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Amend the ordinance on vertical siding?

The Glencoe City Council, its planning commission and its personnel and legislative committee have all been involved in discussions on vertical siding in residential areas.
Currently, the city ordinance prohibits vertical siding in residential areas, and conversation about it was sparked from a request for a variance to allow vertical siding that had already been installed on a garage.
At the latest Glencoe Planning and Industrial Commission meeting, a commission member proposed eliminating the ban on vertical siding in residential areas.
She had some solid reasoning: siding has evolved considerably in recent years. It is more aesthetically pleasing, it can be more economical, and it can be more energy efficient.
The same can be said for metal roofing. For many years, some cities banned metal roofs on homes because they gave — much like the argument against vertical siding — a commercial or industrial look in a residential area.
But if the city does want to amend its ordinance to allow vertical siding, it should do even more research. There is still plenty of the old-look siding around to cause concern. The city would need to define what it considers to be acceptable siding, rather than give free rein to whatever people think is appropriate.
There was a city council meeting in a neighboring community in which a resident argued that the use of wooden pallets and old sheet-metal siding to build a fence was acceptable because the city ordinance allowed wood or metal fencing material.
Of course, that was not at all the intent of the ordinance. But this example also stresses why it is so important to carefully define intent in ordinances. Not everyone uses common sense when trying to comply with ordinances and laws.
If the city does want to reconsider its ordinance regarding siding (and maybe it doesn’t, considering there has only been one request for a variance in the years the ordinance has been in place), it should research carefully, craft its changes carefully, and then take a second and even third look at the proposed changes before it sets them in place.