By Sean Rice
The board overseeing eastern Jefferson Township zoning changes has completed a proposed text addition to the zoning code that creates a commercial-light classification.
The proposed change would create a new class of commercial zoning that intends to generate less vehicle and pedestrian traffic than a typical commercial zone.
The Mercer County Zoning Commission took up the issue of a new commercial-light (CL) zone after Mercer County Commissioners rejected a rezone request that would have changed 60 acres surrounding Wright State University-Lake Campus to commercial.
The zoning commission approved the text description of the CL zone Wednesday night and set a public hearing for June 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Jefferson Township house. From that point a second public hearing will be scheduled before the county commissioners, who make the final decision.
"This is only an idea, it is not applied to anywhere in the zoning map," Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Andy Hinders said Wednesday. "And it's not going to be rezoning anything, it is just a text addition," commission chairman Ed Raudabaugh added. "We aren't suggesting or recommending anything be rezoned at this point."
Hinders noted this new zoning class could be requested for use near Wright State, and other areas in the eastern half of Jefferson Township.
The Mercer County Zoning Code applies only to eastern Jefferson Township. The half of Jefferson Township west of Celina is unzoned.
The list of uses in the new CL zone is separated into principal uses and conditional uses. As with all zoning codes, conditional uses require special approval from the zoning board. Principal uses must be submitted to the zoning board, but do not require approval.
The list of principal uses in the new CL text definition being considered are: agriculture, business/professional offices, daycare facilities, funeral homes, libraries and financial institutions. Conditional uses that would require a permit are: pet shops, standard restaurants, retail business, personal services, assisted living facilities, bed and breakfast shops, museums, nursing homes, schools, recreation and churches.
All of the above also are in the commercial (C) zoning definition, along with: gas stations, adult entertainment, bars, animal hospitals, auto body shops, social services, motels, kennels, hospitals, clubs, group homes, marinas, drive-up businesses, commercial entertainment, vehicle sales, wholesale, shopping centers and storage facilities.
Also Wednesday, commission members voted to clarify in the zoning law that adult entertainment facilities are not considered retail business and always require a conditional use hearing.