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SP Council to overhaul zoning ordinance

Changes would restrict uses in residential areas

SOUTH POINT — The South Point Village Council proposed sweeping changes to its residential zoning ordinance at a special meeting Monday night, a move primarily driven by concerns over a development project in the former South Point Elementary building.

Council members plan to scrap most of the current zoning ordinance — parts of which date back to the early 1980s — and replace it with a new ordinance.

The new ordinance would allow only single family homes, religious buildings, utility substations and other infrastructure, as well as village-operated facilities in areas zoned as residential. Condominiums would be permitted. However, they would have additional restrictions placed upon them, including that the structure they are contained in, house only condominiums and no other type of facility.

In the meeting, village attorney Randall Lambert suggested that the language of the old ordinance be “modified to make this (the new ordinance) read more like a zoning ordinance instead of a building code.”

Lambert told council members he would draft a new ordinance in time for consideration at the council’s regularly scheduled December meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. The council will meet today at 7:30 p.m. for its regularly scheduled November meeting.

During Monday’s meeting council members also discussed waiting to repeal the current zoning ordinance until after a new ordinance is enacted. Under state law, ordinances are enacted following three public readings.

Under the new ordinance, the following permitted uses of buildings in residential area would be prohibited: schools, colleges, public libraries, museums, art galleries, and other cultural uses, public facilities including swimming pools and golf courses and any facility operated by the county, state or federal government. Agricultural uses including greenhouses, nurseries and general farming would also be prohibited as would nursing and/or rest homes, homes for convalescent patients, children’s nurseries, hospitals, and lodging and/or boarding houses. Any existing facilities of this type would be unaffected by the proposed changes.

Language that allowed property owners to secure a variance to locate offices for physicians, surgeons, dentists and other health care professionals, with the permission of 60 percent of adjacent landowners would also be removed in the new ordinance.

The proposed overhaul of South Point’s residential zoning ordinance comes in the midst of public outcry and debate over a local businessman’s plans to renovate a former South Point Elementary school, located on Washington Street.

The building’s new owner is Health Management Nursing Services Inc. and its CEO Joe Freeman has proposed several different business or usage plans for the building.

Following several months of renovation work, nothing is located in the building except for the Cross Community Church, which had been meeting in the school building prior to its sale by the South Point Board of Education earlier this year.