The Concord City Council approved a sweeping overhaul to its zoning code Tuesday, a move city leaders championed as simplifying an often confusing set of development rules.

The new code updates one written in 1953, aligning the city's zoning code and current general plan. City officials said the old code was outdated and the new one will save residents and developers time and money when dealing with City Hall.

Former mayor Guy Bjerke said he came to the council meeting because he did not want to miss the momentous occasion.

"It positions this city in a great place to capture businesses as the economy improves," Bjerke said.

The council completed the years-long project without much discussion and in four separate votes.

On 5-0 votes, the council approved a supplemental environmental report and then amended the city's municipal code. A vote to amend the general plan was split into two votes because Vice Mayor Bill Shinn had to recuse himself from voting on properties near one he owns on Maynard Street. The two votes were 4-0 and 5-0.

The council also unanimously approved a garbage rate increase of 11.85 percent for residents and businesses that was requested by Concord Disposal Service. The city's trash hauler said it needs the money to cover a shortfall of $1.2 million, the result of increased labor costs, tipping and franchise fees and trucking charges.


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Finally, Shinn announced Tuesday he will not run for re-election in November, citing health issues within his family. He said after more than 40 years in public service it is time to give someone else a shot. His seat is one of two up for grabs in November.

Reach David DeBolt at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.