Council considers rezoning request

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Several ordinances were considered and a public hearing was held on a rezoning request at the Monday evening Sidney City Council teleconference meeting.

An ordinance amending a section of the codified ordinances pertaining to the city investment and deposit policy was first heard and adopted Monday. This investment and deposit policy outlines city objectives and what and who the city of Sidney may invest in and purchase investments from. Renee DuLaney, assistant finance officer, explained the policy is periodically reviewed and amended over the years to reflect current Ohio Revised Code requirements or Government Finance Officer Association recommendations.

Also Monday, City Council was introduced to an ordinance to levy supplemental appropriations for the year 2021.

The second ordinance council was introduced to, which was inconjunction with a public hearing, was for the request of Choice One Engineering, on behalf of MSGA Development, for the rezoning of the property north of Russell Road and between Interstate 75 and St. Marys Avenue.

City Manager Mark Cundiff said the request is to increase the area which is zoned B-2, community business district, and rezone the remaining area from I-2, general industrial to R-3, multi-family residence district and R-1, single family residence district. The property is currently wooded areas and used for crop farming.

The rezoning would result in two areas of B-2 district: 59.971 acres adjacent to St. Marys Road, at the northern end of the property; and 12.907 acres adjacent to Russell Road approximately centered on the Fourth Avenue right-of-way. The 104.9 acres would be zoned residential with this proposal, with 84.861 acres of R-1 district through the center of the property, and 20.044 acres of R-3 district zoning in two areas. One on the east side of the property adjacent to the industrial uses on Commerce Drive, and one on the west side of the property between the veterinary clinic and I-75.

During the public hearing, the only member of the public who spoke was developer Mick Given, of Plumridge Trail. Given told council, when asked by Mayor Mike Barhorst, they hope to get dirt moving as quickly as possible but are still working on a financing options. Given said the project will develop in five phases, with the hope to begin the first phase by the late summer/early fall 2021.

Barhorst said the issue will return for further consideration at City Council’s Feb. 22 regular meeting.

In other business, Cundiff led a discussion on the extension of the downtown parking amnesty program. The initial recommendation was to extend the program until Jan. 1, 2022.

He reminded members council passed a resolution on Aug. 24, 2020, to extend the downtown parking amnesty program. It is for the non-enforcement of the two-hour parking restriction within the two-hour spaces of the nine-block area bordered by West Avenue, North Street, Miami Avenue, and South Street. The amnesty does not include the metered spaces in front of the post office, nor lift the restriction to prohibit overnight parking in these on-street spaces.

The current extension will end on March 31, 2020.

He said city staff, nor Sidney Alive, received any complaints about the amnesty program from downtown businesses or from the public. Due to the very tough economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic staff recommended extending the program until Jan. 1, 2022. Another extension would allow another holiday shopping season to occur as another test of the pilot program, Cundiff noted.

Members asked various questions about various parking rules downtown. Cundiff said, although at the meeting he wasn’t prepared to respond to all of the specific questions, it has been a goal of city staff to review parking as a whole in the downtown. He said the discussion/questions will prompt them to make the review a priority and asked to be able to return with a more comprehensive parking recommendation in two weeks.

The item will return to City Council on Feb. 22 for further review.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.