November 21, 2002

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Village Council business—
Zoning amendment nears

Village Council Monday approved the first reading of an ordinance that would make it easier to build housing on small lots in Yellow Springs.

The proposal would remove three restrictions from section 1266.06 of the Village Zoning Code, which governs nonconforming lots of record, or lots that are recorded with the Greene County recorder’s office but do not meet current local zoning requirements. Many of these lots are referred to as 50-foot lots because they are 50 feet wide. The proposed ordinance only affects existing lots and does not address new lots that could be created through such zoning tools as lot splits.

The proposal Council is now considering, however, deals with more than just 50-foot lots.

If approved, the proposal would change Village zoning laws to allow single-family housing to be constructed on existing lots of record that are 50 feet wide in Residence A and 40 feet wide in Residences B and C.

Current zoning laws allow single-family housing to be built on lots that are at least 75 feet wide in Residence A and 60 feet wide in Residences B and C.

The proposed ordinance would also remove three requirements in the code that limit who can build on substandard lots. Removing the restrictions would make more lots available for development, Village officials say.

At its meeting Nov. 18, Council unanimously approved the first reading of the proposed ordinance. A second reading and public hearing on the measure will take place at Council’s meeting Dec. 16.

Earlier this month, Planning Commission unanimously agreed to recommend that Council adopt the proposal.

Council member Denise Swinger said the ordinance is a way to stimulate growth without extending the borders of Yellow Springs.

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In other Council business:

• Council unanimously approved a resolution recreating a Records Commission to oversee the handling of public records, including electronic files, as required by state law. Under the resolution, the commission is made up of the Village manager (currently Rob Hillard), solicitor (John Chambers), treasurer (Larry Kimbro) and a citizen. Council unanimously approved a motion to name local resident Bruce Cornett, the Village’s tech support person, to the board. Clerk of Council Deborah Benning will serve as the commission’s secretary.

Based on her research, Benning said, the Village filed its records retention policy with the state in 1978.

• At the urging of Council member George Pitstick, Council agreed to develop a business retention strategy. Pitstick, Council president Tony Arnett and member Denise Swinger agreed to work on the strategy.

• Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance revising the fee schedule for door-to-door vendors and solicitors. This was the second first reading for the proposal, which would amend chapter 860 of the Village Codified Ordinances. Because two amendments were made to the ordinance before the meeting, Council had to repeat the first reading. A second reading on the ordinance will be held at Council’s next meeting, Dec. 2.

Under the ordinance, the Village would require vendors selling magazines, medicine, goods, services, wares or anything of value to obtain a license from the Village, for a $25 fee. The license would be good for 30 days.

Representatives of religious, patriotic, charitable or civic organizations would not have to obtain a vendor’s license from the Village.

• Council unanimously approved an ordinance and a related resolution establishing an attendance policy for Council-appointed boards and commission. The policy would allow Council to remove commission members for failing to attend three consecutive meetings.

• Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Hillard to make an extra payment of $23,000 to pay off a year early a lease the Village had on a “bucket truck” for the public works department.

• Council unanimously approved a resolution to pay $8,139 to American Legal Publishing of Cincinnati to print new and updated copies of the Village code book.

• Council also unanimously approved a resolution accepting a $15,000 grant from the state to conduct a traffic study of Xenia Avenue. The Village will use the funds to hire a consultant to conduct the study and analyze the results, Hillard said. He said the study would take place next year.

—Robert Mihalek