The City Council passed an ordinance repealing its code circa 1988 and replacing it with an update.

FILE - The Forest Grove City Council swapped out its 1988 city code for a new text, with very few substantive changes, on Monday evening, Jan. 8.On Monday evening, Jan. 8, Forest Grove repealed its entire code of city ordinances.

But lest you feel the urge to go park in front of a fire hydrant or convert your two-car garage into a chop shop, think again. Upon repealing the city code of 1988 Monday, the Forest Grove City Council immediately adopted an updated code of ordinances.

There are just six differences between the "new" city code and the code from 30 years ago, according to council meeting materials, and they are largely conforming changes meant to make the city's ordinances consistent and bring them in line with Oregon state law.

In four sections of the code, meaningful changes to language have been made. These are generally minor, with three tweaks made in accordance with state law — allowing installment payments for up to 10 years (instead of five) on water and parks system development charges, and giving the city the option to request 45 days (instead of 60) to investigate before deciding whether to renew a liquor license.

One ordinance from 1972, regarding general occupancy permits, that became invalid when Forest Grove started issuing business licenses has been repealed. Another from 1987 that refers to a Washington County forfeiture ordinance is repealed as no longer valid.

The City Council unanimously approved the code changes.

"It's something we've been wanting to do for a long time," said City Manager Jesse Vanderzanden after Monday's meeting.

The updated code streamlines some redundant language and rearranges some chapters and subsections. It will also be searchable online.

Vanderzanden said the re-adoption of the code is part of an effort on the part of the City of Forest Grove to promote increased transparency.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from Forest Grove's city manager.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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