Mitchell city staff kick off code change meetingsThe effort to clarify and modify portions of Mitchell’s zoning code started Monday, and a second hearing on the subject is set for tonight.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
The effort to clarify and modify portions of Mitchell’s zoning code started Monday, and a second hearing on the subject is set for tonight.
City Planner Neil Putnam and City Attorney Randy Stiles held the first meeting Monday night at the James Valley Community Center. Minor changes to the code involving the Central Business District were discussed.
Putnam said while “just a handful” of people attended, they were eager to discuss the city’s plan to clear up obsolete language in the code and to clear up any areas that conflict.
“They provided us some very valuable input,” he said.
Putnam said the meetings offer people a chance to hear of the proposed changes and to offer their input. People might have ideas that city officials have not considered, he said.
The second hearing, this one on proposed changes to the code on Industrial Districts and Transportation, Warehousing & Commercial Districts, will be from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today at the James Valley Community Center.
The overall goal is to move the city code into the 21st century. Putnam said there are no major changes under review.
“I can’t think of anything I would think of as sweeping. You will find some things are a little more descriptive,” he said. “Some of it is clarification. There are some things, some uses, that need a little clarity, some definitions. I keep using the same word over and again: Clarity.”
Putnam and Stiles have been examining the city’s 14 zoned districts to ensure the code reflects what occurs in them and provides clear and proper legal guidance for residents and businesses.
“There are some uses we moved around in other commercial districts, some from conditional to permitted, some from permitted to conditional,” he said.
A permitted use in a zoned district does not need city approval. A conditional use means something, such as erecting a building or operating a business, may be allowed by the city under certain conditions.
The proposals are only recommendations and may be modified as a result of the public hearings. Upon completion of the scheduled hearings, the staff will reconcile the suggestions and submit the revised code for review and recommendation by the city Planning and Zoning Commission and final adoption by the City Council.
The planners and council may also suggest changes when the code is presented to them during their public hearings.
The public meetings on the proposed changes will continue through Oct. 11. Putnam said the final hearing, which will focus on residential districts, may be most lively under the proposed changes.
“There’s some significant changes to the setbacks and the standards,” he said.
Here is a schedule of the hearings after today:
* Highway Oriented Business District & Neighborhood Shopping Districts: Tuesday, Sept. 13, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., City Council Chambers
* Lake Area and Public Lands Districts: Thursday, Sept. 29, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., City Council Chambers
* Residential Districts: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., City Council Chambers.