03/25/04 — Walnut Creek approves commercial requirements

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Walnut Creek approves commercial requirements

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on March 25, 2004 2:03 PM

The Walnut Creek Village Council adopted a commercial zoning ordinance Wednesday, almost two years after commercial property was annexed into the village.

In 2002, the village annexed the Village Green Shopping area and vacant land on the corner of U.S. 70 East and Lake Wackena Road. Since the annexation, the village halted commercial building permits until it could get an ordinance in place.

The village planning board came close last fall to presenting a completed ordinance to the council, but held off to consider adding a sign section in the ordinance.

Dillon Wooten, the owner of the vacant corner lot, had recommended that the ordinance have a clearly defined sign section. Wooten plans to build a convenience store on the corner lot.

But the board later gave up on adding a sign section because members said would make the document cumbersome and complex. Instead, the ordinance puts a convenience store in a commercial special use zone.

The planning board was acting on the advice of Village Attorney Phil Baddour, who recommend a special use zone because it "avoids dealing with the specifics of a sign ordinance."

Wooten spoke at the public hearing, held before the council voted.

"I feel a little bit like I'm beating a dead horse," Wooten said. "I object to the special use because it is overly burdensome."

After the hearing, the planning board met in a separate room to discuss the ordinance further. The board returned to the council room later with a recommendation to pass the ordinance and to place the three tracts of annexed land in the commercial zone.

The village council unanimously approved the ordinance.