How should Pine Avenue look?
SUN PHOTO/LAURIE KROSNEY
City Planner Alan Garrett, left, clears
up a question asked by Commissioner Chris Tollette, to the right.
ANNA MARIA — How should Pine Avenue look in the future? What regulations should be imposed on that area, which runs the length of the city’s residential/office/retail (ROR) district?
Changing land development regulations, eliminating conflicts in the code and bringing the land development regulations (LDR's) into agreement with the comprehensive plan was the goal of a joint meeting between the City Commission and the Planning and Zoning Board.
"We’re looking at some basic issues with ROR that staff has to deal with on a daily basis, and we want to have some consensus on what you want," said City Planner Alan Garrett at the beginning of the Aug. 21 meeting at city hall.
With that, Garrett asked members of both bodies to answer several questions, which would give direction to the city attorney and the staff on what they want in the revised regulations for the ROR district.
There was overwhelming agreement that the district should require a mix of commercial and residential uses. There is to be no requirement that the upper story of a building in the ROR district has to be residential.
"The comp plan opened the door to all the changes you might want for ROR," Garrett said as he asked whether or not city leaders wanted to require that the owner or tenant of a residential floor be associated with the business use. In the current zoning code, someone who owns or operates the business must occupy the residential space. The comp plan says there doesn’t need to be a connection between residential and business uses in any particular building.
The answer was no.
There was no consensus on the amount of time for which people could rent the residential space.
Garrett pointed out that there is currently no upper or lower limit as to the length of time a property owner can rent to someone. Overnight rentals are allowed; yearly or longer leases are allowed.
It appears the answer to that question will be left to another day.
There was also consensus that tandem parking may be allowed at the back of a property on a case-by-case basis.
"I think if we allow it, we should allow it in the back," said Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick. "It would look tacky in the front. There’s not room on all those lots, but if there is, we should allow it."
There was agreement that building will be allowed on any platted lot of record, whether it’s a 5,000 square foot lot or a 7,500 square foot lot.
In the new LDRs, front lot setbacks, i.e. the front of new buildings, will be 29-feet regardless of the lot depth.
The consensus on parking space locations was that the city should look at each lot individually to determine the best location for parking.
There was some confusion on the part of commissioners and P&Z board members as to whether or not structures on adjacent lots can be joined or must be separated.
Garrett and City Attorney Jim Dye reminded the discussion group that they had already voted to allow them to be joined.
That won’t allow any increase in the size of the structure allowed, and the side setbacks will have to be larger to compensate for the deletion of the setback that would have been required had the structures been built apart from each other.
The commission earlier ruled that the adjoined buildings would not be duplexes, which are not allowed under the code. They would be viewed as two separate structures with an adjoining wall.
A few adjustments were made to the list of what is allowed and what is not allowed in the ROR district.
Secondhand merchandise establishments were formerly not allowed, which would have made Ginny’s and Jane E.’s at the Old IGA a non-conforming use and would have prohibited any antique shops from opening along Pine Avenue.
These uses will be allowed under the revised LDRs.
And a question about what constitutes manufacturing was cleared up at the meeting.
Some time ago, permission to open a candy-making operation on Pine Avenue was denied under a previous building official.
Now, something that is made on the premises can be allowed as long as what is made there is sold there.
Garrett thanked members of the commission and P& Z for their time and direction.
"This gives us a good idea of what you want, and we can work on the LDRs with that in mind," he said. "This has saved an enormous amount of time. Instead of going back and forth and back and forth and waiting for meetings, we have everything we need and can just move ahead."
As things change formally, public hearings at the P&Z level and at the city commission will be held," Garrett noted.