Council OK’s Industrial Zoning

BLYTHEWOOD – At its regular monthly meeting Monday night, Town Council unanimously passed final reading on an amendment to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance text to include a Limited Industrial Two District (Li2) and various regulations that relate to the district. Included in the vote was approval to allow the height of facilities in the industrially zoned district to be extended from 35 feet to 100 feet. Another 10 feet can be approved by the Town’s Board of Zoning Appeals, for a total height of 110 feet.

During public comment time, Patty Appleton of Ashley Oaks neighborhood, which is situated to the East of the 600-acre property that the Town’s Economic Development Consultant Ed Parler has said multiple times will be the site of an industrial facility if the proposed Li2 zoning is approved, asked Council the following questions: Would the Town consider the use of buffers around the rezoned property, would Locklear road be used as an entrance to the industrially zoned district and would the new industrial district be adequately screened from the neighborhood? Appleton said she was not necessarily for or against the use of Locklear as an entrance, but wanted to know whether or not it would be used as such.

Parler did not address the question about Locklear Road, but told Appleton, “What we have here is the creation of a zoning district that is not identified yet as any specific parcel within the County.”

Parler said later, however, that “There will be an opportunity in the near future when the (Limited Industrial) zoning would be placed in the area.”

But Parler said there are natural buffers and that he understands the owners (of the property) have said that 100 acres between Ashley Oaks and the industrial area are not going to be developed.

“So, immediately, you have a 100-acre buffer sitting right there,” Parler said.

Budget Passes First Vote

Council passed first reading on the Town’s proposed FY 2015-16 budget without any discussion. A budget workshop is set for May 6 and second and final reading could be held as early as late May. The proposed $1,295,117 budget is slightly higher than last year’s actual budget, but less than the Town’s current budget of $1,447,651.

The proposed budget document is in a different format than past budgets and, according to the Town’s Administrator Gary Parker, “hopefully easier to read and understand. The expenses are arranged in a department format in order to see better the actual costs of all Town operations,” Parker explained.

“We were able to balance this budget with existing revenue sources and, combined with cost savings like transitioning from outsourcing accounting services to bringing those in-house with the new software, reducing audit, legal and IT costs and bidding out some services which reduced annual contract costs, we may not need to find additional revenues for another year or two,” Parker told Council. But he said that may not always be the case as the population grows and more services are needed.

Traffic Impact Study Discussed

In what could possibly be the last word on the Town government’s desire to require Traffic Impact Studies (TIA’s) of developers, Council discussed an ordinance providing for such.

“Under section 253.36, a traffic impact study could be required as part of the preliminary plat review for those subdivisions designed for 90 or more dwelling units or a total non-residential gross floor area of 35,000 square feet,” Parker said.

Parker also said that, “Under section 153.121 of the ordinance, a traffic impact study also will be required as part of the site plan review procedure for group developments of 150 or more dwelling units or a total nonresidential gross floor area of 25,000 square feet or more, including future phases. The ordinance is expected to soon be placed on the agenda for action.”

Cobblestone PDD approved

After accepting considerable tweaking requested by Cobblestone Park developer DR Horton, Council passed second and final reading of an ordinance providing for the amendment of the Planned Development District (PDD) of the Primrose portion of Cobblestone Park. The amendment provides for additional single-family lots, an amenity area and related infrastructure and to modify parcels previously zoned for multi-family use to single-family attached townhomes. The total dwelling unit density of the subject is reduced from 1,600 dwelling units to 1,155 dwelling units.

The next regular Council workshop will be at 9 a.m., May 12.

 

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