City planning and zoning recommends change

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

The Marshall Planning and Zoning Commission voted Thursday, Oct. 26, to recommend a change in wording to a section of the city's zoning ordinance that seemed likely to cause confusion and possibly block projects the city would actually like to see move forward.

Marshall City Council will hold a public hearing on the change at 5:15 p.m., Nov. 20, in council chambers.

The passage in question is part one of section 31-96, which affects nonconforming structures in all three residential zone types.

The current version says, "No such structure may be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity to an extent greater than 25 percent of the total area of the structure occupied or used at the effective date of adoption or amendment of this chapter."

The proposed version, suggested by City Attorney Don Stouffer, would add "area of" prior to "nonconformity."

The issue came up when Rick Hisle requested permission to build an addition on a house in the 400 block of E. High Street that apparently does not conform to current set-back requirements.

He told the commission that the current ordinance could be interpreted to forbid his project, but he said the project is actually favored by other home owners nearby because it would convert a home that has been used as rental property back into an owner-occupied dwelling.

During the commission's public hearing on the issue, commission member Doug Carney noted that the wording change might make it easier for similar projects to proceed, projects the city would benefit from because they upgrade older buildings and make them productive again.

After ending the public hearing the commission voted unanimously to send the proposed wording change to the City Council for consideration.

The commission also approved a sign variance requested by Impact Sign, which is seeking permission to add a second sign at the new shoe store near the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Marshall City Council approved the request at its Monday, Nov. 6, meeting.

Contact Eric Crump at

marshallfaith@socket.net

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