The Dayton City Council meeting began with a very informal consensus amongst everyone there, Council Member and Attendee alike. MAN WAS IT COLD OUTSIDE! The air was so cold it felt thick. Some felt the meeting would be canceled before it even began due to people being unable to make it because of the extreme cold, but eventually there were enough present to form the necessary quorum. Once that was done the meeting passed fairly quickly.

The major item of discussion for the evening was the variance that was awarded to Brett Hyde last month. For a recap the variance was granted with a proviso: the council has until April to rewrite the sections of city code that control water hookups. As it is currently written the code prevents the transfer of a hookup to a new location. For the foreseeable future there is a ban on new water hookups pending a water study and finding a new water source. That means right now the most valuable thing in Dayton’s real estate market isn’t land but water hookups.

This all started when the Hyde’s purchased the properties at the addresses 364 & 354 S Hwy 36 in Dayton. The Hyde’s chose to build new houses in the lots.

By law each residence must have a certain amount of frontage, or road access, to be approved by the city. The amount of space and money the new road would need would severely hamper the value and utility of the properties so the Hyde’s applied for a variance. Variances are pretty much what they sound like, a petition to the city so that you may vary from the stated city code.

The properties had been abandoned for a number of years and both of the houses there were in shambles. Many on the council and in the community were eager to see them go.

This left the city council with a decision to make between two options. Either, deny the variance and hope the Hyde’s don’t just rebuild where the old homes were forcing the smaller road through that way, which neither the Hyde’s nor the council wanted, or grant the variance and let them build. After much debate a compromise was reached, the Hyde’s agreed to hold off construction until April giving the council time to do a rewrite of the water ordinance allowing for this specific case. If the changes happen by then the variance dies but if not it stands.

The planned destination for the second hookup is the home of Katie Hyde’s father whose home is not currently on the city water system. This show of familial support helped their case with the council. The greatest worry for the council is how any changes they make could be used in the future should anyone, like a greedy land developer, decide to use this as an excuse to move water hookups around from property to property willy nilly.

The election report was read into the record. Both Dee Beckstead and Stacy Moser will keep their seats on the city council, having successfully been reelected.

The water report is due to be presented to the city council in January on the 14 at their next meeting, which is currently planned for 4-6 PM.

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