SIDNEY — An ordinance on the newly revised Sidney Zoning Code was tabled during the Monday evening Sidney City Council meeting. Council member Darryl Thurber was also commended by City Council for his service to the city upon the expiration of his term on council.

Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth presented City Council with the Sidney Planning Commission’s recommendation to adopt the new code. She reminded council the re-write of the zoning code began with an evaluation and calibration to the city of Sidney’s Comprehensive Plan and has worked with consultant ZoneCo Inc. to simplify and rewrite it since November 2019. The revised code was created with input from Sidney City Council, the Sidney Planning Commission, the re-write steering committee, and the general public.

Staff presented a rough draft of revisions to the Planning Commission over three sessions to get final feedback beginning in July. The final proposed zoning code was presented Monday to City Council for consideration of adoption of the ordinance with the goal to implement the new code by Jan. 1, 2022. However, Monday night several council members still had numerous questions about various sections, so a review of the final review of the revised code was pushed back to the Jan. 10 workshop session.

Also Monday, Thurber was issued a copy of the resolution City Council adopted commending him for his nearly six and a half years of service as a council member. Mayor Mike Barhorst reminded all present Thurber initially joined council on July 27, 2015, when he was appointed to fulfill the term of a seat that had not yet expired. Thurber was then elected to serve a full term commencing Dec. 1, 2017. He opted to not run for re-election during the 2021 election cycle.

Barhorst praised Thurber for his dedicated service to the city and on behalf of city council extended his sincere appreciation for his good work.

Thurber said although he is not originally from Ohio, after Monday’s meeting, he now officially feels he is true citizen of Sidney and Ohio. He noted he wasn’t sure what he was fully getting himself into when he joined council, as he didn’t know much about how government worked prior to being appointed. Thurber also praised city officials and city staff for the “amazing job” they do running the city.

In other business, council passed a resolution approving the vacation of a car wash drainage easement on the on west side of Magic Tunnel Midwest, located at 2680 Michigan St. This property was developed in 2017 and the building was constructed on top of the drainage easement. No drainage pipe is located in the easement, nor is there a drainage ditch for surface drainage.

Barhorst asked how this was allowed to occur. Dulworth said she is not sure whether it was not included in the original plan presented to the city, or if city staff missed the location of the easement, but was assured by the engineering department the city will not need access to the drainage easement.

After a brief discussion on the downtown parking amnesty program, city council decided to continue allowing vehicles to park unrestricted in the downtown. The two-hour parking restriction is not being enforced within the nine-block area bordered by West Avenue, North Street, Miami Avenue and South Street. The amnesty does not include metered spaces in front of the post office. However, vehicles are prohibited from parking overnight in these on-street spaces. Council discussed removing the two-hour parking signs, instead of continuing to cover them up.

During council comments, Barhorst shared the following:

• The city is accepting applications through Nov. 30, 2021, for the empty council seat to be appointed.

• The 40th Annual Community Christmas Dinner Committee will hold its drive-thru dinner on Saturday, Dec. 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.

• The Jesus Is The Reason For The Season ceremony will be held on courtsquare on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m., with the Grand Illumination immediately following at 6 p.m.

• Wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving, as did Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan earlier in the meeting.

• Shared receiving a note of appreciation from retired City Manager Mark Cundiff; and then wished Thurber farewell.

In final business, council went into an executive session to consider pending or imminent court action. No action was taken when council members emerged from the session.

Says farewell to council member Thurber

By Sheryl Roadcap

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Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.