BG drafts new zoning category PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:24
Many suggestions from citizens regarding a new zoning district have been incorporated into a subcommittee proposal being forwarded for consideration by Bowling Green's Planning Commission.
The B-5, transitional central business district, proposal will be reviewed by the commission during a special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The commission will hear public comment on the proposal during the lobby visitation portion of the meeting. The commission likely will make a recommendation to city council at that meeting. Council plans to take up the issue during a 6 p.m. public hearing before its Jan. 22 meeting.
The five-member subcommittee met for about 45 minutes Wednesday, asking several questions about a draft ordinance prepared by the city's legal, planning and administrative offices.
The proposal specifically prohibits tattoo parlors or similar businesses, bars or taverns and anything not specifically included in the B-3, central business district zone.
City Prosecutor Matt Reger said sexually-oriented businesses and Internet cafes are not mentioned because those issues are dealt with elsewhere in city law.
"Our (sexually-oriented business) law has been tested in court. If we add it here it could create problems," Reger said.
On Internet cafes, Reger said Bowling Green "is one of the few communities to have obtained a conviction and eliminated the problem."
Another concern was no prohibition of parking garages. Reger said existing law covers those through the bulk and density requirement. "And from a financial standpoint, you just can't do them. Bowling Green State University and others have looked at them but they just can't make the financials work."
The proposal also addresses screening and buffering:
"Screening and/or buffering to separate different and inconsistent uses may be required as is found necessary by the Planning Commission and/or City Council. The Planning Director and/or Municipal Administrator may recommend certain screening or buffering as it deems appropriate and necessary."
To concerns about more specific requirements on buffering, Reger said the language would give the commission or city council more leeway to implement suggestions of residents. "You want screening that is appropriate but want to be flexible and allow a developer and citizens to work together. It gives a lot of power to the commission and council."
There were also questions about regulating the size of apartments. Reger said the city follows regulations set by the health department regarding the square-footage requirements.
The proposal also states off-street parking and outdoor advertising requirements shall be the same as the B-3 district.

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