P&Z Votes to Tighten RV Storage Rules in a 5 to 1 vote!

The long awaited vote on the re-write of City Zoning Code Section 31.04 was conducted at the October 11th, 2022 Planning & Zoning Commission hearing.

The Commissioners held a lively debate, solicited citizen input once again, and then voted 5 to 1 in favor of adopting the strictest language of the three options presented by staff by endorsing “Option 1”, which was also the Staff recommendation since the September meeting.

Continue reading “P&Z Votes to Tighten RV Storage Rules in a 5 to 1 vote!”

P&Z Debated the RV Parking Code Re-write and Tabled It Until October.

The city finally placed the code re-write debate and possible recommendation to Council on the agenda for the Planning & Zoning Commission on September 13th, 2022, at Litchfield Public Library at 7:00pm.

Due to some questions regarding the meaning of the word “partially” in Option 3, the Commission voted to continue the discussion at their next meeting to allow staff to more clearly define that option. It has always been my understanding that “partially screened” meant that the six-foot height of an adjacent screening wall or an equal height of dense vegetation would be sufficient to comply with the revised Code.

None -the-less, it was encouraging to see that in the announcement on the agenda, that the City Staff recommended to chose “Option 1”. Here is the text of the agenda item;

ZONING CODE SECTION 31.04 “SCREENING OF NON-PRINCIPAL USES”
TEXT AMENDMENT

Staff Recommendation:
Staff recommendation at this time is to support option 1, strengthening the code language to enhance the originally intended protections from parking unscreened RVs and other equipment on residential properties. This draft language is as follows:

“Such items shall be completely screened from view of BY adjacent and nearby properties and the public rights-of-way and parks by a wall or fence not to exceed six feet in height AND/or dense landscaping, TO ENSURE THE EQUIPMENT IS COMPLETELY SCREENED FROM VIEW. DENSE LANDSCAPING IS NOT SUBJECT TO HEIGHT LIMITATIONS. EQUIPMENT that IS more than six feet in height shall be set back a minimum of two feet for every foot of height from any side or rear property line FROM NATURAL GRADE.”

This is good news for us, as it follows the Code interpretation of the earlier Board of Adjustment ruling on April 7th, and retains the strict interpretation that has served the City well since our incorporation.

We can only hope that the vociferous Special Interest Group that want’s to liberalize the Zoning Code for their own financial gain is defeated in its attempt to have the Commission rule in their favor and chose option 3 – allowing unrestricted RV, trailer and large vehicle storage in rear and side yards within The Park!

Proposed Text Amendments to City Code, Introduced July 12, 2022 to P&Z.

On the agenda for the July 2022 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission are three (3) variations on the existing City code Section 31.04 that governs the storage of equipment (including travel trailers, RV’s, Boats, trucks, buses, etc. in side and rear yards of residential properties within the City.

The Planning & Zoning Commission agenda packet for this meeting which can be found HERE under “Past Meetings” of the P&Z Commission outlines the history of this proposal and the details of the three directions that the City wants P&Z to consider with input from the public as well as their internal debate. The section in question begins on Packet Page 12.

Below, I will reproduce some of the content and add my comments and concerns.

Continue reading “Proposed Text Amendments to City Code, Introduced July 12, 2022 to P&Z.”

Action on Proposed Parking Changes Postponed Another Month

The Litchfield Park Planning and Zoning Commission was expected to discuss the change in the RV Parking ordinance at yesterday’s meeting, but the item was not added to the agenda.

Apparently, the issue has now grown to include ALL the parking Codes within the City and City management decided to study it in more detail before making an recommendation to P&Z.

It is expected that they will have a recommendation for the Commission by next month’s scheduled meeting on July 12th.

If you have an interest in seeing that our community does not become a storage lot for all manner of trucks, buses, motor homes, storage trailers and campers, please keep following this situation closely and read my our lead story for information on who to contact. Click HERE.

Plan to attend the next meeting via Zoom or in person to see where they are headed with this. The meetings and agendas are posted 24-48 hours ahead of the meetings at http://litchfieldparkaz.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx

News & Updates About The Park and Possible Changes

Here is where I will list the latest headlines and links to articles regarding the City’s Planning and Zoning re-write of the RV storage ordinance as they develop. Stop by for the latest. If this is your first visit read the background article by clicking HERE!

CURRENT EVENTS:

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY COUNCIL IN SUPPORT OF THE P&Z POSITION ENDORSING OPTION 1.

See Instructions and Details Below

City Council Agenda Lacking Agenda Item For Code Re-Write Vote This Month May Skip December Too

11/11/2022 – The City Council agenda for the next meeting on November 16th, 2022 does not include a call for discussion and possible vote on the Code Section 31.04 re-write. Hence, it would be expected that the topic will be presented at the December meeting.

Unfortunately, there is a motion on this month’s agenda to cancel the December meeting due to historically low participation because of holiday vacation and travel plans. If the motion is approved, then the soonest we can expect action on the Code revision is January 2023. Although this gives us more time to respond to Council and express our desire to have them adopt “Option 1”, it also means that his will mark a full 2 years since this issue started.

P&Z COMMISSION VOTES 5 to 1 TO TIGHTEN RESTRICTIONS AT THEIR OCTOBER MEETING!

At the October 11th, 2022 Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting, the long-awaited vote on the re-write of Zoning Code Section 31.04 found the Commissioners in favor of tightening large vehicle and equipment storage restrictions in side and rear yards of residential properties in “Old” Litchfield Park. —–> Read more by clicking HERE!

This Text Amendment will be going to the City Council next for a final vote.

PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY COUNCIL IN SUPPORT OF THE P&Z POSITION ENDORSING OPTION 1.

Here is the list of people to contact to express your views;

Daniel Loftus – Planning Services Coordinator

dloftus@litchfield-park.org

Thomas L. Schoaf – Mayor623-935-5033

tschoaf@litchfield-park.org

Paul J. Faith – Vice Mayor

pfaith@litchfield-park.org

Ann Donahue – City Council Member

adonahue@litchfield-park.org

John Romack – City Council Member

jromack@litchfield-park.org

Lisa Brainard Watson – City Council Member

lbrainardwatson@litchfield-park.org

Tom Rosztoczy – City Council Member

trosztoczy@litchfield-park.org

Ron Clair – City Council Member

rclair@litchfield-park.org

Older News:

At the September meeting, the matter was tabled and continued to the October meeting for Staff to clarify some wording, but Staff is on record supporting Option 1 – Restricting the storage of RV’s and large vehicles.

Unfortunately, those of us that want to see the existing code strengthened and enforced were under-represented at the meeting where I was the only one to speak out for Option 1. See more details by clicking HERE.

The Text Amendment was on the Planning & Zoning commission Agenda – on September 13, 2022! With the City only publishing the agenda about 24 hours in advance, it was difficult to muster much support at the meeting, but I spoke in favor of Option 1 and 4 people spoke in favor of Option 3. Due to questions regarding some wording of Option 3, the topic was tabled and continued to the next meeting on October 11th.

More details are HERE.

P&Z Meeting to Introduce Proposed Code Amendments – On July 12th the Planning And Zoning Commission meets in a study session to introduce three (3) variations of the existing City Code that governs the storage of “equipment” in side and rear yards of residential properties within the City.

Since the topic has been designated a “study session” no action can or will be taken on these three (3) proposals, but rather, open the subject to the formal process of future public hearings, debate, and the construction of the final form of an ordinance by the P&Z Commission to be brought to the City Council for ratification.

If you want to see the three proposals and background along with my commentary and analysis click HERE.

P&Z NEWS – The Planning and Zoning Commission met yesterday, June 14th, 2022, but did not put the Parking Code on the agenda. Now, they expect to hear the case at their July 12th meeting. For the details about why, as I know them, click HERE!

Big Changes May Be Coming to Our Litchfield Park Neighborhood

Litchfield Park Planning & Zoning Commission Needs Your Input!

Hello neighbors! My name is Tommy, and I have lived in beautiful Litchfield Park for 30 years. In all that time we have enjoyed the unique character and beauty of The Park with its open spaces and unobstructed sight lines, protected by carefully crafted Zoning Restrictions dutifully enforced.

That may be about to change!

At the request of some residents, and following procedure, our City Council has tasked the Planning & Zoning Commission to study the wording of the portion of the City Code that deals with the storage of RV’s, Trailers, motor homes, and other large vehicles in rear and side yards of residential lots within The Park.

Continue reading “Big Changes May Be Coming to Our Litchfield Park Neighborhood”

Disclaimer

Judging from the title of this blog, it is clear that information presented here is considered to be an opinion. The information contained here is provided “as-is” and without warranty or claim of suitability of any kind.