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Item N (Accessory Structures)
An accessory structure is basically any structure on your property that isn't attached to your house. This ordinance change will only apply to properties larger than 1 acre (which we have a significant amount of).
For those residents that have to deal with them, our accessory building ordinances are fairly restrictive. I've never liked that. I've always been especially concerned when city leaders decide that their taste in color, style, positioning, etc. should be law (who best to decide how something "looks" on your property but a politician right?)
Back around 2000 or so, I was told by one of our city's planning employees that "we don't want any red barns popping up." Ya, can't have that. At the same time roof slopes were mandated to match the house. So... there goes the gambrel type barns. Time after time residents got stuck by our requirement that no part of an accessory structure can be in front of an imaginary line drawn across their property based on the "front" of their house.
After a long time in the works (close to a year), we finally reviewed changes to our accessory structure ordinance. This wasn't a vote to approve the ordinance, but a review of the proposed changes and any final changes we wanted to see.
The following are things I think are significant improvements.
- Increase in the number of structures based on the lot size.
- Increase in the square footage (roughly double what was allowed).
- Allowing structures in front of the house. This one gets messy because it really depends on how far back on the lot the house is to begin with. We have a lot of properties where the house is at the rear of the lot and our current ordinance continually causes problems there.
- Allow car port type structures.
- Removed "pole" foundation differentiations. This one always boggled my mind. I think it stems from people confusing "pole barns" with their associated unfinished look and pole foundations. Yes "pole barns" typically use pole foundations (though they don't have to) but you could also have a very finished looking building on a pole foundation.
For those of you curious as to what the new ordinance says, walk yourself through it and see if you see something that seems like it needs to be changed. Feel free to let me know as there's still time to request changes.
Item Q (Kwik Trip Truck Stop)
This item was pulled from the agenda by Kwik Trip since it was going to be denied. I discussed this item in my Dec. 14 update here.
Item R ( General Mixed Use)
This entire topic is really aimed at the Dayton properties south of I-94. It is a LOT of language that guides what uses will be permitted there. I say "guides" because all of those developments will be approved under what is called a "PUD" (it basically means everything becomes negotiable for each development). The overall focus will be for those business types listed, along with some possible medium to high density residential.
Feel free to contact me for questions / opinions on these or any other item you're curious about!