Pickerington City Council is expected to extend regulations to industrial properties next month on "outdoor service facilities."

Pickerington City Council is expected to extend regulations to industrial properties next month on “outdoor service facilities.”

Commercial properties that are zoned for industrial purposes soon will need local approval before establishing exterior storage areas, outside markets or other outdoor facilities.

Council already has unanimously passed two readings of legislation to amend its outdoor service facilities regulations to include industrial properties and is expected to give final approvals at its Dec. 6 meeting.

Because there currently are just two properties in the city zoned specifically for industrial use, the new measure isn’t expected to have a wide impact.

However, Pickerington development director Joe Henderson said it’s meant to provide regulation uniformity for commercial properties throughout the city and ensure that those which plan to operate outdoor facilities first obtain conditional-use approval from the Pickerington Planning and Zoning Commission.

“(Current regulations) listed any commercial zoning classifications you could have in the city, but what it excluded was ‘M’ zoning, which is industrial,” Henderson said. “No one could figure out why in the world ‘M’ was left off.

“We’re just trying to clean up the code.”

The city defines outdoor service facilities as “an area not fully enclosed by solid walls and a roof and where services are rendered or goods are displayed, sold or stored.”

This can include outdoor dining areas and bar patios, outdoor storage areas, open-air markets and garden centers.

Currently, the Creamery in Olde Pickerington Village and a Hill Road site where Keller Farms operated an outdoor garden center from spring through Oct. 31 are the city’s only properties zoned “M.”

Henderson said the extended regulations would cover those sites, as well as sites which in the future might be rezoned to “M.”

“We want to make sure whenever a business puts something out, it’s not going to impact any existing or surrounding users,” he said. “It’s a one-time (approval). The planning and zoning commission could set a time limit (to the outdoor use) É or they could say there is no limit.”

Pending council’s final approval on Dec. 6, the amended ordinance would become effective by Jan. 5.

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