FREDERICKTOWN — A discussion regarding the interpretation of village zoning regulations opened Monday evening’s council meeting in Fredericktown.
Village resident Jeff Harmer asked members of council to clarify what their interpretation is of the allowed uses for property zoned B-2.
Harmer said property he owns on Mount Vernon Avenue in the village was changed from M-1 zoning sometime in the 1990s to B-2, without his consent or knowledge. He wants to put a propane business on the property, but said he had heard “third-hand” that such a business would not be approved by Zoning Inspector Andy Fox.
Village Solicitor Todd Drown advised Harmer that the council meeting was not the appropriate forum to discuss the zoning matter, and advised Harmer to make his request formally, in writing, to Fox.
“If he says no, then appeal that to [Board of Zoning Appeals]” said Drown. “I can’t ask council to give you an interpretation, because that’s not how it works.”
Harmer asked if the list of permitted uses written into the zoning regulations, which includes certain retail establishments and businesses, is a specific, all-inclusive list, or a minimum example.
“I came tonight to the legislative body to get interpretation of legislation that they passed,” Harmer told Drown.
“Council never gives interpretive of opinions of stuff like that,” Drown replied.
Drown told Harmer he needed to start with Fox, and if he did not receive approval from Fox to use the property for such a business, he could appeal the decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and ultimately the Knox County Court of Common Pleas.
Drown said he had been previously consulted by Fox about the matter, and believed the list of permitted uses in the zoning code for B-2 properties is all-inclusive and very specific — not a general list.
“Ultimately, that’s up to the BZA,” Drown said.
In other business, council passed Ordinance 2010-04 as an emergency, approving membership for the village in the Knox County Regional Planning Commission for 2010. Councilmen Dave Glass and Alan Kintner will represent Fredericktown on the commission.
Councilman Paul Seymour said he would like to see a representative from Volunteer Energy speak to Fredericktown residents about the recent and upcoming changes in the way natural gas is sold to consumers.
Volunteer Energy is the firm the village contracted with for the natural gas aggregate.
Due to lack of use, Glass told council, the planning commission voted earlier in the evening to vacate the alley which runs north off of Tuttle Avenue.
Glass said the planning commission also voted 5-0 to recommend the rezoning of the property on Taylor Street formerly occupied by the old middle school to PND, Planned Neighborhood Development.
There will be a public meeting April 5 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the proposed rezoning of the Taylor Street property. Developers are interested in building a condominium development on the property.
Kintner told council a representative from Sen. George Voinovich’s office will be in the village Wednesday to listen to the village’s request for federal dollars to pay for a new water tower.
“Zack Space’s rep will be coming in a couple of weeks for the same thing,” Kintner said. “We’re getting a lot of action of the right people coming down to hear us plead our case.”
Kintner said with all of the current competition for federal money for improvement projects, Fredericktown needs to “make our case shine brighter.”