Iphofer council decides: gardens and geese may stay

City councilor hilar burkard is the first to arrive at the agreed meeting point. What is at stake at this meeting of the iphofen building committee?? "No idea," says burkard, who is only the representative of the prevented member norbert melber. Next to cycle in is peggy knauer. But she, too, says with a view to the small shrubbery gardens at the sewage treatment plant: she knows nothing about it. A joke is doing the rounds: perhaps the gardens would be flattened in order to obtain urgently needed building land from the plots of land. Mayor josef mend is once again the last to arrive and, well, croaks with a damaged voice, he only wants to say the most necessary things. Mend is hoarse, "he’s been hoarse since thursday," he says, before speculation starts that he has celebrated the election victory of his independent voters for too long.

Erection of buildings not permitted

At least we now know what it’s all about on this balmy late summer evening. The huts and arbors standing everywhere here are not actually covered by the use agreement in this dimension. "Every tenant has signed a contract, and it says: the erection of buildings of any kind is not permitted," the mayor quotes from the file. The building committee has come to check on the situation. Between vegetable beds and chicken coops, the committee members make their way through the leafy colony that has grown up here over the years, perhaps not always with knowledge, but – as mend makes clear – with the city’s acquiescence.

At the bottom of the weirbach, the situation suddenly becomes tricky. Four geese come wiggling out of one of the plots of land and stand menacingly in front of the councilors. Fearlessly, mend and his comrades-in-arms confront the startled feathered fowl, which follows them screaming loudly – until the owner of the geese shows up and puts an end to the spooky situation. It’s only a few steps to the brook, which flows peacefully in its bed. He is the reason for the ban on building in the gardens. In heavy rain, it could become a raging torrent and overflow its banks. Mend says: "the problem is what the floodwater could carry away and cause damage in the communities further downstream."

A similar case in mainstockheim

So now the building committee stands at this idyllic spot of nature and is to decide on the further course of action. Should the city now move in with the bulldozer on its own properties?? Mend recalls a similar case in mainstockheim years ago. There all huts had been removed radically, the municipality had the building law on their side. The case is somewhat different in iphofen. There are contracts with the tenants, but no development plan for the area. "You have to look at proportionality," says vice mayor ludwig weigand. He pleads – like everyone else – for a pragmatic solution. Perhaps, as city councilor gerhard heubach interjects into the discussion, the size of the huts could be limited to a certain number of square meters.

The regulation that mayor mend announces in the setting sun is then somewhat milder. "We write to the owners of the oversized huts and ask them not to make their buildings even bigger."

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