Commission discusses rezoning, preliminary plat and zoning code

By Charlotte Caldwell - [email protected]

SIDNEY – The Sidney Planning Commission approved a lot rezoning, a revised preliminary plat for the Burr Oak subdivision, and amendments to the zoning code during a meeting on Oct. 17.

JBM Development, on behalf of BARA Trust No. 2, requested the rezoning of lot 7365 from corridor commerce to residential multi-family. The lot is located east of North Vandemark Road and north of Echo Drive.

City Planner Tim Hurysz said the lot is not zoned and is considered vacant agricultural land. The surrounding areas are zoned for industrial and corridor commerce, but the Village West Apartments and the Lakeside Village Mobile Home Park are nearby. The city’s comprehensive plan states that the appropriate use of land for areas north and south of Michigan Street is for commercial and industrial purposes, but the staff recognized the need for housing in the city, which has been accelerated by the decision of SEMCORP Manufacturing to build a facility in Sidney, so they recommended the approval of the rezoning.

Commissioners expressed concern about the current state of the traffic on North Vandemark Road which could be made worse with the rezoning. They asked if there were any plans to manage the traffic, and the staff said additional traffic control devices could be a possibility once the lot is built out. It was also asked if the city had any concerns about inspections and requirements since the plan is to turn the lot into rentals, and the staff said there are no concerns.

William Ghidotti of Underhill & Hodge law firm in New Albany, which was representing JBM Development, and Principal Jeff Baur of JBM Development were present at the meeting and explained the plan for the lot. An apartment complex will be built with 216 units and will be a mixture of one, two and three bedrooms. After this, the commission unanimously approved the rezoning.

Choice One Engineering, on behalf of MSGA, LLC, requested approval for a revised preliminary plat for phases three through five of the Burr Oak subdivision. The revisions include subdividing the proposed commercial parcels, increasing the medical parcel by 2.39 acres, creating a retention pod, and modifying a road to connect to Hoewisher Road and extend to St. Marys Avenue. The staff recommended that the commission approve the revisions.

After commissioners discussed the efficiency of the road revision, the revisions passed with no votes from commissioners Merrill Asher and David Gross and yes votes from commissioners Aditya Sakhalkar, Patricia Miller and Ken Jensen.

The final item to come to the commission addressed amendments to the zoning code, including passages in the code that are listed multiple times; an increase in maximum density of units per acre for residential multi-family areas to 18 units per acre with additional green infrastructure density bonuses, based on a point system, available; and removal of the requirement of residential porches to be raised one foot above grade, according to Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth. The staff recommended approval of the amendments, and the commission approved unanimously.

In other business, Dulworth said the agenda for the next commission meeting will include the election of a chair and a vice chair.

By Charlotte Caldwell

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.