WILMINGTON — Clinton County Regional Planning Executive Director Taylor Stuckert looks back with a sense of accomplishment at what the Wilmington Zoning Task Force has done so far.
“What the task force has been doing is exactly what it was always intending to do. They’re going line by line through the code and giving feedback,” said Stuckert.
The first of three remaining meetings is set for Wednesday, March 14.
The task force is a steering committee made up of volunteer citizens looking to update Wilmington’s zoning code.
Stuckert, and Zach Moore, Senior Planner at the Warren County Regional Planning Commission, review a draft of the new code with task force members in hopes of getting feedback and guidance on how to improve it.
The kickoff meeting was held on Sept. 25, 2017, and covered the basics of zoning — what zoning is and how it works amongst the other city codes.
The next meeting on Oct. 11 looked at current zoning districts.
Following meetings, members went over, section by section, the new zoning code draft discussing any topics and concerns, ranging from how to measure a noise violation to what should fall under certain “uses” terminology.
The task force came about after years of the city looking at the need for updating the zoning code, which Stuckert described as “pretty dated.”
“It hasn’t been fully updated in years. There’s been a lot of piecemeal changes, amendments made, districts added to it,” he said.
Another reason was that local residents wanted to be more involved with how zoning is being shaped after the G1 Gateway zoning failed, an ordinance that would have rezoned more than 370 parcels of land in Wilmington.
When city council met to repeal the G1 after the election, many of the citizens involved with the G1 campaign were present. There were discussions about what the best way would be to update the zoning.
”The idea of a citizen-led task force was mentioned and people seemed interested it,” Stuckert said.
He believes having members familiar with the code and experience with it combined with volunteer citizens makes it all more efficient and and clearer for citizens.
“Every single meeting, the task force members bring notes,” he said. “We read through the sections of the code meeting by meeting. Every meeting we’ve had feedback. We’ve made changes, clarified things, and taken things out of it, all because of that feedback,” he said.
Stuckert thinks they should be able to wrap things up by their last meeting in May or by June.
The next meeting will be 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14 at the Municipal Building, 69 N. South St., Wilmington. The meetings are open to the public.
For more info about the task force and to look at what’s been discussed at previous meetings, visit wilmingtonzoningupdate.com.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574