PIQUA — The Piqua City Planning Commission received an update on the ongoing Code Piqua project during their regular meeting on Tuesday evening.
Economic Development Director Chris Schmiesing explained that there was a pause in the Code Piqua project due to the Economic Development Department being short-staffed and the city’s vendor for the project, Code Studio, working on other projects. The project was recently rebooted and will wrap up in the next six months, Schmiesing said.
The city of Piqua’s Economic Development Department supplied the planning commission with the current proposed mobility maps, including truck routes and proposed bike lanes, on Tuesday evening.
Chairman Jim Oda talked about seeing a wreck involving a semi-truck and a car at the intersection of Water and Main streets, expressing a concern about large trucks turning onto Main Street and questioning if there was a way to improve that intersection.
Schmiesing questioned if semis and large trucks should be on Main Street. Schmiesing also said later that the mobility maps included suggestions for possible bypass routes so semis and large delivery trucks do not have to drive through the city.
Planning commission member Joe Wilson suggested prioritizing looking at improvements to intersections where semis have to make 90-degree turns on U.S. Route 36 through the city.
“This isn’t final. This is just to kind of show you where we’re at,” Schmiesing said. “This is looking at where do we want the trucks to go.”
Oda also asked about how truck drivers will learn about these routes. Schmiesing said they can create signage, create resource materials, and engage local industries once the Code Piqua project is complete with a transportation plan.
For more information on Code Piqua or to view the current proposed mobility maps, visit codepiqua.com.
Earlier in their meeting, the planning commission held a discussion on a possible amendment to the city zoning code to allow accessory structure as principal permitted use.
Schmiesing said that this was stemming from a special circumstance where a condemned house in Piqua was getting demolished, but the garage did not necessarily need to be demolished. Demolition standards would require the garage to be demolished, too, since it is an accessory building to the condemned house. Schmiesing said that the city could amend the code to allow that accessory structure to be a classified as a principal permitted use, or the property owner could apply for a special use permit for the structure in order to keep the structure.
Schmiesing said that this issue has not come up for at least the last 10 years. Oda said that the situation seemed to be “tailor-made for a special use permit.”
Wilson suggested that making property owners in this situation apply for a special use permit may punish them for a structure that has already been there for a number of years.
Other members of the planning commission, like Gary Koenig, said that, since the structure was an accessory to another building, the circumstances change when that building it was once an accessory to is demolished. Schmiesing said that the property owners may decide on a different use than what was originally intended for that accessory structure, so they would need a special use permit anyway.
Oda added that the remaining structure would no longer be an accessory structure if the main structure was demolished.
“I think we have special use (permits) for exactly this,” Oda said.
The planning commission made no motions to the possible amendment to the city zoning code to allow accessory structure as principal permitted use. They also made no recommendation to the Piqua City Commission to change the zoning code.
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