.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Ordinance offers subtle changes

-A A +A
By Marty Finley

 

By MARTY FINLEY mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com ELIZABETHTOWN— A new zone ordinance is on the horizon for Elizabethtown, but City Planning Director Ed Poppe said the changes will be so subtle the average homeowner likely will not notice a difference. Rather, the city hopes to see small changes that accumulate over time.  Poppe said changes will come in several areas, including zoning districts, zone numbering, parking and commercial design guidelines. Under the proposed ordinance, new residential zones will be created. The residential zones will be expanded from three zones to six and include zones specifically for single-family and two-family use only, which gives protection to homeowners who do not want to live in a zone with multi-family housing, Poppe said. The city also is offering the option of new zoning districts, called planned neighborhood districts. Poppe said there is no guarantee the districts will be successful, but will offer developers more flexibility in designing and planning if they follow suggestions by the city, such as providing more open space, a park or wider sidewalks.           The new ordinance also would present restrictions on temporary signage, Poppe said, and ban placing signs in areas for long amounts of time. “We are gonna have the ability to correct whatever they’ve done and if they don’t, the city can write (them) a ticket,” Poppe said. Parking standards also are addressed in the new ordinance, primarily dealing with large parking structures, such as the Wal-Mart and Lowes shopping center, Poppe said. The city sets a minimum for parking spots needed for a structure based on the size of the building. Under the current ordinance, a business could exceed that with little restriction. Under the proposed ordinance, the business can exceed the minimum by only 20 percent. Poppe said the restriction should help stormwater drainage and improve the look of parking areas in Elizabethtown. Commercial design guidelines also would be applied to all restaurants, retail buildings and shopping centers in the city under the proposed ordinance. The design guidelines applied only to larger developments under the old ordinance, Poppe said. In correlation with the new zone ordinance, fees will be raised for certain permits and applications in the city, such as the sign installation fee, which would rise from $25 to $100. Only certain fees will be raised, and Poppe said it was because the fees had not been raised in five years. The ones that will stay the same will not change because they are adequate, he said, but some fees, like the sign installation fee, are not equitable to the labor involved. Poppe said even sign installers found the fee to be cheap. The land use restriction fee will be removed and absorbed into other fees, he said. Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.