Commission Discusses Unified Code Book for City

Would like more efficient process for developers

By Margo Frink

(Oneida, NY  – March 21, 2013) At the regular monthly meeting of the Oneida Planning Commission, a discussion on the city’s downtown design guidelines went into the direction of the adoption of a Unified Development Code, which has been incorporated by other cities across the country.

Planning Director Cassie Rose said the idea developed out of Smart Growth meetings the Planning Board hosted.

In the meeting, Oneida was compared to Cheyenne, Wyo., a larger city but is surrounded by a more rural setting. Cheyenne started from scratch, Rose said, and incorporated all its codes into one document. The document is written in laymen’s terms, complete with illustrations. Rose said she would like the city to have such a plan that encompasses everything that could be handed to a developer where they would not have to come back to the drawing board five times for one project.

“If you can give a developer one document up front and they know what’s expected it’s a more efficient process for everyone,” Rose said.

Rose said it could serve as a pilot for other communities, and the potential for funding is out there.

The next step is to submit the idea to the Common Council before moving forward, she said.

In other business

The Commission gave a positive referral for a 25 foot front setback to construct a front porch on a residential structure at 405 Oxford St, zone R-2 by Linda Smith.

A positive referral will also be sent to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a five foot height variance to construct a pole barn for personal storage on a residential lot located at 1338 Middle Road, zone agricultural by Thomas Parker.

A positive referral was agreed upon for a boundary line adjustment to accommodate a swimming pool erroneously placed across the property boundary on Glenwood Avenue, zoned commercial by Richard Prophet.

Contingent upon Madison County’s review, a site plan was agreed upon for the retail sale of firearms at the Nye Automotive Group, 1479 Genesee St. zoned commercial by William Nye. The ATF requires documentation that the business is located in an approved use in this particular zone, Rose said. Nye has been licensed for more than 30 years but the sale of firearms is a separate retail use.

Nye was in attendance and said he stocks no firearms on the premise and the use is strictly personal.

Other conditions include a copy of the firearms license be on file with the police chief and all guns shall remain in a locked facility. Nye said he has already done both.

Conditions also apply on site plans for the construction of an addition to establish the Garage Gym located at 1116 Upper Lenox Ave., zoned NC by Peter Lombardi. The plan is to add onto the pole barn already on the property.

The Commission has not received Madison County Planning’s comments for local determination, but gave their approval as long as the two pieces of property are merged into one, all permits are applied for and exterior lighting is facing downward. A March 31, 2014 completion date was set.

Margo Frink is vice president of M3P Media LLC and publisher of the Madison County Courier. She can be reached at Margo@m3pmedia.com or 315-481-8732.

 

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