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Council discusses zoning issues

9/12/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

New Franklin Council approved one zoning change and took time on another to clarify ambiguous language during a public hearing Sept. 4.

The proposed zoning changes include: Ordinance 13-O-01, to make amendments to Zoning Code Section 800.01 on supplemental land-use regulations, Section 600.03 on supplemental district standards, and the definition of structure and accessories found in Article 14; and Ordinance 13-O-02, adding a requirement for all structures to comply not only with Summit County Department of Building Standards regulations, but also health code regulations administered by Summit County Public Health.

Ordinance 13-O-01 seeks to tighten building regulations in R-L (Lakefront Residential) districts, according to the legislation. Recently, Council approved changes to make the lakeside area of such properties the “front yard” and the street side the “backyard.” The new ordinance establishes the size of structures permitted on these lots and where they can be placed. In addition, a new definition of a raised patio is proposed, and ramps were removed as an accessory structure due to ambiguity on what a ramp is.

During the public hearing, city officials discovered some apparently conflicting sections and unclear language that was recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Council decided to take more time on the legislation to discuss the sections with the Planning and Zoning Commission and to clarify the intent of the proposed changes.

Ordinance 13-O-02 was proposed in response to unkempt properties and seeks to add compliance with health regulations, as well as building codes, according to city officials. Council unanimously approved the legislation.

In other matters, Council reviewed the city’s employee health benefits plan in anticipation of a renewal date of Oct. 1. The city has a self-funded plan with deductibles for its 53 employees and their families. Representatives administering the plan reported they expect to see costs for this coming year to match those in 2009. Council is continuing to review the information.

Also at the meeting, Council approved the appointment of Denny Snyder as a member and Jason Zittle as an alternate member of the Parks Commission.

Mayor Al Bollas reported the city has reached its budget limit of $8,000 in mowing 49 unkempt properties, most of which are vacant and for sale. The cost of such mowing is placed as a lien on the properties’ taxes. Bollas stated it had been a record year for such efforts, and asked Council to consider approving further expenditures to finish the year.

Council adjourned into executive session to discuss the purchase of property and contract negotiations for New Franklin Police Department employees. No action was taken after the meeting.

The next regular Council meeting will be Sept. 18 starting at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 5611 Manchester Road.

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