Ordinance Calls for BZA Review of Future Residential Development in Downtown Business District

March 6, 2012
Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville is establishing oversite regulations for any future development of residential dwellings within the downtown business district (B-3 Commercial Zone)

The aldermen Monday night adopted on first reading an ordinance that provides for the construction or renovation of downtown buildings into residential dwellings or for mixed residential/commercial uses

Under the proposal, downtown property owners would have to apply for a building permit and seek approval for their project by the city board of zoning appeals.

The proposed ordinance amendment provides that "After public notice and hearing, subject to appropriate safeguards and conditions, the Smithville Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) may permit construction of a new building or rehabilitation of an existing building in the Central Business District for Residential or Mixed Commercial-Residential Use. Prior to the review by the Board of Zoning Appeals, an applicant seeking to rehabilitate/convert a commercial building into a residential use shall first obtain an approved application for a building permit. In reviewing applications for such uses or conversions of buildings, the Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the overall effect of the proposal to the area and surrounding properties so that there will not be a detrimental effect to the stability and viability of the Central Business District. In making this determination, this board must evaluate the availability of utilities, number of units proposed, city's capacity to respond effectively to emergencies, and availability of off-street parking."

Second and final reading action on the ordinance will follow a public hearing at the next meeting on March 19 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

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