A vote on proposed zoning changes to the Old Town District was pushed back again Monday as city officials work toward an agreement over property uses.

A vote on proposed zoning changes to the Old Town District was pushed back again Monday as city officials work toward an agreement over property uses.

"We have to notify over 600 property owners for each change that we make to these ordinances once they're in place," development director Lucas Haire said at the March 19 Canal Winchester City Council meeting.

Council voted unanimously Monday to table all five ordinances related to rezoning 495 properties in the Old Town District and altering zoning text to allow time to finalize language related to commercial development.

"Staff isn't getting good enough feedback from city council to finalize the changes," Mayor Michael Ebert said. "There's no rush on this except to get it right."

Council member Bobbie Mershon asked why language prohibiting fast-food restaurants was removed from one ordinance.

"We thought that council didn't want to regulate fast food at all so we removed it," Haire said. "We added drive-throughs and service windows as a conditional use since those are the concerns traditionally associated with fast-food restaurants."

Law Director Gene Hollins said council should select a few members to work with the city staff to finalize language in the ordinances. He said another public hearing should be scheduled before council takes a final vote on all of the legislation.

"We could say that certain things are prohibited, but you're trying to make a distinct historic area with compatible uses only using prohibition," Hollins said. "I think we don't need the prohibited category but instead, we need to beef up our conditional use category and go through it on a case-by-case basis. There's such a thing as additional development standards for conditional uses that we can implement."

Haire said he needed explicit input from council.

"We'd appreciate explicit feedback," he said. "I'd like additional guidance on this idea because I don't want to waste any more staff time on something that won't get approved."

Council member John Bender said asking residents to participate in the meetings would be appropriate. A public hearing about the commercial development text was held prior to the council meeting with no public feedback.

"If you recall, there were five or six community meetings held last summer to develop these standards and there was very little participation," Haire said.

Council president Steve Donahue appointed members Joe Abbott, Rick Deeds and Leah Turner to work with Haire on final language for a possible vote at the April 16 council meeting.

"Perhaps at the next Old Town committee meeting on April 9 (Turner and Abbott) could meet with me then to continue our conversation about the zoning issues," Deeds said.

The next scheduled city council meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, April 2, at Town Hall, 10 N. High St.