The city of Bexley is making progress in its review of ways to update and streamline its zoning code.
"The driving force (for the proposed changes) is we have very inconsistent standards," said Jason Sudy, a consultant with Side Street Planning, during a presentation at Bexley City Council's Aug. 27 meeting.
Sudy and Kathy Rose, the city's Building Department manager and zoning officer, have been working with a steering committee formed earlier this year to explore how to update the city's zoning code. The 12-member committee, which has met monthly since February, consists of Mayor Ben Kessler and residents who have experience in development, Rose said.
Rose and Sudy outlined a set of recommendations that the steering committee has proposed. Bexley currently has combined regulations for all zoning districts, while the committee recommends separate regulations for residential, commercial and public-use districts.
Some of the committee's recommendations include:
* Residential -- Changing current zoning that allows front yard fences to be 42 inches to allow fences to be only 36 inches, but allowing fences to be six inches above the maximum height with a variance request from the city's Board of Zoning Appeals.
* Public Use -- Allowing establishments to have one off-street parking space per five to eight assembly seats or one per 400 square feet.
* Commercial -- Changing current zoning, which bans drive-throughs except on East Livingston Avenue, to also allow them on East Main Street.
Allowing drive-throughs in areas beyond East Livingston Avenue might require a change to the city's charter, said City Attorney Louis Chodosh.
"We did work around it with Piada," a restaurant at 2585 E. Main St., he said. "It's not called a 'drive-through.' There could be others like it."
The committee is still discussing the proposed changes and will continue to meet monthly for the next two months to devise a final set of recommendations, Sudy said.
"The proposed zoning changes would only impact projects going forward, but would not force changes upon the existing built environment," he said.