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Published: Monday, 3/4/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Sylvania Council weighs zoning code changes

BY CRAIG A. STOUGH
SYLVANIA MAYOR
Craig Stough Craig Stough
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Sylvania City Council is currently considering three changes to city's Zoning Code. Changes are made periodically to address new concerns or issues from our residents and property owners about the requirements of the code.

The first issue is the storage of recreational vehicles and boats on residential property.

A previous length limitation of 19-foot for on-site storage of RVs and boats was removed from the code a few years ago when the code was updated and City Council acknowledged these types of vehicles have generally become larger over time.

The City occasionally receives complaints from neighbors about these large vehicles being stored in side yards very close to their property lines. Sometimes the complaints can be resolved by discussing the neighbor's concerns with the vehicle owners.

However, City Council is considering adding a requirement that boats and RVs cannot be stored closer than 3 feet to a property line for safety and maintenance access purposes.

A second issue concerns the use of lighting tubes to highlight or outline buildings, as ProMedica has done at Flower Hospital and its other facilities in the Toledo area.

City Council is considering a new zoning code regulation restricting the use of lighting tubes in residentially zoned areas or areas facing residentially zoned property.

Changing the zoning code requires referring the proposed changes to the Municipal Planning Commission for its review and recommendation, and then holding a public hearing for public comment.

Adding the lighting tube restriction is not retroactive and the lights at Flower Hospital would be grandfathered under the regulations in place when they were installed.

A third zoning code issue under consideration by City Council concerns temporary sign regulations.

When the code was updated a few years ago, regulations were put in place to limit the time period temporary signs could be displayed without applying for a permit.

In 2012, a Sylvania resident filed a federal lawsuit against the City alleging the regulations limited his freedom of speech by restricting the time of display for a political candidate's sign.

As a result of the lawsuit, City Council is considering removing the time limits for temporary signs from the code. The Municipal Planning Commission has already reviewed this proposed change and recommended against it, concerned about a proliferation of temporary signs of all types and their impact on the appearance of our neighborhoods.

A public hearing today will receive public comment prior to City Council considering and voting on the proposed change.



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