2008-05-10 / News

Thorn Township Trustees approve zoning amendments

By Scott Rawdon

THORNVILLE - Are Thorn Township's zoning application fees too expensive?

Many residents, particularly those living in Fireman's Park, think so. A group of Fireman's Park residents attended a special trustees meeting April 23. The meeting's purpose was to discuss changes to the township's zoning resolution, but some residents had fees on their minds. They said Thorn Township's $500 fee to apply for a zoning variance is unreasonable. And, there is no guarantee the variance will be granted once the fee is paid.

Fireman's Park residents said they know they can't build anything without paying at least $500.

Trustee Rick Wilson said the trustees are considering lowering the fee to $100 plus advertising costs. But, there's no way of knowing up front how much advertising is necessary. So, a resident would pay $500 when applying for the variance, and would be refunded the $500, minus $100 and the advertising charges at the end of the process.

The trustees approved the following changes to the Thorn Township zoning resolution:

• New resolution: "Height of building" means the vertical distance from the ground level at the front entrance of the building to the highest point of the roof.

Old resolution: "Height of building" means the vertical distance from the average grade surrounding the building to the highest point on the roof.

• New resolution: "Moving sign" means any sign that flashes, blinks, fluctuates in intensity, travels, or moves.

Old resolution: No definition

• New resolution: "Portable signs" means any permanent sign designed to be moved about and is not permanently attached to any part of the building or the ground. No such sign shall be more than 32 square feet of area per side. All portable signs shall be placed as not to provide a hazardous condition and must meet a minimum setback of 10 feet (from the right-of-way).

Old resolution: No definition.

• New resolution: Added to Section 4.03 Approval of Zoning Certificates:Pursuant to Article VII of this resolution, any decision of the zoning inspector pertaining to administrative matters of this resolution may be appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

• New resolution: $150.00- A decimal point and two zeroes were added to "$150" within 4.10.03 Penalties for Violation.

• New resolution: Section 18.03 Conditional Uses C- Any and all establishments with drive through/pick-up facilities, provided a plan for traffic circulation and parking, submitted by the applicant, is approved by the Zoning Commission.

Old resolution: Carry out food and beverage establishments with drive through facilities, provided a plan for traffic circulation and parking, submitted by the applicant, is approved by the Zoning Commission.

• New resolution: Added to 18.04.02 Minimum Lot Width- "or township road" This is omitted from the existing resolution.

• New resolution: Section 21.10 Pre-application- The developer is encouraged to meet with the Zoning Inspector and Zoning Commission and submit a sketch plan prior to the submission of the PRD Application. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss early and informally the purposes of this Article and the criteria and standards contained herein, and to familiarize the developer with the planned residential development process, other provisions of this Resolution, and the drainage and infrastructure systems within the Township. A pre-application meeting is strongly recommended.

Old resolution: The developer is encouraged to meet with the Zoning Inspector and Zoning Commission prior to the submission of the Development Plan. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss early and informally the purposes of this Article and the criteria and standards contained herein, and to familiarize the developer with the planned residential development process, other provisions of this Resolution, and the drainage and infrastructure systems within the Township.

• New resolution: The Rural Residential district, or RR, replaces FR in Section 25.04 Oil and Gas Drilling, and Section 25.05 Telecommunication Towers.

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