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Hudson City Council expected to vote on Land Development Code changes

By LAURA FREEMAN Reporter Published: February 22, 2017 12:01 AM
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Council members are expected to vote Feb. 21 on an ordinance to amend the Land Development Code after tabling the legislation in December 2016.

Council members in December approved Charter amendments approved by voters in November 2015.

The new legislation consolidates non-Charter related amendments from approved Ordinance 16-57 with Ordinance 16-148, which needs voted upon.

The adopted changes to Ordinance 16-57 need some vocabulary changes for consistency, said Community Development Director Mark Richardson.

"The idea of many of these provisions is to streamline the approval process," Richardson said. "The staff approved some smaller site plans, but we believe there is room to add to that."

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Projects with less than 250 gross feet could be approved by city staff, he said.

"That's very small for a non-residential project," Richardson said.

Major projects would go to the planning commission for approval, Richardson said. That includes more controversial cases including subdivisions of land and large developments like the inn on Barlow Road.

City Manager Jane Howington said that staff looks at plans that meet city requirements.

"They are not discretionary," Howington said. "Why put residents or businesses through a 60 to 90 day process and go to the planning commission when it has no jurisdiction to deny it because it meets all the requirements?"

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The city isn't trying to take away the power of the boards but to streamline the areas where no changes can be made, and staff can make the decision whether [or not] the project complies with all the requirements, Howington said.

The city staff reviews each project, and if there is any question about compliance, the resident or developer is referred to the Architectural and Review Board, Richardson said.

"How many of us know about a neighbor who wants to put a deck on?" said Council President Hal DeSaussure. "Do they have to go through this review process? No. It can be administratively handled as long as it is not a historic area."

In addition to streamlining the process, some changes to the code were made based on the First & Main development, Richardson said. One of the changes was the 20-foot setback for residential properties which was changed to five-feet for townhouses or multi-family homes in the downtown village.

In addition parking would not be required in the front of businesses with zero setback and more would be allowed on the side and back, Richardson said.

Zoning certificates are required for adding impervious surface when it exceeds 40 percent of the lot size, Richardson said.

Also all residential alterations are considered minor in the new definitions if not adding building area and can be approved by staff if replacing in kind such as new windows for old windows, he said.

Richardson said there was "How Do I?" on the city website http://hudson.oh.us/ to help residents through the process.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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