City Council updates zoning ordinance

Published 9:40 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012


CHELSEA – The Chelsea City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance updating the city’s zoning regulations during an April 24 public hearing.

City Councilmember Mike Denton said the City Council and the planning and zoning board have been working on the revisions for two and a half years. The original ordinance was created about 10 years ago.

“We want to update to solve some of the issues that have come up in the past 10 years,” Denton said. “We made several changes. The purpose of the zoning ordinance is land use, what you can do to property located in the city of Chelsea.”

The city designated four areas with a “smart code” to promote a unique type of development cycle, Denton said. Those areas, one of which includes City Hall, follow specific rules for development.

The new ordinance also addresses subdivision provisions. Once a subdivision’s master plan has been approved by the planning commission, the developer must return to the commission for approval to make changes to the plan.

In any newly developed subdivisions, the subdivision must have a home owners’ association, and every resident must belong to the HOA, Denton said.

The updated ordinance includes changes to animal restrictions, specifically livestock and farm animals, not domesticated pets. The ordinance features a table explaining the changes, said Councilmember Juanita Champion.

Champion addressed the ordinance’s updated sign ordinance policy. Banners cannot be posted for more than 21 days and must be removed after two days after the event. Also, no organization can post more than four banners per year, as well as other restrictions, she read from the ordinance.

John Mark Ford of St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church and Pastor Matthew Roskam of Chelsea Creek Community Church said their respective churches use more than four banners per year to advertise for church-related events.

“We were thinking in terms of businesses having sales,” Champion said. “I’m not sure if churches came up in our discussion.”

Mayor Earl Niven said the council would review the ordinance.

“It was in general for the city, but our thinking was more on the business line,” he said. “I can see where organizations would have an issue with that. We’re going to have expectations come up all the time.

To view the updated zoning ordinance, visit