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Additional zoning regulations proposed

Staff writer

Buildings with downtown Main St. frontage and semi trailer containers will no longer be suitable for storage use if proposed additions to Marion zoning regulations go through.

Additional changes include a chapter on renewable energy and minor tweaks to zoning board bylaws.

Zoning administrator Terry Jones presented the changes to Marion City Council at Monday’s meeting.

A public hearing will be Oct. 27 in council chambers at Marion’s city offices. If the regulations stand through that, council will vote on them at a Nov. 9 council meeting.

“I’m trying to get information to council well ahead of any vote that needs to be taken,” Jones said.

The regulation for semi trailers reads that “there shall be no use of truck, tractor trailer, shipping, or semi trailer containers with or without axles as storage facilities or accessory buildings.”

The regulation pertaining to Main St. frontage cites specifically Main St. between Elm St. and Walnut St., limiting it to the downtown area.

Jones said any buildings currently using Main St. frontage for storage will be “grandfathered in,” but that any change in regulatory standing would require that those buildings comply with city regulations.

The renewable energy chapter was copied from a county in California and tweaked to fit the city’s needs, Jones said.

“The idea is not to prohibit renewable energy, just to make sure somebody’s not putting up a 100-foot windmill in their back yard or something like that,” Jones said.

Cemetery pricing to change

The cemetery board proposed changes to its pricing, which were not approved by council Monday night but could be at its next meeting.

No cemetery board members were in attendance, but city administrator Roger Holter relayed desires to raise grave prices from $200 to $300 and night and weekend burials from $100 to $150. Cremation charges would remain $200.

“Lots went up to $200 a year ago in September,” Holter said. “The board decided at the time it would go to $200 and look at it again this year. They made the determination that, even going to $300, they’re still less than regional pricing.”

Council member Melissa Mermis said she didn’t feel comfortable approving changes with no one from the cemetery board present.

Holter said this issue wouldn’t be one the cemetery board would take lightly.

“Out of respect for individuals on this board, they’ve been traditionally extremely conservative,” Holter said. “For them to come forward and ask for this, I think they’ve given it a lot of thought.”

In other business:

  • Mayor Todd Heitschmidt said he is still looking for individuals to come forward and express interest to be on the newly formed parks and recreation board. Heitschmidt said appointments for the board will be made by early November.

Last modified Oct. 15, 2015

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