Panel reviews zoning code amendments

Crestwood City Hall

Photo by Gloria Lloyd

Crestwood City Hall

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Crestwood Planning and Zoning Commission looked at code amendments June 1 which could have a direct impact on residents.

The first change was to fence requirements in residential and commercial zones. It identifies sight-proof masonry, vinyl or composite fences as allowable materials on residential and commercial lots, while requiring fences between residential and commercial lots to be one of those materials. 

Most of the commission’s discussion of the ordinance centered around the allowed materials. Vice Chairman Greg Zipfel said the upkeep for masonry is a lot easier than other materials, so it could potentially be better for residential and commercial separations.

Most of the commission felt the most important aspect of the ordinance was the sight-proofing and design as opposed to materials.

“It seems to me the technology and advancement in these materials is pretty creative. I would probably prefer us to be a little more open to these creative materials,” Chairman Robert Sweeney said. 

Sweeney said the upkeep of the fences would fall more on code enforcement than the commission. The commission voted 6-1 to recommend approval of the ordinance — Zipfel was the lone no vote after reiterating the need for strictly durable materials.

The second ordinance discussed by the board addressed setback regulations for porches, terraces and decks. It would allow them to extend 10 feet beyond the front and back exteriors of a house, provided they are not enclosed by glass or walls. The ordinance also sets out a clearer method for establishing standard setback lines for residents.

The ordinance originally included screens as an enclosure, but Zipfel felt screens differ from non-permeable enclosures.

“I’m curious how a screen creates the perception of an enclosed space, when it’s not really a conditioned space,” Zipfel said.

City Planner Danny Jendusa said screens were included to require anyone looking to build a sunroom to adhere to the usual setback rules. 

The commission voted 7-0 to allow screens in front yards in the ordinance, and subsequently voted 7-0 to recommend approval of the ordinance with the amendment. 

The final zoning change impacting residents was one concerning accessory structures. It would remove the current allowance of 30-percent rear yard coverage for a structure and replace it with a maximum of 1,200 square feet. 

Commissioners felt the ordinance was linked too heavily to a stormwater ordinance the commission tabled earlier in the meeting to pass on its own. The commission voted 7-0 to table the ordinance.