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Council Considers Changes In Archbold Zoning Code




Archbold Village Council heard the first of three readings on proposed changes in the village zone code, Monday night, Nov. 5.

Changes resulted from a joint meeting of the Archbold Planning Commission and Zoning Appeals, Monday night, Oct. 29.

Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, said village officials decided to pass the changes in three readings, rather than as an emergency measure, to allow the public to comment on the proposals.

The first covers the use of outdoor wood stoves or furnaces.

Such units are usually enclosed in a second structure outside a home or business. Water is heated, then circulated into the building as heat.

Howell said fires in the outdoor units are sometimes al- lowed to smolder, creating an objectionable odor.

Also, when thee units are started, they can be smoky.

Howell said a number of communities have banned outdoor furnaces, and the legislation is simple and enforceable.

The proposed legislation allows for a zone where such units can be used, which has proven to prevent the manufacturers of the wood furnaces from protesting the ordinance.

Howell said the legislation does not apply to fire pits, woodfired barbeques, or chimineas.

Larry Baus, council member, asked if the ordinance will apply to smoke houses; Howell said he will consider a smoke house an outdoor barbeque.

Litter, Live Screening

Another proposed change in the zoning code will apply to exterior property maintenance.

Howell said the new ordinance gives the village the ability to clean up a property cluttered with trash and litter. The property owner will be billed for the service.

If the property owner does not pay the bill, the village will recover the charges by billing owners through property taxes.

Council members did question a change in the village ordinance related to the height of fences and live screens.

Howell said the old ordinance allowed fences or live screening in front yards to be three feet, and six feet in side and back yards.

The new ordinance allows six-foot fences and natural or live screening to the property line or the set-back line, whichever is closer, he said.

Brad Grime, councilman, pointed out some natural screening can grow 10 feet tall or higher.

“I would hate to see us act on something, knowing it’s not right,” said Kevin Morton, councilman.

Council members discussed setting no height restrictions on natural screening; others suggested dropping natural screening from the proposed ordinance entirely.

Howell said village officials will revise the ordinance and present it to council later.

Churches And Pools

Another proposed change deals with the zoning requirements and churches.

Currently, half of the village churches are located in areas zoned for special uses, while the others are in residential areas zoned R-1.

The current law allows churches in R-1 areas, but churches are considered a special use in the special zoning area.

Howell said it is not known why, when the original zoning codes were written in 1966, churches were handled in this manner.

The proposed zoning code change will make churches an allowed use in areas zoned for special use, but a special use in an R-1 district.

Howell said another relic of the original 1966 zoning code relates to swimming pools. Under the old law, an above ground swimming pool could be 12 feet in diameter before it’s required to comply with fencing regulations. Today, portable inflatable pools can be as much as 20 feet in diameter and up to four feet deep, he said.

The new ordinance exempts portable or inflatable pools and garden ponds from fencing requirements.

Howell said the swimming pool issue was put before Mark Hagens, village solicitor. Hagens believes the village is under no liability threat from the change, Howell said.- David Pugh


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