City seeks to make changes in commercial district
Attempting to avoid any future confusion about the wording in zoning laws, city leaders are proposing changes to an ordinance that will prohibit daycare centers in a commercial district.
Jeanine Hummer, Upper Arlington city attorney, strongly encouraged members of the UA Board of Zoning and Planning to approve changes to Article 5 of the city's Unified Development Ordinance at BZAP's June 20 meeting.
The proposal, which was initiated by the city attorney's office, is a result of a federal lawsuit by the Tree of Life school, which is attempting to use a property at 5000 Arlington Centre Boulevard for a K-12 school. Representatives of the school have argued that because daycare centers are a permitted use in the Office and Research District, Tree of Life should be allowed to operate under the same conditions.
The school filed a lawsuit against the city earlier this year after its request to move into the Arlington Centre building, which formerly housed America Online and Time Warner, was rejected based on zoning codes.
In a report, city staff stated that the purpose of encouraging commercial use in the ORC District will be better protected by modifying the code text and prohibiting daycare centers.
"We see it as an enhancement to the zoning code that was intended as a commercial district," Hummer said. "We trying to make sure the code is clear with prohibited uses in place."
Board member Ida Copenhaver Ginter expressed reservations about approving the recommendation, noting that there are some businesses that place daycare centers on the premises for their employees' children. Hummer responded that a commercial entity could request changes in the future.
The board voted to recommend the changes, which will now be considered by city council as legislation.
In other matters, the board:
Approved a comprehensive graphics request by Valvoline Instant Oil Change at 3600 Riverside Drive. The company hopes the graphics will update the site's current style and provide the building with more character.
Approved a request by residents Michael and Theresa Haemmerle of Welsford Road to construct a new front entry porch that will project five feet into the platted front yard and will be 11 feet wide.
Granted Kevin and Nora Fisher permission for the construction of a new front entry porch that will project almost 6 inches in a platted front yard at their Lytham Court home.