Bexley City Council is one step closer to forming a commission to lead the creation of a land-use master plan.

Bexley City Council is one step closer to forming a commission to lead the creation of a land-use master plan.

Proposed by council member Ben Kessler in September and tabled to allow for revisions, the plan would streamline future development and zoning in the community.

Kessler presented an amended ordinance to his zoning committee before Tuesday's council meeting. The ordinance calls for a commission of seven members, six of whom would be appointed by the mayor, to study future planning in the city.

The head of the zoning committee would act as chair of the new commission, which would present its findings to council no later than January 2010.

Kessler said he thinks the city needs a solid plan for the future and hopes the land-use master plan commission would bring the issue to the community's attention.

Development director Bruce Langner said he supported the proposed ordinance to form the commission, because it would give his department a definite direction in terms of future planning and zoning.

"If you don't have that commission, and I come up with an idea that Delmar Avenue should be zoned industrial, who do I bounce that idea off of?" Langner asked council members. "I think the commission gives you a wide variety of community input in a small group."

Council member Mark Masser raised concerns about asking too much of some community members.

"I just don't know why we couldn't do this in house," he said. "You are asking a lot of people to give their time. Sometimes we (council members) may disagree or we may not follow through (with the commission's recommendations). Are we wasting their time?"

Kessler said the commission would evaluate where they see development in the city heading.

"A land-use plan requires city involvement," he said. "This is going to be a working, living document."

Council members also voted to suspend the three-reading rule to pass an emergency ordinance to purchase a 1,300-gallon brine tank for the purpose of pre-treating main roads in the city before snowstorms.

The tank, which costs $11,000, would fit onto one of the city trucks and hold enough brine for one big snow, said service director Bill Harvey.
As part of the same ordinance, council approved $4,000 for wiring the traffic light at the intersection of College Avenue and East Main Street to allow a portable generator to power it in the case of an electrical outage.

"As you know, we have had several power outages here, and, in addition, every two or three years, we have a big power outage that either puts safety or our police officers at risk," Harvey said.

Police Chief Larry Rinehart said he doesn't like stationing officers at the intersection at night because it's dangerous.

"Even with things working right, this is part of an emergency preparedness plan," he said. "Some surrounding communities have done it for years. I am really optimistic this experiment will work very well."