Pickerington Times-Sun

City's comprehensive zoning code revisions are nearing completion

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The city of Pickerington's comprehensive zoning code revision process that started more than 18 months ago is coming to a close.

The city undertook the process to revise its entire zoning code in January of 2013 with an eye towards streamlining the code's provisions to make them more commercially viable to potential developers.

Pickerington City Council approved a $110,000 appropriation to enlist law firm Ice Miller, (now Frost Brown Todd) and consultants MKSK to head the effort.

"The zoning code has not had a comprehensive update and revision since 1990," said Joe Henderson, Pickerington's development services director.

"This update will let us make sure everything is cleaned up and that it is up-to-date to help make our development provisions easier to understand for those looking to develop in Pickerington," Henderson said.

City Councilman Jeff Fix said the revisions underwent an extensive review process. A steering committee comprised of selected members of City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission first reviewed the changes over many months.

The revisions underwent additional review by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council's Service Committee before the final run through Council.

He said the end result is a positive one for Pickerington.

"We have a code that is easily understood by developers and easily enforced by our staff, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals," Fix said.

"This is a step forward for the city and I want to thank everyone that had a role in this," he said.

Pickerington City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the revisions June 17, voting 6-1 to move the legislation forward to a second hearing Tuesday, July 15.

A public hearing has been scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 100 Lockville Road to allow for public comment about the revisions.

"The public hearing is a requirement for a zoning code amendment," Henderson said.

One revision of Pickerington's Zoning Code up for approval includes giving Planned Unit Districts their own zoning category.

The authors of the new zoning text said this will grant flexibility for both developers and the city in tailoring regulations that fit a specific development request.

Other notable changes are the codification of nonresidential design guidelines, keeping non-conforming uses to a minimum, and the implementation of a "parking fee in lieu of required parking" in the Olde Pickerington Village Overlay District.

The parking-in-lieu requirement would mandate businesses in Olde Village pay into a city fund for the equivalent cost of building the parking spaces they cannot provide on-site.

Henderson said all the changes "will help bring quality development to the city of Pickerington."

He said those who want to review the revisions can call him at 614-833-2204 to set up a meeting at his office.

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