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Councilmen Want Hand In Changing Zoning Law




Archbold Village Council members debated the procedure to change zoning laws at the Monday night, Nov. 19 meeting.

Recently, the Archbold Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals met in a joint session, and outlined five proposed changes in the village zoning ordinances.

Council members met and reviewed the ordinances at the Nov. 7 meeting. At the meeting, council held the first of three readings on the ordinances, to allow the public time to react to the proposed changes.

Brad Grime, councilman, questioned a proposed change that limited live screening, shrubbery, etc. to five feet.

At the Nov. 19 meeting, the ordinance was changed to remove the height restriction.

Ordinance And Resolution?

Grime asked why the council ordinance and resolution committee wasn’t involved in the review of the ordinance.

“That’s why we have a zoning board,” Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, said.

“No, that’s why we have an ordinance and resolution committee. That should have been our responsibility to do that. I don’t think it’s up to the zoning board to make the decisions,” Grime said.

Wyse said village officials were following a precedent.

Wyse said the planning commission and zoning board of appeals were established to remove political issues from zoning decisions.

Larry Baus, councilman, said the zoning ordinances are laws, and non-elected people, such as the appointed members of zoning board of appeals and planning commission cannot make laws.

Wyse said the groups make recommendations to council. Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator, said in a search through village records, he found no reference to council being involved in a review by the two groups.

Perfect

Councilmen also discussed the wording of the law, as it relates to live screening, discussing removing height limitations, but requiring that the screening be maintained in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Howell said much of zoning is subjective, and Wyse said no matter how they change the law, it can never be perfect.

There was discussion about the possibility of leaving the height limit for live screening at six feet, then only enforcing the law when there was a problem.

Kevin Morton, councilman, said if council stayed with the six-foot limit, “we’ll probably have 400 trees to cut.”

Grime said the law couldn’t be enforced unequally.

Council opted to remove the height requirement from live screening, but require that they be maintained.

People who object to the decision of the zoning inspector can appeal a case to the zoning board of appeals, Howell said.

All five zoning ordinance changes were given second readings. Council did not vote on the ordinances.- David Pugh


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