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.
A last-minute motion by Commissioner Faith to change the wording of Option 1 back to the interpretation of the meaning of the word “height” that was overruled by the Board of Adjustment way back on April 7th of this year received no second, hence the re-write was voted on as written.
If approved by the City Council, the Code will require that large vehicles and equipment stored in side and rear yards of residential properties in Old Litchfield Park be “completely screened from view 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.” Further wording states that “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.“
Additional discussion was held regarding the wording of Code Section 31.11, with Commissioner Fraser emphasizing the importance of this section in further restricting large vehicle storage as it clearly states “Exterior storage of recreational vehicles, trucks, buses, and other non-accessory items in excess of twenty three feet will not be permitted in single-family residential districts.” It was discussed that the City has no current plans to revisit that section of the Code.
Lastly, Commissioners also emphasized the need for enforcement and asked for details on that process, suggesting that a lack of enforcement, as of late, has exacerbated the problem of stored equipment becoming entrenched in the community. It was suggested that if the City Council endorses the recommendation of Staff and the P&Z Commission for Option 1, a need to follow-up with strict enforcement is clearly indicated.
Now that P&Z has made their recommendation, the last step is to have the City Council ratify the P&Z opinion and make the clarified Option 1 part of the City Zoning Code.
Please contact the Mayor and Council Members to encourage them to adopt the wording agreed upon by the Planning & Zoning Commission!
Here is the list of people to contact to express your views;
Daniel Loftus – Planning Services Coordinator
Thomas L. Schoaf – Mayor – 623-935-5033
Paul J. Faith – Vice Mayor
Ann Donahue – City Council Member
John Romack – City Council Member
Lisa Brainard Watson – City Council Member
Tom Rosztoczy – City Council Member
Ron Clair – City Council Member