The city of Grandview Heights will review and likely revise its zoning code this year.

The city of Grandview Heights will review and likely revise its zoning code this year.

City Council is expected to be presented with legislation at its meeting Monday, March 17, to authorize and fund the process and work probably will begin in April, Director of Administration/Economic Development Patrik Bowman said.

Wendy Moeller of Compass Point Planning will serve as a consultant for the review, he said. Moeller worked on a diagnosis of the zoning code and outline of potential improvements that was completed in 2009.

"We've been talking about updating the zoning code for many years," Bowman said. "It's probably been at least 15 years since it was last revised."

The code needs to be revised so it's more relevant to issues the city now faces, he said.

City administrators, members of the planning commission, board of zoning appeals and City Council all likely will participate in the review process, Bowman said.

Community input will be sought as potential changes to the code are identified, he said.

The initial focus this year will be on the residential code, Bowman said.

One of the most important tasks will be to make the zoning code "more flexible and user-friendly," Director of Building and Zoning B.J. Artrup said.

"Overall, I think we will be reformatting the code and using more graphs and tables to list our standards and processes," he said.

The architectural design guidelines adopted by the city several years ago likely will be incorporated into the zoning code, Artrup said.

"We want to make sure the two are in sync," Bowman said.

Another issue to consider is whether the roles of the planning commission and board of zoning appeals should be redefined, he said.

Increasingly, the planning commission has found its cases to be variance requests, especially after the adoption of zoning guidelines for the Grandview Yard development area, Bowman said.

One idea is for the planning commission to become more of an architectural review board while variance requests, both business and residential, would be handled by the zoning appeals board, he said.

Zoning appeals board members have suggested that some of the common variance requests they receive should be adopted as part of the zoning code regulations, Bowman said.