This is the second in our series on why certain ordinances exist, their intent and how they directly affect you.
Planning and Zoning Commission
As the title suggests, this commission is the City Planning Commission as it relates to the City's comprehensive plan including annexations.
Section 405.050.H: The Commission is authorized and empowered to prepare a zoning plan for the regulation of the height, area, bulk, location and use of private, nonprofit, and public buildings, structures, and premises, and of population density, consistent with the provisions of this Chapter, and may, from time to time, recommend to the Board of Aldermen changes in, or modifications of, district boundaries, classifications, and regulations thereunder.
What does this mean? When the City was formed, our comprehensive plan was and is: one-acre residential lots with limited commercial development. This also included regulations as to height of buildings (including homes) and house location on lots (setbacks), etc. These regulations were put into ordinances to sustain our comprehensive plan. The setbacks, house heights, etc. are designed to enhance our neighborhoods.
As in all human endeavors, wanted/necessary exceptions to the rule do occur. The types of exceptions that are acceptable for review are listed in the code. An example of such a situation was the recent request from Mercy for a medical office building at the corner of Clarkson/Clayton. The Planning and Zoning Commission reviews these types of requests, as they did in this case, and makes a recommendation to the Board of Alderpersons. They will recommend to the Board to accept or reject the proposal (using the ordinance on exceptions as their guide). This is called a Special Use Permit request. The Board reviews the P & Z recommendation and makes the decision to issue or not to issue a Special Use Permit. This commission is also responsible for reviewing and recommending any changes to these regulations.
This is a brief overview. If you have any questions, call me at 636-394-8916.