Town of Kokomo is contemplating making greater than a dozen modifications to its zoning ordinances that, if authorized, will have an effect on future wedding and occasion venues, short-term rental companies, pet boarding services and extra, and provides town extra regulatory energy over such companies.
Causes for the proposed modifications range, however Greg Sheline, govt director of the Kokomo-Howard County Plan Fee, mentioned among the modifications are to stop what the plan fee workplace believes are pointless hearings in entrance of the Kokomo Board of Zoning Appeals.
“Once you’re on the Board of Zoning Appeals … and also you see a whole lot of the identical circumstances on a regular basis, meaning your zoning ordinance is not working,” Sheline mentioned at Tuesday’s Plan Fee assembly. “You possibly can’t repair all the pieces, however after we can repair it, we need to attempt to repair it so we’re not overloading the Board of Zoning Appeals with circumstances that actually do not must be heard.”
That mentioned, among the proposed modifications would add to the quantity of circumstances the BZA will hear and vote on. Companies, comparable to wedding venues, business boarding services and short-term leases, will now have to obtain a particular exception use allow from the BZA earlier than they’ll function such enterprise inside metropolis limits.
These denied a particular exception use allow can reapply after six months or if the proposal is considerably totally different than the earlier proposal. The BZA may place restrictions or revoke a particular exception use allow if any contingencies it locations on the allow will not be adopted.
The proposed modifications acquired a good advice from the Kokomo Plan Fee on Tuesday. It now heads to the Kokomo Metropolis Council for his or her consideration and a vote.
If any or among the proposed modifications are authorized by the Metropolis Council, they might not be enforced retroactively and would solely apply to new candidates.
Listed below are among the extra notable proposed modifications:
Sheline mentioned the overwhelming majority of latest wedding and occasion venues opening within the county have been taking place within the unincorporated elements. However that has modified, and now town is seeing an increasing number of such venues open inside metropolis limits.
At the moment, town has nothing in its zoning ordinance regulating wedding and occasion venues. The proposed change would add “Wedding/occasion venue” as a particular exception used beneath the C2 (medium to massive scale normal business) zoning district.
“It provides us a bit little bit of regulation on these wedding/occasion venues as a result of, clearly, we do not need them all over the place or anyplace,” Sheline mentioned.
Brief time period leases
Shortly after the creation of tech corporations, comparable to Airbnb or Vrbo, which have popularized the renting out of additional bedrooms or full homes to vacationers, cities and states have applied their very own laws and even banned them.
Town just isn’t banning short-term leases, or “trip rental houses” because the proposal calls them, however it’s now requiring somebody who needs to checklist their further bed room or extra property on web sites comparable to Airbnb and Vrbo, should first obtain a particular exception use allow by the BZA.
“Despite the fact that we’re pleased with them being in our group, this regulates what number of the place we will put them,” Sheline mentioned.
One of many proposed modifications additionally defines a “trip rental dwelling” as: “The renting out of a furnished residence, home or professionally managed resort-condominium complicated on a short lived foundation to vacationers as an alternative choice to a lodge.”
Business boarding services
Amid an uptick in recognition of pets attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheline mentioned the Plan Fee workplace is receiving a rise in calls from these trying to open a boarding facility.
Town’s zoning ordinance does not have a whole lot of laws for boarding services so now it is proposing requiring somebody eager to open a pet boarding facility to first obtain a particular exception use allow from the BZA.
One of many proposed modifications additionally consists of including a definition for “Business Boarding Facility.” The proposed definition is as follows: “an institution used for boarding, holding, in a single day stays or coaching of animals that aren’t the property of the proprietor of such institution.”
Backside flooring residential downtown
Town’s zoning ordinance permits residential in its Downtown Business zone however requires them to be on the higher flooring. The proposed change would permit for residential within the Downtown Business District to be on the underside flooring.
To take action, the proprietor or developer of the property would wish to first obtain a particular exception use allow from the BZA.
A rise within the allowable dimension of an adjunct construction could also be coming to town.
One of many proposed zoning ordinance modifications is rising the allowable dimension of an adjunct construction from 1,000 sq. ft or 100% of the sq. footage of the first construction to 1,500 sq. ft or 100% of the sq. footage of the first construction.
Sheline mentioned this alteration is being proposed as a result of metropolis’s annexation efforts of the final a number of years.
“Once we annexed a whole lot of properties a number of years in the past, we had sure zonings within the county and sure zonings within the metropolis,” Sheline mentioned. “Out within the county, you might have a pretty big pole barn or storage or no matter. Now that it is within the metropolis, you are solely allowed 1,000 sq. ft, which will be pretty small.”
In accordance with the Kokomo-Howard County Plan Fee workplace, the BZA heard six variance requests final 12 months to attraction the 1,000 sq. foot customary for accent buildings.
Odds and ends
Massive multi-family housing
In recent times, town is seeing much more massive scale housing developments. At the moment, any housing growth of greater than 17 items that wishes to return to town must obtain a particular exception use allow.
Beneath the proposed zoning ordinance modifications, a brand new zone — M3, massive scale multifamily residential — would permit these bigger scale residential over 17 items to fall beneath that zone.
Enterprise signal upkeep
Town doesn’t have laws concerning enterprise signal upkeep. That will quickly change.
One of many proposed zoning ordinance modifications consists of requiring enterprise indicators to “endure common signal upkeep in an effort to stay in good restore.”
The proposed change does mandate how usually or what number of instances upkeep should be completed. Nevertheless, it defines signal upkeep as: “any upkeep job that’s completed on a deliberate and ongoing foundation to determine and forestall issues earlier than they lead to tools failure. Some frequent routine upkeep consists of common inspections or service work comparable to altering lightbulbs, cleansing, or changing damaged parts.”
Parking and storage items
Town has seen an inflow of latest indoor and out of doors storage items being constructed. At the moment, metropolis zoning ordinance requires parking for all new storage developments. Whereas many aged storage items have a principal workplace, most of the new ones within the metropolis don’t, resulting in builders needing to get a variance from BZA.
The brand new zoning ordinance change proposal eliminates that requirement.
Beneath the proposed change, storage buildings and not using a principal workplace is not going to be required to have parking. Storage buildings with a principal workplace will likely be required to have no less than three parking areas, and indoor storage services will likely be required to have no less than 10 parking areas.