The Richwood Planning Commission met with Aaron Smith, planner I/GIS tech of LUC Regional Planning Commission, on Monday to review a draft of changes to the village’s official zoning map.
Richwood’s current legalized zoning map is from December 1979. Subsequently, other maps were created in 2002 and 2004 and revised in 2011. However, those updated maps are just representations and not official zoning maps for the village because they have not been legally signed by the mayor and village clerk.
The current map is missing the North Union Fire Department and other properties incorporated in the village in recent years.
Smith’s draft is mostly based off of the 1979 map with some inclusions from the more recent maps and information from the Richwood Gazette archives and the Union County Auditor’s office.
Smith informed the commission that the zoning of nearly 30 parcels are unknown. He advised the commission members to do as much research as they can through the Richwood Gazette archives and the zoning ordinance to determine the zoning codes of those properties.
“Inevitably there will be records that aren’t found,” Smith said. “It’s not Richwood’s fault. It’s not LUC’s fault. It’s just everybody that we’ve worked with at some time or another has missed records, hasn’t done the best record-keeping, whether it’s employees or elected officials.”
If the commission members cannot find records, they can rezone the parcels to the proper zoning codes for the area and use.
The commission’s goal is to make a new map with no areas in question, said councilmember and commission member Reddy Brown. If the zoning map changes are approved, the commission will vote to present the new map to council for approval. Then, Mayor Scott Jerew will legally sign the map.
The commission also discussed pursuing the annexation of properties at the intersection of Ira Bean Parkway and South Franklin Street and at the intersection of Graham Street and North Franklin Street.
Additionally, the commission agreed to ask the LUC to link to Richwood’s zoning ordinance on amlegal.com rather than have the ordinance available on two websites. Brown suggested this to avoid having multiple copies of the ordinance to update whenever changes are approved.
Furthermore, the village’s zoning ordinance contains outdated language pertaining to group homes, family homes and congregate homes.
The commission is seeking the guidance of Heather Martin, operations manager of LUC Regional Planning Commission, about alternative definitions of those dwelling units.
Aaron Smith, planner I/GIS operator at LUC Regional Planning Commission, created this working draft zoning map for the Village of Richwood. Smith said the draft should only be used to help the Richwood Planning Commission and the Village of Richwood Council determine what areas of the village need to have their zoning districts identified. He added that zoning-related decisions by the zoning inspector, planning commission, board of zoning appeals and council should not be made using this map.