Warsaw Common Council approved and adopted the updated ordinance relating to fences and accessory structures Monday evening. The ordinance was noted as user friendly, easier to understand and more attractive. The adoption of the ordinance has been in the works for more than a year.
Tim Dombrosky, assistant city planner, highlighted some of the changes from the current ordinance. This ordinance does not address fencing in front yards, which will be a separate issue and still in the development.
Among the changes were setbacks for fences being measured form the street surface, not the property line; accessory building sizes are 7 percent of a lot size instead of a tiered system, (for lot sizes more than 10,286 square feet, those under that size can have an accessory structure a maximum of 720 square feet) certain front porches are permitted closer to the front property line than the building setback and removal of the city’s responsibility to protect private easements.
Jeff Grose, council member, expressed appreciation for making the ordinance easier to follow, friendly and more flexible. “It’s better than what we had.” Diane Quance echoed the appreciation adding the ordinance preserves property values and neighborhoods.
Craig Nayracker was the only resident to comment. He stated the change in the ordinance will eliminate the need to go before the city’s board of zoning, taking months for resolving requests. “It’s more attractive, it does what it needs to and is a stroke of genius to strike out (in this particular ordinance) the front yard fences.”
After approving the ordinance on the first reading, Elaine Call made a motion to suspend the second reading, which would have taken place at the next meeting, and adopt the ordinance. “It’s helpful to the neighborhoods,” she stated, noting the council and board of zoning has spent enough time on the ordinance.
Mike Klondaris stated the city planners did a “great job addressing a lot of issues. Let’s get it behind us and suspend the rules.”
Before adjourning the meeting, Mayor Joe Thallemer noted a complaint of a foul odor in a certain location was received and investigated. What was found was drywall mud being dumped in a city storm drain. That has been removed.
He noted it is “illegal to put anything down a storm drain,” and attempts to locate the individuals responsible are being made. “That water goes into our lakes and streams.” In another matter regarding illegal dumping, Cindy Dobbins noted downtown businesses are experiencing the dumping of used and unwanted tires by dumpsters. Because these will not be picked up by trash companies, business owners are responsible for the disposal. It was also stated a rash of discarded microwaves and televisions are also being seen.
Lynne Christiansen, clerk treasurer, presented council meetings with important dates in relation to budgets for 2016. Klondaris noted last year there was a discussion of establishing a wage committee, inquiring if this had been done. It was noted a committee was established and is already meeting.
During other matters “for the good of the order,” it was noted weekly construction meetings continue on the Market Street project with a meeting Tuesday. The next phase will involve commercial buildings and it was noted all businesses will be accessible via Center Street.
Grose noted work sessions will soon begin on the Lincoln Elementary project and encouraged council members to become involved. Thallemer stated he has had discussions with school officials and the city will be a part in discussions as it involves bus routes affecting the city’s infrastructure.