Pickerington is set to embark on a year-long process to revise its entire zoning code with an eye towards streamlining its provisions to make them more commercially viable to potential developers.
According to Pickerington City Manager Bill Vance, the goal for revising the city's Land Use and Development regulations is to entice outside investments in Pickerington's growing regional economy by installing some built-in flexibility into the approval process.
"The goal of the process is to create additional flexibility for all property owners in Pickerington and we are looking to enhance property values and enhance the capabilities of property owners to utilize, market or develop their property," Vance said.
He stated city officials "are looking to make Pickerington one of the premier places to get things done."
City Development Services Director Joe Henderson said the zoning revisions are overdue.
"There are changes and updates that need to occur when looking at any zoning code," Henderson said. "A city's zoning code is a living breathing document that every so often needs to be updated.
"It appears that the last thorough update to our code was around 1990," Henderson said.
He said the aim "is to have a strong zoning code that protects the rights of the property owner."
Henderson said this will be a complete overhaul of the code.
"I think the whole code could use some organizing," he said.
"Staff feels that a comprehensive update would be very beneficial to this community to make sure our zoning code meets the needs of the community," Henderson said.
To that end Pickerington City Council approved spending $110,000 to hire the law firm Ice Miller and consultants MKSK to spearhead the process, with assistance from Henderson's office.
City Council's Service Committee and Doug Blake and Joshua Binkley from the city's Planning and Zoning Commission comprise the steering committee that will guide the process.
Jennifer Readler of Ice Miller and Chris Hermann of MKSK both appeared before the Service Committee Jan. 16 to outline their expectations and needs for a successful revision process.
"We want to make sure everyone is clear of what we're planning to do," Readler said.
She said it is imperative the public be involved in the revision process by adding its input through each step.
She stated the first public meeting will be at 6 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Jan. 31 in City Hall as a "kickoff" to the yearlong process.
Thereafter, the steering committee will meet monthly at 6 p.m. on the same night City Council's Service Committee meets to work on changes to the code one piece at a time.