Warsaw Plan Commission Monday night reviewed updating its fence and accessory structures ordinance and reviewed a draft of an update to the city’s comprehensive plan.
Tim Dombrosky, assistant city planner, presented a draft of fence and accessory structure changes. Plan commission members were asked to review the changes before the Sept. 8 meeting and provide feedback to him before the meeting.
The city is proposing to restrict the height of fences in front yards in residential properties to 4 feet. Currently residents are allowed to have a 6-foot fence all the way around the property.
“This is more for mostly aesthetics. It’s kind of strange to go down the street and see a 6-foot privacy fence in the front yard and it is not appealing and welcoming,” Dombrosky said.
Also for fences, changes to the ordinance would be that no fence or wall is to be located within a private or public easement unless written permission from the easement holder has been granted. The ordinance also states all fences must be constructed in uniform material, color and height.
For vision and clearance rules for fences, the proposal is that no fence or visual obstruction including plants are to be erected within the space between 3 and 6 feet high and 10 feet from the travel surface of a street or 3 feet of the travel surface of an alley. This does not apply to utility poles and structural supports less than 6 feet wide and more than 6 feet apart.
The proposal also states accessory structures must meet the following height, size and setback regulations: residential districts, the height of the structure must be limited to 18 feet and the size of the structure cannot be larger than 75 percent of the principle structure roof area.
The proposal has an exception that accessory buildings not on a permanent foundation are exempt from an improvement location permit.
Decks and patios may be located in the front yard up to 3 feet from the property line if attached to the principle structure and must also meet vision and clearance restrictions. Retaining walls and drainage installations must require a permit and be subject to review by the city stormwater department.
Dombrosky also presented the council with a draft of the city’s comprehensive plan update.
There will be a public hearing on the comprehensive plan during the plan commission’s Sept. 8 meeting at 7 p.m. at city hall. The commission was asked to provide feedback to Jeremy Skinner, city planner, before Aug. 26. Warsaw City Council will need to approve the final comprehensive plan.
Greg Demopoulos, Kosciusko County Vilo Cycling Club president, and Fred Helfrich, club advocacy chair, attended Monday’s meeting and thanked the city for its support in including bicycle-friendly transportation in the plan.
One of the objectives of the plan is to foster effective and safe transportation. Objectives are proposed to be accomplished by maintaining a five-year capital improvements plan that informs, coordinates and prioritizes all street, sidewalk, trail and bike lane improvements based on priority.
It also requires vehicular and pedestrian linkages between adjacent residential developments, working with isolated residential developments to get connected to the city-wide system of sidewalks and trails and adopting a complete streets ordinance to promote safe utilization of street right of ways for all uses and their needs.
Another principal in the plan is to stimulate economic growth by having an inventory and keeping an up-to-date listing of all industrial properties, square footage of each building, state of occupancy, tenant’s names and business conducted, establish and promote shovel-ready sites available for business and industrial growth and increase efforts to attract new businesses and residents through considering residential tax incentive and public and private development partnerships.