80′ flagpole request leads to writing a new City of Riverton ordinance

by | Updated Nov 20, 2019 at 2:13PM

A petitioner appeal for a denied ‘Application for Variance’ to install an 80′ flagpole at 604 West Main Street was discussed at last night’s Riverton City Council meeting.

Background provided by Riverton City Council:

For the last several months, the petitioner [Jason Howard] has been remodeling the structure at 604 West Main Street to accommodate a new business. The proposed establishment is a package liquor store. As part of the renovation, Mr. Howard informed the community development department of his desire to install an eighty (80) foot flagpole, illuminated with a top mounted double row LED flagpole light. The request was denied based on provisions outlined in the Riverton Municipal Code (RMC).

In accordance with Chapter 17.04.040 of the RMC, the petitioner elected to appeal the decision to the Board of Adjustment. The Board of Adjustment considered the Request for Variance at their November 7th, 2019 regular meeting and denied the request. The petitioner is now appealing the decision of the Board of Adjustment to the City Council; also in accordance with Chapter 17.04.040 of the RMC.

The full document and application provided by city council can be found here: Application for Variance – 80′ Flag Pole at 604 W Main Street

Below is the recording from last night’s session and is set to begin at the start of this agenda item:

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​The discussion culminated with a denial of the appeal, and a plan to write a new city ordinance specifically for flags and flagpole sizes. All ordinances must go through three readings to pass. The plan is to have it passed by the last meeting of the year on December 17th. Mayor Gard noted the height limit would likely be 40′-50′ with a variance possibility for those wanting to install taller flagpoles.

The illumination will be corrected to meet the city requirements outlined during the November 7th Board of Adjusters meeting, shared petitioner and business owner Jason Howard. The proposed illumination was part of a package deal with the flagpole and can be changed through the company.

Due to weather, the flagpole would likely be installed in the spring, and only the flag of the United States of American will be flown, Jason explained. He shared the flag dimensions are 15′ x 20′ and at half-staff would clear the top of the building. Also, he collected over 100 signatures from community members in favor of 80′ flagpole. Councilwoman Schatza shared, she did not hear any opposition to the proposed 80′ flagpole by the businesses’ neighbors. Some even wished they’d thought of it first.

Only one community member, Grace Andrus, voiced opposition to a flagpole as tall as a 5-story building be installed at a liquor store during last night’s meeting. She explained the different sizes of flagpoles: 20′ are considered residential, 30′ are considered commercial, and 80′ are considered landmark. “Do we want the landmark of our community to be the liquor store?”

Grace proposed they purchase a 30′ commercial flagpole for the business and pledge the rest of the money, approximately $8,000, toward a community campaign for an 80′ landmark flagpole in a public location. Grace shared this piece with County 10 today: Liquor Store will be the new Landmark of the City

Mayor Gard and the council members were seemingly in favor of the 80′ flagpole with the reduced illumination. Several of their comments during the discussion thanked Jason for doing this, and that patriotism in Riverton is under-advertised. “Somebody willing to spend $10,000 of their own money to improve the City of Riverton, I’m 100% behind,” said Mayor Gard.

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