03/04/04 — Walnut Creek close to commercial zoning ordinance

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Walnut Creek close to commercial zoning ordinance

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on March 4, 2004 1:59 PM

The village of Walnut Creek is getting closer to having a commercial zoning ordinance.

The Planning Board spent more than two hours Wednesday reviewing the latest draft of the ordinance. There were still some unanswered questions regarding parking requirements, setback requirements for side yards, fence height and lighting regulations.

But the board plans to resolve those by next week and hopes to deliver a completed ordinance to the Village Council by month's end.

It's been almost two years since the village annexed the Village Green shopping area and vacant land on the corner of U.S. 70 East and Lake Wackena Road.

Dillon Wooten, the owner of the vacant corner lot, has indicated he plans to build a new convenience store.

Since the annexation, the village has halted commercial building permits until it could get a commercial zoning ordinance in place.

The task has not been easy, but the board feels it is finally getting close to completion.

"We have a good start," said Councilman Ed Braswell. "All it needs it some tweaking."

Braswell said the council wanted the ordinance six months ago, but the Planning Board was undecided on business sign regulations.

For awhile the board considered having a special section in the ordinance for signs, but gave up on that idea because it would make the document cumbersome and complex.

Instead, the members opted Wednesday to go with the draft that would put the convenience store in a commercial special use zone.

According to advice from Village Attorney Phil Baddour, putting the store in the special use category "avoids dealing with the specifics of a sign ordinance."