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BG may extend its ability to grant variances for driveway construction PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Friday, 06 September 2013 09:59
A proposal to allow the Bowling Green Zoning Board of Appeals to expand its ability to grant variances for driveway construction was recommended to city council Wednesday night by the BG Planning Commission.
The issue arose after a "ribbon driveway" was installed a part of new construction in a subdivision. The driveway consists of two parallel strips of concrete with a grass strip in the middle. City code requires new driveways to be solid "hard dustless surfaces." Code only allows the ZBA to consider a variance in industrial districts. The proposed change would allow the ZBA to consider a variance in all zoning districts.
City Planning Director Heather Sayler told the commission that ZBA members "felt the code ought to at least allow a property owner to seek a variance, as they can with other issues."
Sayler said the city engineer looked at the proposal and did not have a problem, indicating that less pavement leads to less storm water runoff.
Two residents asked questions about the proposal, one saying the change didn't seem needed since the existing code was working. Another concern was how the change might affect the rules of homeowner associations. CIty Prosecutor Matt Reger said the associations could continue to enforce regulations and would retain the ability to take civil action against members who did not follow association rules.
Enrique Gomezdelcampo said a ribbon driveway is a part of his energy-efficient green home. He said the driveway reduces storm runoff and pointed out that all of the rain water from his roof is captured on the property to minimize runoff. He said the code ought to be allowed to grow and adapt to changes.
Council will be required to hold a public hearing on the proposal before it can take action. A first reading on the amendment to the zoning ordinance is likely at council's Sept. 16 meeting. A 30-day notice is required for the public hearing, making the Oct. 21 council meeting a possibility for the hearing.
The commission also:
• Recommended an S-district site plan for a 30-foot by 50-foot garage at Falcon's Point, 912 Klotz Road. Council must also hold a public hearing on this issue.
• Approved public construction of a new 1.5 million gallon city water tower on West Newton Road.

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