Sunday, March 04, 2012

Update: What to look for at the Metro Council on March 6, 2012

  non conforming properties, signs, and an asphalt plant

You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting at this link: Agenda.The agenda also links to the analysis. Council meetings can be really, really boring if you don't know what the Council is voting on. With an agenda and analysis, they are just really boring.

There is not much of general interest on the agenda or at least not much that interest me. Most of the agenda is zoning issues that would only concern those who live near the property of the proposed zone change. However, I am going to summarize a few of the bills that may be of general interest. There is more to this bill than my short summary. To learn more, read the bill and see the staff analysis.

Ordinance BL2012-88 by Councilman Claiborne amends the Metropolitan zoning code to add "non-self-imposed hardship" as a factor for the historic zoning commission to consider when determining whether to allow the demolition of a historic building. It adds this new eighth factor to allow the historic zoning commission to deny a demolition permit if the property owner failed to maintain the property in a good state of repair.

Ordinance BL2012-92 sponsored by Council Members Dominy, Duvall, and others would expand private property protection for non conforming properties. It bring the code into conformity to state law that allows one to let a property cease operation for up to 30 continuous months before being required to comply with new zoning laws. The other thing this bill would do is to "toll" the 30 month period if the delay is due to litigation or natural disaster such as a flood. "Toll" is a legal term meaning to delay, suspend or hold off the effect of a statute.

Ordinance BL2012-107 says replacement panels in multi-tenant signs must be consistent with the other signage on the property. I know this is pretty boring stuff but a lot of neighborhood activist care a lot about any bill involving billboards or signs so there may be some people people speaking on this bill and the next one.

Ordinance BL2012-109 is another sign ordinance that would require applications for the conversion of a nonconforming billboard to a tri-face billboard to be submitted to the board of zoning appeals for a determination as to whether the conversion would result in a greater negative impact to adjacent property owners.

Ordinance BL2012-103 is a zoning bill that may be controversial. It would permit an asphalt plant to be built in Antioch but comes with lots of restrictions and protections. The sponsor told me that one TV station had misrepresented the proximity of the proposed site to homes, reporting the plant was much closer than in fact it is. Rock quarry's, landfills, and asphalt plants and prisons are always hard to zone for approval. No one wants to be within miles of these type facilities yet they have to go somewhere and a local government may not simply ban them out right. No matter what buffers and protections are put in place, people are seldom satisfied with the rezoning. Zoning for these type facilities are often used by political opponents to beat up the sitting council member. This is a zoning issue to watch. It has been a hot issue in Antioch.

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