February 20, 2003
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Planning Commission business—
Commission says it supports reducing lot-width standards

Village Planning Commission said last week that it would consider decreasing the frontage requirements in all three of the Village’s residential zoning districts.

Commission members said the action would roll back the frontage, or lot width, requirements to pre-1981 levels, when today’s standards were approved.

Board members said that they wanted to roll back the requirements so that the requirements correspond with the way the local zoning districts and neighborhoods were originally platted.

Meeting on Feb. 10, Planning Commission voted 4–0 to ask Village Manager Rob Hillard to present the commission with a proposal to change section 1250.02 of the Village Zoning Code, which covers “permitted uses” in the Village’s residential districts. Commission member Cy Tebbetts was absent.

The commission will hold a public hearing on the measure at its next meeting, March 10. If approved, the proposal would be forwarded to Village Council, which would have to approve it for the change to become official.

Under the proposal, the frontage requirements in all three zoning districts would change:

• Residence A to 60 feet from 75

• Residence B to 50 feet from 60

• Residence C to 45 feet from 60

The proposal plan board will consider next month will likely only affect single-family developments.

Other zoning requirements, such as setbacks, would not be changed, the commission indicated.

According to a Village zoning map and Zoning Code, Residence A includes the south end of town and the far western and northern neighborhoods in Yellow Springs. The district allows for medium-density single-family residential development.

Residence B is the largest residential zoning district in the village and includes most of the central and northern areas of town. The zoning district allows for medium-density, single-, two- and three-family and multifamily development.

Residence C includes the neighborhood around Mills Lawn and near downtown. It allows for high-density, one-, two- and three-family and multifamily development.

Plan board also said that it would consider creating a new residential district for large houses. Saying that they needed more time to discuss this idea, commission members said they would address this proposal separately from the lot-width measure.

The commission is considering creating a Residence A1 district, which would have similar requirements now currently contained in Residence A. The frontage for this new zone would be 75 feet.

Plan board members said the new district would provide landowners with the option to build bigger houses. The commission chairman, John Struewing, said that he would support the rollback proposal if the commission created a Residence A1 district.

Commission members said that the new zone would not be applied to a specific property. Rather, they said, it would be available for landowners to place on their properties.

The new district would likely be used on new subdivisions or large pieces of land that are annexed into Yellow Springs.

These changes are not surprising. Planning Commission members had indicated last year that they were interested in rolling back the frontage requirements to their pre-1981 numbers as well as creating a new zoning district for larger houses.

* * *

In other Planning Commission business:

• Plan board discussed its goals for 2003, which were carried over and slightly amended from the commission’s goals for last year. The commission’s top four goals remain the same: revise the Village Comprehensive Plan, “rethink lot size requirements,” review the minor subdivision regulations and create a mixed-use zone, or commerce park zone.

The board did make a few changes to the goal list, mostly goals 5 through 10, which are as follows: review building impediments, define the town’s urban service boundary, review traffic and pedestrian issues (the “four issues analysis” report), relate goals to their costs, continue meeting with the Miami Township Zoning Commission and work with the Zoning Commission to review zoning alternatives for the Glass and Kinney farms.

• Planning Commission agreed to hold a public hearing on March 10 on a proposal to amend the Village’s minor subdivision regulations, 1226.11. The commission will consider amending the regulations to allow up to five lots to be created from an original parcel. The current regulation allows for three lots to be created. The change will put the Village’s regulation in compliance with state law for minor subdivisions, commission members said.

If approved, the proposal would go to Council for approval.

• Struewing reported that plan board’s two subcommittees, the Bicycle Enhancement Committee and the Northern Gateway Committee, have combined and will now work as one group. The committee, which does not have a new name yet, will meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Bryan Community Center.

The bicycle committee works to make Yellow Springs more bike friendly and the Northern Gateway Committee is working on a plan to build a bike spur from the bikepath to the Cemetery Street parking lot and improve that parking lot.

—Robert Mihalek