RV parks can be for private or commercial use, with or without improvements.

• Must still meet all use district requirements.

Dist. 3 Supervisor Woody Cline said there would be pushback from residents on the RV regulations. He said many people buy lots in the area with plans to build a retirement home on the property in the future, but in the meantime they come up and camp on the site, bring families and friends to park on the site as well for a weekend, a week or two, even a month or so.

“I don’t like homeowners associations and this is getting to sound like an HOA,” he said.

Dist. 1 Supervisor Steve Christensen, “I’m struggling with it too. It seems very restrictive.”

Staff with the community development office is continuing to work on the revisions and will further refine these. Assistant County Manager Homero Vela said there is a process to revising ordinances, he suggested a virtual town hall be held for public input, plus the county’s planning and zoning commission will also make recommendations and then the supervisors can take action.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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