Zoning code amendments go to Village Council
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Members of the Village of Sunbury Planning & Zoning Commission have been meeting early over the past several months to hold work sessions. The work sessions were used to amend sections of the village zoning code that were either out of date, or did not address contemporary issues.
During the final work session, held prior to the Monday, June 25, zoning meeting, commission members added three final amendments to the zoning code – using pods for storage at a residence or business, making minor lot adjustments an administrative function, and the occupancy of motor homes as living quarters.
The use of pods for storage space will be allowed for up to six months. Pods will not be permitted as permanent storage solutions, but were allowed for the six-month period in case a home or office is being remodeled or repaired.
Minor lot adjustments will now be allowed with administrative approvals from Village of Sunbury Zoning Inspector Phil Stith, village solicitor David Brehm and village consulting engineer Wes Hall. The administrative approval will not require a zoning fee and zoning commission approval if the lot line adjustment does not result in any new lot or a substandard lot.
The issue that resulted in the most discussion was residents using a motor home parked at their home as permanent living space.
Commission members agreed that a motor home (a.k.a. RV) stored on somebody’s property could only be occupied as a living space for 14 out of 365 days, with occupancy defined as used for sleeping purposes. Hall said the code’s enforcement is going to be complaint driven; if a complaint is filed with the village zoning office that would establish a start date.
Commission member Joe Gochenour asked about motor homes and RV’s used for a business office; Hall replied that code specifies such vehicles are not to be used for commercial purposes.
There was a public hearing for all 2012 zoning code amendments immediately preceding the Monday, July 23, zoning commission meeting, with no public comment for or against the changes.
During the regular zoning commission meeting there was a motion to approve the zoning code amendments; the motion was approved.
At Sunbury Village Council there will be a second public hearing about the zoning code amendments, three readings of an ordinance approving the amendments, a vote following the third reading, and a 30-day referendum period before the amendments become effective.