STAFF PERSONS: Amelia McCulley and Wayne Cilimberg
PLANNING COMMISSION: August 26, 2008
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: TBD
ORIGIN: Board of Supervisors Resolution of Intent (Attachment A)
PROPOSAL: Amend the Zoning Ordinance to change the Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yard use (currently allowed by right in the Light Industrial (LI), Heavy Industrial (HI) and Planned Development Industrial Park (PDIP) districts, and by special use permit in the Highway Commercial (HC) and Planned Development Mixed Commercial (PDMC) districts) to different and distinct uses – 1) Storage Yard and 2) Heavy Equipment and Heavy Vehicle Parking and Storage Yard. Storage Yard would, by definition, be a lower scale activity, often associated with other primary uses in the district in which it would be allowed, and would be allowed by right in the HC, LI, HI and PDIP districts and by special use permit in the PD-SC and PD-MC districts. Heavy Equipment and Heavy Vehicle Parking and Storage Yard, by separate definition, would be a much more intensive activity, again often associated with other primary uses in the district in which it would be allowed, and would be allowed by special use permit in the LI and PDIP I districts and by right in the HI and PDIP II districts. (See Attachment B)
PUBLIC PURPOSE TO BE SERVED: The current Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yard use is not defined in the Zoning Ordinance. This amendment will allow the scale and intensity of the typical activities associated with a storage yard to be appropriately differentiated, defined and listed as either by right or by special use permit in the zoning districts they would be expected to occur. In those districts where either use would only be allowed by special use permit, this amendment allows the use to be assessed on a project by project basis and appropriate conditions to be included when approved.
BACKGROUND: Going back to the County’s first Zoning Ordinance, Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yard has historically been a special use permit use in heavier commercial type districts and a by right use in the manufacturing/industrial type zoning districts. However, as it has never been defined in the ordinance or otherwise covered by supplementary regulations, the scale and intensity of the use where allowed by right has been widely variable. In recent years, concern has been expressed by some members of the public and some members of the Board of Supervisors regarding the potential impact of the Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yard as a by right use in the LI District. This has been of particular concern as some properties zoned LI are located in close proximity to primarily residential areas (see Attachment C) or are located on roads that may not be adequate to handle the type of traffic that can be associated with such uses. In attempt to address the concerns, the Board of Supervisors supported changing Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yard from a by right use to a special use permit in the LI District and approved the attached resolution of intent on July 6, 2005. (Attachment A)
STAFF COMMENT: The County’s experience is that Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yards can range in intensity from mainly offices with limited on-site storage and relatively light equipment transport to much more intensive on-site storage and heavy equipment transport. In considering this amendment, it is important to identify those distinctive aspects of the use that seem to warrant its consideration for the change. In the case of the current Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yard there are several factors to consider relative to justification for the change: 1) The County’s experience is that it is not the office aspect of this use, but rather the type and nature of the storage of equipment, vehicles and material associated with some contractor operations, such as explosives, that generates greater impacts; 2) In its more intensive form, this use can be generally distinguished from most other uses particular to the HC, PDMC, LI and PDIP districts where this use is currently allowed by right or by special use permit; 3) Warehouse facilities by right and warehouse facilities by special use permit are currently distinguished in the Zoning Ordinance based on the potential for storage of hazardous materials, also a potential activity in Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yards; and, 4) Several special use permit uses in the LI district have impacts similar to that of more intensive Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yards – truck terminal (type of vehicle), body shops (equipment repair), assembly of modular buildings (type of equipment) and moving businesses (type of vehicle).
In consideration of the factors noted above, staff believes the following will best address the relevant issues associated with the Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yard use:
One impact resulting from this change will be that existing by right Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yards in the LI District which become classified as Heavy Equipment and Heavy Vehicle Parking and Storage Yards would be non-conforming. Also, future Contractor’s Office and Equipment Storage Yards in the LI and PDIP I districts which meet the Heavy Equipment and Heavy Vehicle Parking and Storage Yard classification will no longer be by right, but will be subject to a special use permit.
Administration / Review Process: The combination of definitions and differentiation of storage yards based on intensity of use will allow more appropriate administration of future requests.
Housing Affordability: N/A
Implications to Staffing / Staffing Costs: Those storage yards requiring special use permits would require review at public hearing by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. This requires staff analysis, adjacent owner notification, legal ads for both the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors and posting of on-site notification signs. Although there is currently a $1,020 fee for industrial use special use permit applications, many times this fee does not cover the costs noted above.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends adoption of the draft ordinance found in Attachment E.
Attachment A: Resolution of Intent
Attachment B: Existing and Proposed Provisions for Contractor’s Office & Equipment Storage Yard
Attachment C: Light Industry Zoning Locations
Attachment D: DMV Information on Oversize/Overweight Permits
Attachment E: Draft Ordinance Amendment
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