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Albany City Hall STOCK PIX

Albany City Hall

The Albany City Council will revisit its disagreement about auxiliary dwelling units on Wednesday.

The agenda for the 7:15 p.m. meeting at City Hall includes a first reading on an ordinance to amend the Albany development code that would ease restrictions on the dwelling units to comply with state law.

Auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs) are small living areas, detached from the primary house, that are often used by in-laws or grown children or guests. Albany allows them, but only in certain neighborhoods and under certain conditions.

State law has changed, allowing ADUs in any area zoned for single-family residences. That means Albany has to update its code.

Councilors have been struggling since June to agree on what other local changes, if any, to make to ADU rules. Councilors Bessie Johnson, Ray Kopczynski, Rich Kellum and Mike Sykes consistently have voted to allow the maximum size of an ADU to reach 900 square feet, up from the current 750; to allow one on-street parking space if no room is available offsite; and to eliminate the requirement that the property owner must live in one of the dwellings.

But councilors Dick Olsen and Bill Coburn consistently have voted against those changes, and Mayor Sharon Konopa has joined them twice by exercising her veto power.

Konopa vetoed a 4-2 vote for the proposed change for the second time last month. However, councilors realized later neither the vote nor the veto were valid because the proposed ordinance hadn't gone through a first and second reading.

The first reading is to take place at Wednesday's meeting. If that reading is not accepted unanimously, it must come back at the next meeting, likely in January, for a second reading before a vote can take place.

In other business Wednesday, the council will hear a second report from Republic Services about a 5.7 percent rate increase. Councilors heard a report on the increase during a work session Monday and asked to continue the discussion Wednesday.

Republic Services operates under a franchise agreement with the city of Albany. Since 2012, the agreement has based rate changes on a refuse rate index formula that takes into account disposal costs, the price of fuel and the Consumer Price Index.

Under that formula, rates did not change in 2015, and went up less than 1 percent in 2016, said Julie Jackson, Republic Services municipal manager. Fuel costs have risen since then. Based on calculations this year, the adjustment effective Jan. 1, 2019, is calculated to be 5.7 percent, or an average of $1.24 per residential account per month.

Wednesday's meeting also will include a public hearing to amend the Albany Municipal Code, adjusting utility connection charges to reflect current construction costs. If approved, the new fee schedule will take effect in January.

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Proposed utility charges

Utility Current charge Proposed charge with services Proposed charge without service
Sewer $62 $76 $63
Water 8 inch $35 $58 $44
Water 12 inch $48 $74 $66
Street $102 $147 N/A
Storm $56 $81 N/A