Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
By William Kincaid
Celina council corrects zoning mistake for lakeside properties
  CELINA - City council members Monday night rectified a 14-year-old zoning mistake that designated several lakeside residential properties as agricultural and public recreational use only.
Council members unanimously approved an ordinance rezoning the affected properties - homes and vacant lots on Lake Shore Drive, Elm Grove Avenue, Mercelina Park Addition and South Buckeye Street - as medium density residential.
The three-reading rule was suspended and the action will take effect in 30 days.
"The request comes as an effort to correct a mistake in the zoning map, which was accepted by city council on Aug. 23, 1999," city engineering assistant Karen Seibert wrote to council. "The aforementioned properties were zoned residential prior to 1999."
The S-1 zoning does not allow for residential homes on the property or rebuilding if the structures become damaged beyond 60 percent, Seibert wrote.
City officials learned of the zoning irregularity after one of the affected property owners encountered difficulty selling a home due to the S-1 classification, city safety service director Tom Hitchcock said.
"The mortgage company called the city to double-check the zoning of the house being sold, and they asked if that house completely burns to the ground, could (they) rebuild it," he told council members. "And the answer is obviously no (because of the zoning)."
The decision to rezone the properties is a no-brainer, councilman Mike Sovinski said.
"If you look in law books, court cases, this is a typical situation where if you zone it into a classification where the property owner can't do anything with the property, you have to be willing to pay the property owner the cost of that property," he said.
Council members also passed first reading of an ordinance rezoning two northern lots at 999 E. Market Street from residential office to general business. The property is owned by William Shreves.
Shreves owns B&B Carpet at the site and requested the change so his entire property is uniformly zoned general business. According to Seibert, the zoning ordinance and map were updated in 1999, resulting in the northern line of the general business district - including Shreves' property - moved to the south edge of the northern lots.
"I wish the planning commission had looked at the lots actually across the street because they're not conforming also," Sovinski said.
City administrators said they would review nearby properties and initiate any necessary zoning changes to ensure zoning consistency.
Planning commission members late last month approved a site review for a proposed 2,500-square-foot commercial addition to Shreves' building at the East Market Street location.
"Shreves stated that his business is growing, and due to that growth he needs to expand his building," the meeting minutes note.
Also on Monday, Celina Mayor Jeff Hazel reported the city added four new parking spots on West Fayette Street as part of a utility line replacement project at the site, which is now complete.
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