SIDNEY — Amending parking regulations in residential districts was discussed Monday evening during Sidney City Council’s meeting.
Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth led council’s discussion on parking regulations in residential districts and sought direction for preparing legislation to amend current regulations.
Dulworth noted currently off-street parking in residential districts in a variety of communities are to have no parking on established lawn areas; in the required front yard, which is the area between the street right-of-way and the minimum setback, except on surfaced driveways; and in the front yard except on driveways. Also she told council the required surfacing of the parking area or driveway include, asphalt, chip and seal, concrete or permeable pavers that are maintained free of weeds.
She said several of the surveyed communities in town, along with requiring parking to be on an improved surface, meaning not on the lawn, also limit the amount of front yard which can be constructed as a parking area or driveway to no more than 35 to 40 percent. Many communities specifically prohibit the parking of recreational vehicles, boats, trailers, or similar devices in the front yard, and may limit parking of those types of vehicles in the side yard as well.
Dulworth presented several options of which Sidney’s Zoning Code could be amended to include one or a combination of the following in any of the non-urban, suburban or residential districts:
• No parking of any motor vehicle in the required front yard except in a driveway or parking area on an improved surface, such as concrete, asphalt, chip and seal, gravel, permeable pavers, and similar materials.
• No parking on any established lawn in the front or side yard.
• No parking of any motor vehicle in the side yard except in a driveway or parking area on an improved surface, such as concrete, asphalt, chip and seal, gravel, permeable pavers, and similar materials.
• Parking of vehicles, including recreational vehicles, trailers, boats, and similar devices is permitted on an improved parking area in the side yard with a minimum three foot setback from the side lot line.
Council member Darryl Thurber said he would like to see all of the suggestions offered be included in the amendment. The other council members agreed with Thurber. Dulworth said city staff will prepare the proposed amendments to be presented for the Planning Commission’s review. After the Planning Commission reviews the amendments, commission members will then make a recommendation that will return to City Council for approval.
In other business, council also:
• Adopted the 2017 Ohio Fire Code;
• Was introduced to and adopted, as an emergency, an ordinance authorizing supplemental appropriations for the 2018 budget. Finance Officer Ginger Adams said it was necessary because city staff recently became aware of the need to place orders for the next four police vehicle replacements now, ahead of waiting until early 2019 as originally planned.
City staff learned they must try to purchase the vehicles, which will be granted on a first come, first served basis, because production of the vehicles they want to buy will be ceasing in February 2019. And, she said, they will not be available again until the late summer 2019. The newer retooled Interceptor Utility vehicle that Ford is changing over to will be more costly than the current version. Also the police department’s gear, including cage, that they wish to reuse in the newly purchased vehicles will not be able to be swapped out to fit in the newer version to be available next summer.
She told council, once the new cruisers are in place, the older ones are rotated to other departments, and then those oldest vehicles being will be sold.
• Was introduced to an ordinance to assess the cost of weed cutting or the removal of junk for outstanding invoices through Aug. 1, which remain outstanding as of Sept. 5. For weed mowing violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the mowing plus $50 for the first weed cutting, $75 for the second cutting and $100 for each cutting thereafter. For junk removal violations, the invoiced amount is the actual cost of the junk removal plus 20 percent. A total of 37 properties will be assessed a total of $10,608.75 for weed cutting and another 5 properties will be assessed a total of $1,101.60 for junk removal.
• Was introduced to an ordinance to levy the assessments the 2018 curb and gutter program repairs completed by a city contractor. Notices of payment due will be sent to residents two weeks after Monday’s adoption of the ordinance. Property owners will then be given 60 days to pay the bill or have it placed on their property taxes over a five-year period through the Shelby County Auditor’s Office.
• Adopted two additional resolutions, other than the establishment of the revitalization district, authorizing the city to submit an application to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for 2019 funding from the Rural Transit Operating and Capital grant programs. The second one authorizes the city to execute a contract with ODOT for Elderly and Disabled Transit Fare Assistance.
Concerning the Rural Transit Operating and Capital grant programs, ODOT has approved a federal operating grant of $331,000 and a state operating grant $99,000. In capital spending, the total grant is $243,444. This is for vehicle maintenance and replacement, training software, the resurfacing of the floor in the vehicle storage area and other equipment.
The Elderly and Disabled Transit Fare Assistance Program reimburses the city for half of the $2.50 general public rate for non-contract trips provided to passengers over the age of 65 and those with a disability who have certifications on file in transit office. ODOT will award Shelby Public Transit $29,928 to offset the reduced fare to 23,942 elderly and disabled passengers.
During staff and council comments, Sidney Fire Chief Brad Jones shared the fire department will be conducting crew-based training in a couple of land bank owned houses next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Also, Mayor Mike Barhorst encouraged everyone to come out to the Civil War Weekend this weekend at Tawawa Park.
Council also went into an executive session to discuss pending or imminent court action. No action was taken after council members emerged from the session.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.