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adding a new district to a zoning ordinance

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,415
Points
34
Oh great and powerful throbing brain...

Here's the deal:
Our industrial uses have been lumped in with our "heavy commercial" since the zoning ordinance was passed in 1999. Council has been hesitant (for good reason) to grant rezoning of a property to heavy commercial since that would open the gates for rock quarries, asphalt batch plants, and other lovely NIMBYs. Most of these rezoning requests have been denied because of this fear even though the applicant wants to put something relatively tame like a 24 hour Whataburger in. My P&Z Commission has asked me to research amending our zoning ordinance to add a seperate industrial district. Does anyone have any experience doing something like this? I'd really like to track down some sample amending ordinances, etc. so I get the language right. Also, I'd really appreciate any advice for doing something like this.

Once again, I REALLY wish they would wait until we finish this comprehensive plan to do something like this. I believe this is a waste of time considering we'll probably be writing an entirely new zoning ordinance within a year. If I don't show up with some research though, they'll probably be a little annoyed. I also plan to discuss whether they should wait to take action.

Anyway, thanks throbing brain!:-D
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,491
Points
41
We have three classes of industrial districts:

Heavy Industrial -- which is basically the home for all our LULUs.

Light Industrial -- recognizes the 150 years of development patterns prior to zoning and tries (not well, IMO) to corral them as best as possible.

Light Industrial Park -- planned industrial parks that have been very successful.

If you would like more info, PM or email me and I'll get copies to you.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
My ex employer recently created what is basically a business park / industrial park "support" district to allow those things in appropriate areas without compromising the district itself. That allowed them to incorporate those uses in the Comp Plan. PM me and I'll give you the goods.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I would just take a look at your plan, see if it empowers you to have an industrial specific zone, if yes just write one.

In writing one, I'd scab together the best ones that I can find that accomplish what council wants. Take a little from column A a little from column B and presto done.

If your plan does not empower a specific industrial zone, then you may need to amend it first with a statement that recognizes that certain industrial type uses are not suited for inclusion in commercial zones and should have their own zone and development standards.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
31
Have you thought of changing your heavy commercial district to become more restrictive, rather than creating an industrial district? Ideally, you would do both after the comp plan. But where is the pressure right now? Industrial or commercial?

A change to the heavy com district is only a regulation change. Creating an industrial district entails a map change as well.
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
Communities create new districts for specific purposes all the time. That tends to make zoning codes more complex than they really need to be, but if you're writing a new code soon you can re-evaluate. The new districts (there have to be two) should be consistent with the present comp plan, of course, but you can also clear up consistency issues in the new plan if you need to.

I'd start by listening to Mike's advice. In the long run, use the existing district as a truly HEAVY industrial zoning district, but limit it to those areas where such uses exist or are the only logical alternative for the use of vacant or underdeveloped land. That area is easy to identify in most communities.

Then, in the remainder of the district add some performance standards that give your Commission what it is asking for, effective control over the nature of the uses. While it is not the way I'd like do it in a new code, you can use an overlay on the existing district for this purpose in the interim. Light industrial performance standards are pretty easy to write.

Finally tell the commission that if they need this right away (and it sounds like they might) they're going to have to find the bucks to hire someone else to do it so you can stay on course with other projects. A consultant who understands the mechanics of this could have it for you in a few weeks.
 
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