By Charlie Felldman
Troy Mayor Dave Nonn called for a moment of silence in memory of Mae Grapperhaus at the beginning of the Monday, June 7 City Council meeting. “She was a pillar of our community,” he said, “a journalist, a teacher, mother, grandmother.”
The position of Zoning Hearing Officer is replacing the entire Zoning Board of Appeals in the village of Troy.
This and other actions were taken by the city council at its Monday, June 7 meeting.
“As the result of various people resigning from and no longer willing to serve on the board of appeals, we decided to follow the lead of several other local communities,” said City Attorney Fred Keck. “In fact, there’s more doing it this way now than not doing it this way. This allows one person to act as a zoning hearing officer on behalf of the city to hear variances.”
“Now, nothing in the process changes,” he continued. He said the same requirements regarding variances exist but now it’s a hearing officer, not the board of appeals, that takes action.
He said that use of the board is not very common – he guessed that there were less than five in the past 10 years.
“The best thing about this,” Keck said, “is that there are lawyers who specifically do this work. They know the factors to be evaluated. It’s not educating a board.” A board that does not meet very often.
The board also voted to rezone more than 75 acres of real estate located at 7320 Bouse Road (Homes at Liberty Place) from R-1 to the smaller R-1A. This followed a June 3 public hearing.
When development began on the project during the 2000s, lots with R-1 zoning were required to be 80 feet wide. Then the designation was increased to 90 feet due to changes in the housing market. A few years later, when the building boom slowed down, the R-1A designation was created to allow 80-foot lots again to reduce the cost for potential developers.
Some property there remains undeveloped. The owner, Vicksburg Development Inc., wished to rezone that property to R-1A so all the new lots he plans to create as he completes Phases 3-6 of his project will be the same size. The only way to do that was to rezone to R-1A.
A preliminary plat for a development named Schmalz Road Subdivision also got the green light from the board.
Osborn Development wants to build six two-acre residential lots and an outlot on more than 80 acres on the south side of Schmalz Road across from Lone Oak Subdivision. These will be modeled after their Harvest Pointe subdivision on Staunton Road. Parts of three of the lots have drainage easements already in place upon which houses and septic tanks cannot be built. The county will build a retention area that will empty into the Kensington subdivision to relieve flooding there. If the subdivision eventually comes into the city, it will have the new R1-E zoning, created just for 2-acre and larger lots, that allows chickens and private sewage.
Mayor Nonn’s appointments for the new fiscal year were approved. They are: Mayor Pro Tem- Nathan Henderson; City Attorney – Fred Keck; Associate City Attorney – Justin Mattea; Director of Public Works – Rob Hancock; Deputy City Treasurer – Michele Colligan; Deputy City Clerk – Andrea Lambert; Chief of Police – Brent Shownes; Assistant Chief of Police – Chris Wasser; Freedom of Information (FOIA) Officer – Andrea Lambert; Assistant FOIA Officer – Michelle Schneider; Assistant To Mayor Liquor Commissioner – Linda Taake; ESDA (Emergency Services And Disaster Agency) Coordinator – Chris Wasser; Assistant ESDA Coordinator – Tony Luther; and Planning Commissioner (vacant seat) – Jami Ston.
Other actions taken included:
• raising the number of Class E liquor licenses in the city from 13 to unlimited.
• the consolidation of four land plats at Troy United Methodist Church. The board accepted the preliminary plat but won’t sign off on the final until it is rezoned.
· Adding stricter language in an ordinance regulating door-to-door solicitors, parts of which hadn’t been updated since 1986.
The next City Council meeting will be on Monday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Troy Municipal Building.