Hillsboro City Council members agreed to disagree with a planning commission change to a zoning ordinance in December, at their Tuesday meeting.
Ordinance 2016 outlined a property setback rule change that could decrease available building plats by four feet per lot.
“Historically, the zoning code measured setbacks from the vertical plane of the building to the property line,” City Administrator Larry Paine said. “A revised ordinance from the planning commission now reads that the measurement starts from the edge of any overhanging architectural projection to the property line.”
The planning commission recommended on Dec. 29, that any new lots platted in Hillsboro should conform to the projection rule. The proposal was to allow for better fire-fighting measures — more room for trucks and equipment in setback areas.
Darrell Driggers, Hillsboro resident and recent buyer of undeveloped plats in the Carriage Hills addition, voiced his opposition to the planning commission rule, which could limit his building plans.
“As a developer, I am going to stand alone in losing two feet on every side of my houses,” he said. “Other areas already platted will not have to conform to this rule. It becomes a cost-driven problem.”
Bob Watson said that houses designed with wide overhangs could end up wiping out an entire lot of space by the time the plat reaches the end of a block, costing the city tax dollars.
Paine outlined three options for the council to consider — accepting the ordinance as written from the planning commission, amending the ordinance with approval from a super majority of the council, or sending the ordinance back to the commission for more work.
“I think we are all in agreement here on what we would like,” Watson said. “Let’s go back to the original ordinance and measure the setback from the vertical plane of the building.”
Paine suggested striking the last sentence in the revised ordinance to revert the ruling back to the 8-foot setback code.
The council voted unanimously to strike the sentence and restore the original ordinance.
The council also approved a revised three-year lease for underground oil and gas rights, with a three-year extension, presented by Chaz Doffing, land lease agent from J. Fred Hambright, Inc.
According to Paine, a change was needed to correctly reflect the use of city property located one mile north of town, currently a tree dump and concrete disposal area.
“I’ve cleaned up the language about the slush pits, there will be no slush pits, and these will not be drilling sites,” Doffing said. “Hopefully, these changes will benefit everyone in the community.”
The council approved the changed addendum wording and unified lease expiration data, pending review and approval by city attorney Dan Baldwin.
In other business:
- Council members approved Mayor Deloris Dalke‘s board appointments of Aleen Ratzlaff, Mary Regier, Tim Unruh, Dan Dalke, Anita Boese, David Brown, and Willis Entz to the Museum Advisory Board. Also approved were Hillsboro Tree Board appointees Warren Priel and Lola Unruh.
- Paine presented final payment requests from Reynolds Inliner for sewer project work at $71,910, which included retainer amounts, and from Wildcat Construction Company for ozone and pump station work at $61,941.
- The council reviewed city electrical billing data compiled by Paine as he prepared bond rating information for the Kansas Power Pool.