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Thread: How does your ordinance distinguish between limited and general industrial districts?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    How does your ordinance distinguish between limited and general industrial districts?

    My county only has these two industrial zoning classifications - we don't have a heavy industrial category. We had a situation come up where a guy was trying to rezone from light industrial to general industrial in order to move his landscaping business to a new site. The things he wanted to use the property for fell into a number of primary use categories that were only allowed in the general industrial district (outdoor contractors' equipment storage, vegetative rubbish recycling, composting, etc.). For whatever reason, this Board/county does not like to rezone properties to the higher industrial classification, so before this went to the Planning Commission, the applicant withdrew the request, and the Board charged me and the Planning Commission with suggestion some revisions to the ordinance to clean up these sections of the code to allow this type of use in the light industrial district, but also just to review these sections of the ordinance and see if we can just flat out make it better.

    So the question is, what do y'all use as distinguishing factors between the intensity of industrial zoning districts? Clearly, for what the board wants to do, the idea of things in the light industrial district being operated from within a building doesn't make sense. Without a heavy industrial district, my feeling is that we have to incorporate the heaviest intensity uses in the general industrial district, which means "light industrial" isn't really going to be all that "light."

    Currently, very, very few things are permitted in the limited industrial district. The description of the districts is listed below:

    Industrial District:

    Statement of intent.
    This district is established primarily for industrial operations and for heavy commercial operations, which may create some nuisance, and which are not particularly compatible with residential, institutional, or retail commercial uses.

    Light Industrial District:

    Statement of intent.
    This district is intended to provide for and encourage limited industries to locate and/or expand in order to foster development of the local economy. These industries are generally light industrial which are office oriented or oriented toward the manufacturing, processing, assembly, warehousing and/or distributing of goods and materials which are dependent upon previously prepared raw materials refined or processed elsewhere. It is expected that uses in this district be to be operated from within a building.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Mine suck. I have light and heavy industrial. What my county actually needs is just a flat industrial zone. It's the place where manufacturing and other heavy operations occur that aren't always compatible with neighboring zones.

    I break it into light zones are good for indoor manufacturing with screen storage. Heavy zones have open storage and nuisance factors like noise or smoke or some kind of mess. Sadly contractor yards would fall into the heavy zone for me because of all the outdoor storage.

    What I would like to do with my code is fix up the list of uses which are horrible, but at least farrier isn't on the list. I'd like to create general categories that aren't specific to manufacturing types. Things like Manufacturing with outdoor storage. Manufacturing with screened storage. Manufacturing where all processes are composed indoors. Maybe put some size limits on the size of the building. Basically just list the uses as a set of nuisances or things on the property rather than a specific use so I can go down the list and say a landscaping contractors yard has screened storage, operates heavy equipment outside, has a small building, it falls into X category. Just one of my many wish list items that might not happen this year.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    Mine suck. I have light and heavy industrial. What my county actually needs is just a flat industrial zone. It's the place where manufacturing and other heavy operations occur that aren't always compatible with neighboring zones.

    I break it into light zones are good for indoor manufacturing with screen storage. Heavy zones have open storage and nuisance factors like noise or smoke or some kind of mess. Sadly contractor yards would fall into the heavy zone for me because of all the outdoor storage.

    What I would like to do with my code is fix up the list of uses which are horrible, but at least farrier isn't on the list. I'd like to create general categories that aren't specific to manufacturing types. Things like Manufacturing with outdoor storage. Manufacturing with screened storage. Manufacturing where all processes are composed indoors. Maybe put some size limits on the size of the building. Basically just list the uses as a set of nuisances or things on the property rather than a specific use so I can go down the list and say a landscaping contractors yard has screened storage, operates heavy equipment outside, has a small building, it falls into X category. Just one of my many wish list items that might not happen this year.
    I like the direction you're heading. That makes a lot of sense. Then if a business is capable of doing something that sounds kind of heavy-ish, but can properly contain all the impacts, they can still go in the lighter district... That's a thought.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Think of it this way. I have a Philips Lighting plant in the area. All of the activity and storage is inside. They has a massive gas furnace that creates glass tubes and heavy equipment and noise inside, but outside the most you see is a couple truck trailers dropping off or picking up stuff. The building looks good from the road. Generally block with nice features - the back is not as nice. The only reason I would have to class them as heavy industrial over light, their building is massive. We're talking measure in acres, not square feet massive. At the same time we have a Tony's Pizza plant (don't eat that stuff I have stories from workers that involve sexual harassment and pizza dough). This building has outside storage, is ugly as sin with pipes coming out everywhere and outdoor storage containers like giant grain bins. It just had a massive anhydrous ammonia leak. It's got everything that screams heavy industrial. We also have several manufacturing facilities that are small, indoor operations that could easily be considered more of a light industrial operation. By driving by you would never know what they do other than it doesn't have enough windows to be an office building.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    I have 3 Industrial categories. Here's how we define them.

    Light:
    Manufacture, predominately from previously prepared materials, of finished products or parts, including processing, fabrication, assembly, treatment, packaging, incidental storage, sales or distribution. Examples include the manufacture of electronic instruments, preparation of food products, microbrewing, musical instruments, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

    General:
    Manufacturing activity that uses partially processed materials to produce finished items or parts with a moderate to relatively high value per unit weight. Examples include manufacture of motor and transit vehicles, manufacture of recreational vehicles and watercraft, manufacture of vehicle parts (excluding tires), manufacture of trailers, modular buildings, bottling plants and breweries.

    Heavy: (the only one that has an intent section)
    Intent: Industrial uses that can create major disruption to the area around them, even when carefully regulated and buffered. Noise, odor, heavy vehicle traffic and/or unsightly conditions can be anticipated.
    Definition: use engaged in the basic processing and manufacturing of materials or products predominately from extracted or raw materials, or engaged in the storage of, or manufacturing processes using flammable or explosive materials, or storage or manufacturing processes that may involve hazardous conditions. Includes work processes involving solvents, solid waste or sanitary waste transfer stations, recycling establishments, junkyards, and transport terminals.

    Hope that helps!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

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