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Zoning problem

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
There seems to be a gaping hole in our zoning ordinance. I've written this to fill it. Appreciate any help:

DEFINITIONS

00.01.010 Secondary Dwelling Unit, Avian. “Avian Dwelling Unit” or “Birdhouse” or “Nest” means an attached or detached dwelling having one or more units designed, occupied, or intended to be occupied by a bird or family of birds (or non-family avian household) as permitted by this title as a separate living quarters.


AVIAN DWELLING OVERLAY DISTRICT

Sections

00.02.10 Purpose
00.02.20 Permitted Uses
00.02.30 Conditional Uses
00.02.40 Prohibited Uses

00.02.10 Purpose. The Avian Dwelling Overlay District is established to accommodate the construction, installation and habitation of structures intended for use as avian dwelling units. In developing Avian Dwelling Overlay Districts, consideration should be given to the availability of appropriate habitat, perches, food supplies, and lack of predation. Overlay districts provide for the possibility of imposing additional requirements upon a basic underlying aoning district without disturbing the requirements of the basic district.

00.02.20 Permitted Uses. Permitted uses include the development of avian dwelling units, inclusive of nests, birdhouses, hollowed-out trees and other structures, of either human or avian origin, whether installed on the ground, suspended from vegetation, pole-mounted, or otherwise attached to any structure. Avian dwelling units shall be sited and constructed with consideration to available food supplies, nesting materials, habitat and safety, and mating prospects for the intended occupants.

00.02.30 Conditional Uses. Conditional uses in the Avian Dwelling Overlay District include:
00.02.30.1 Structures for the distribution of seeds, peanuts, berries, suet, corn, sugar water, or other bird foods.
00.02.30.2 Shallow pools, drippers or misting devices intended to provide locations where birds may drink or bathe.
00.02.30.3 Perches, including vegetation and structures of human origin, intended to provide locations for birds to sit.

00.02.040 Prohibited Uses. Use or occupancy by cats is prohibited at all times.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
OK, let's give you a little background.

First, I am starting up a business this year (no, really) making high-end web-based birdhouses.

I have been asked if a permit was needed to put up a birdhouse. Of course not, but then...

I came across a subdivision that did not permit them in their covenants.

I've heard of a zoning ordinance (can't confirm this, though) that does not permit marten houses (multifamily bird residences - exclusionary zoning?).

Come to think of it, we have requirements for farm animals, dogs, cats and other pets. So is it such a ridiculous idea to craft a zoning ordinance for the birds? And while we are at it, why not raccoons or deer, mountain lions or bears?

Maybe I'll pose two questions:

1. What ordinances out the make you go 'huh?'

2. When is regulation of a use a valid protection and when does it become silliness?
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,703
Points
24
Avian dwelling overlay district? zoning ordinances for birds!!!

I think my yard would qualify, but do I need a special permit to keep my cat if I reside within the district?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
I'm thinking of buying a piece of land "up nort." The realtor advertised "township has no zoning!"
 

A M Fragala

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Avian Ordinance

You're joking, right?
How can a municipality or other unit of local government prevent one from putting a birdhouse in one's yard; front rear side or otherwise.
Maybe your deed restrictions or sub covenants prohibit this but that is a matter for local court. I never saw a municipakity go to court to enforce private covenants. That is usually done by someone else in the subdivision. You must have standing to get the case to trial and heard.
Regards
Augie Fragala
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
My "zoning" code was a joke. I meant it to point out what I see are some ridiculous rules out there, whether they may be in a zoning code or covenants or condo association rules. Most that I see have to do with legislating good taste, and in the process make everything bland and lifeless. When is a code/covenant/rule merited and when is it absurd? I had hoped to begin this discussion and perhaps see what examples you all might have.
 

Mary

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
My cats love to bird watch is there an allowance for belled cats entering the district? Perhaps we could create a window viewing permit to keep them at a safe distance?
 

petrushka

Cyburbian
Messages
30
Points
2
Zoning to encourage or discourage

Question, with background:

While working in the 9th fl. workshop of an antique furniture restorer on the west side of Manhattan, I often looked down on the roofs of the surrounding buildings to find nothing but HVAC systems. No solar panels, no photovoltaic systems, no alternative energy-generation systems. Are there zoning codes thwarting the use of such things in New York City? Are their any zoning codes addressing the use of rooftops in either residential or commercial areas?
 

Mary

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
"While working in the 9th fl. workshop of an antique furniture restorer on the west side of Manhattan, I often looked down on the roofs of the surrounding buildings to find nothing but HVAC systems. "

I suspect that that is less an issue of rules against and more an issue of economics. While I like alternative energy sources I suspect that many of them cost more than the return they provide and where they might provide more people are frequently not willing to put out the innicial sums required to get them started. Maybe what we need to do is hunt for ways to encourage them.
 

petrushka

Cyburbian
Messages
30
Points
2
Zoning to encourage of discourage

That is where many fall short. The perception of alternative energy sources being economically restrictive is incorrect. The perception that they fall short of recovering their costs in a reasonable amount of time is also incorrect. Passive solar technologies, and photovoltaic technologies, as well as other strategies to reduce a building's energy consumption are just as viable an alternative now as chosing roses over geraniums. Consider, for a minute the continually rising cost of energy and the considerable efforts of generating the energy generated by the built environment. Roughly 75% of all the energy generated here in the states goes to heating and cooling and lighting the built environment. Knowledge use of alternative energy sources has been put on the back burner because our government gives inadequate funding for research and development, and also because policiticans fear the wrath of energy producer's lobbies.

It takes very little funding to provide shading for large glass spans to reduce the amount of solar gain (heat generated by sunlight coming through windows causing a 'greenhouse' effect) buildings. It takes less than that to have a rooftop garden whose plants can be rotated indoors to out to maintain air quality, or left outside to shade the building's roof from the sun's light (a significant source of solar gain and energy loss comes through dark colored roof coverings-- be it tar, rubber, steel, or otherwise). And what of having an array of solar panels or photovoltaics to offset the cost of heating water for buildings, or to suppliment the energy provided by the grid? Wouldn't the monies saved in cutting the operating costs of a building be worth that which is spent on the systems that make that cost saving possible?

Why put gas in a car that leaks? Why close a window that is broken to begin with? Simple logic. If you, and other planners, architects, engineers, and every day commoners do your research, you will be surprised at just how affordable and how non-intrusive the available technologies are. Check out the work of Samuel Mockbee in Hale county, Alabama, or the work of Kiss+Cathcart here in Brooklyn, or Fox and Fowle Architects in Manhattan, or Herzon and De Meuron in France and Germany.
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,703
Points
24
Good examples petrushka, I Read that Sam Mockbee had recently died of leukemia and From the K+C website:

As part of our research into solar energy, Kiss + Cathcart has produced several studies on Incorporating photovoltaic modules into conventional infrastructure such as parking lots, highway sound barriers and utility maintenance garages. The goal of these projects is to turn the leftover spaces of automobile culture into areas of significant energy production.
 
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