Council adopts new Sidney Zoning Code

Code for new developments go into effect Feb. 7

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — The Sidney City Council passed legislation Monday to adopt the newly revised Sidney Zoning Code during its evening meeting.

The code, which all new property developments or major re-developments must follow, will take effect Feb. 7, 2022.

The re-write of the zoning code began with an evaluation and calibration to the city of Sidney’s Comprehensive Plan, said Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth. City staff has worked with consultant ZoneCo to simplify and rewrite it since November 2019. Beginning in July 2021, city staff presented a rough draft of revisions to the Planning Commission over three sessions to get final feedback. The final proposed zoning code was then presented to City Council in December 2021. After council members had several questions, City Council tabled the topic on Dec. 13, 2021. Then on Jan. 3, 2022, after some discussion, Dulworth was directed to make various changes to the draft and bring it back for further consideration for its adoption at the Jan. 10, 2022, meeting.

On Jan. 10, City Council lifted the ordinance from the table for consideration of adoption, but because not all of the changes discussed on Jan. 3 had been fully implemented by ZoneCo, council postponed a final presentation of the final draft of the proposed zoning code for consideration of adoption until Jan. 24.

Monday, Dulworth noted the following revisions were made to the code as requested by City Council:

• Several revisions to table design, including use of zone/district colors to make the code more user friendly;

• Re-ordering of sections in chapter 1101 to move “How to Navigate” to the top;

• Add a graphic for corner lot yards and setbacks;

• Reduced minimum lot width to 50-feet in the R-1 district;

• Add definitions for the medical marijuana uses as defined by state law;

• Revised definition of “antique shop” to be sale or trading of articles, which are over 100 years old

• Multiple non-substantive proofing revisions.

At the end of her presentation, during a call for questions, Mayor Mardie Milligan made a motion to amend a section of the code to allow basically the manufacturing of medical marijuana “for processing, cultivation, testing, or laboratory, for the purpose of marijuana growth or research and as defined by Ohio law, may only be permitted in an area zoned IIM” to be allowed in the industrial district. And further, to continue to prohibit retail dispensary in Sidney “as related to the dispensing of medical marijuana and as defined by Ohio law shall be permitted in any zoning district within the city of Sidney.”

Council member Jenny VanMatre seconded her motion for the amendment. And when asked for discussion among council members, Council member Mike Barhorst asked if the issue could be voted on separately. Milligan noted that she would need to withdrawal her motion, but did not wish to withdrawal her motion. VanMater also asked for further clarification on the difference between the words “shall” and “may” in the code wording. When Law Director Dave Busick was posed the question for clarification on the words, he advised going into an executive session would be where he could discuss it. Milligan then said the words can be found in the code’s glossary.

When all three parts of the new code came up for a vote, for the amended attachment, for the date it would become effective, and to adopt everything as amended, council adopted the new code with a 6-1 vote, with Barhorst voting “no.”

When asked later by the Sidney Daily News why he voted no, Barhorst said by email, “I was one of three members of council who were not present for the discussion of medical marijuana that took place at council’s Jan. 3 workshop meeting. The decision to amend the zoning code and add the medical marijuana section to the zoning code was made by Mrs. Milligan a couple of hours before the meeting. I would have been far more comfortable passing the zoning code as it was submitted, and amending it later following further council discussion, if that was council’s ultimate decision.”

“Since I was opposed to the amendment, it would have been difficult to vote for the entire code with the amendment included,” he continued.

Code for new developments go into effect Feb. 7

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]