This week's meeting highlights
Vice Mayor Kendra Wilkinson helmed this week’s City Commission meeting as Mayor Haines was out of town. City Engineer, Scott Rickard presented an application to rezone the property located at 610 SW Purity Springs Road. Tom Pennycuff, Controller for Brickley Enterprises, was present to answer questions from the Commission. The application was approved.
Mr. Rickard also presented the proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance. The last major update to the Zoning Ordinance took place in 2009 when the City of El Dorado adopted the 2030 El Dorado Comprehensive Plan. Since that time, a number of minor changes to the ordinance have been made with the last two changes made in 2016 and 2018 which adjusted fence heights and application fees, respectively. In fall of 2018, the City Commission directed staff and the Planning Commission to review residential accessory structure regulations and to look into the topic of tiny homes.
At the City Commission’s request, the Planning Commission meet over the past three months to identify and opportunities to amend the Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Ordinance regulates land use and development within the City of El Dorado. Current regulations are similar to those in place at every municipality in Kansas similar in size and larger than El Dorado. The proposed amendments to the ordinance are:
● Link residential accessory structure size to principal structure size. This is common across the state of Kansas and focuses residential development on the principal structure. Said regulation prevents non-residential structures from becoming the dominant structures in residential neighborhoods.
● Allow eligible property owners to build a residential accessory structure as large as 1,500 square feet to do so without a Special Use Permit if the structure uses matching building materials as viewed from public property and a minimum 60 foot front setback.
● Residential accessory structure height regulation changed to link height and roof pitch to that of the principal structure rather than a set side wall height that has historically prevented storing of taller recreation vehicles in said structures.
● Reduces side yard setbacks on lots platted prior to 1951, solving a widespread problem for property owners with detached garages near property lines that cannot be rebuilt in their current location.
● Prohibit use of shipping containers in residential areas as permanent accessory structures and provides for temporary use. Many cities within the state already prohibit permanent residential containers.
● Regulate infill housing size to prevent excessively small or excessively large development within established neighborhoods that may negatively impact surrounding properties and to maintain the scale and character of the neighborhood.
● Remove annexation zoning language from the zoning ordinance, a paragraph that was essential prior to gaining jurisdiction outside limits but is no longer needed.
● Update bylaws to allow for a Planning Commission Representative to sit on the Board of Zoning Appeals.
“The ultimate goal [of the amendment] is to protect the adjacent properties and create something that fits within the neighborhood.” stated Rickard. The amendment was approved.
City Clerk, Tabitha Sharp presented information and proposed amendment for the Cereal Malt Beverage Municipal Code (CMB). Effective April 1 2019, CMB Retailers, both general (drink on premise) and limited (carry-out/drink off premise) will be able to sell beer containing not more than 6% alcohol by volume. State law also increased city occupation taxes allowed by cities for beer distributor and added three new license categories/city occupation tax for caterers, wine distributors and public venues. This change creates the need to change the language used in City of El Dorado municipal codes. The Cereal Malt Beverage Municipal Code Amendment was approved.
Also before the Commission, was a request from the Municipal Court Judge to amend the Municipal Code regarding failure to appear. The City’s liability insurance company has also required an ordinance allowing the payment of municipal court fines through community service. For every one (1) hour of community service completed, which can be verified, the defendant shall receive eight dollars ($8.00) credit towards municipal court fines. Community Service has to be done in or for a business entity or organization in the City of El Dorado, Kansas. Community Service will not apply to court costs or restitution. The City Commission must approve all amendments to the municipal code, and the code must be amended to comply with State Statute. After much discussion on how the community service would be monitored and reported, it was decided to table the issue to allow for clarification. It will be brought back before the commission at a later date.
The City of El Dorado and El Dorado Inc. requested a Master Plan for the Industrial Park. The plan was to be completed for the 280 acres west of the turnpike so that staff could better understand the infrastructure needs, entrances and exits, access to the turnpike and utility needs. The Master Plan creates an informational plan to be “answer ready” when approached by a prospective buyer/developer. The plan was accepted by the Commission.