Planning and Zoning Commission reminds Sidney City Council to follow rules

Anne Travis of the Sidney Planning and Zoning Commission spoke to the Sidney City Council at their meeting on May 28.

Anne Travis of the Sidney Planning and Zoning Commission attended the Sidney City Council’s May 28 meeting to remind the council not to skip the step of getting planning and zoning approval in decisions.

Travis advised the council there were things being done in Sidney without following the city’s ordinances and rules. As a simple, visible example, she pointed out the placement of the eight foot tall cowboy boot should have gone through the planning and zoning commission before approval. Travis reminded the council the commission was set up to do more than just determine residential, commercial or agricultural areas, and that even things such as curbs and fences needed to be reviewed by the planning and zoning commission.

Travis expressed frustration that the council was returning to “good ole’ boys club” actions, and told the council the commission wanted their role made clear and defined, and they wanted to be contacted as appropriate to review planned changes.

Council members apologized for the oversight; Mike Livingston said he wasn’t even sure when or if the city needed permits for some of their buildings and activities

Travis advised the council to read Chapter 22 of their code/rules, and the council members agreed they would do better in the future.

This discussion led to tabling or further discussion of a few other items on the agenda for the night.  Adam Lutz had come to ask permission to move his driveway east about 30 feet and for the city to cut a new curb. Council members told Lutz to consult with the planning and zoning commission first, then they could discuss it again.  The council considered the placement of a new steel trash can at the city park, and asked the planning and zoning commission their thoughts on the matter while they were there. The council approved the purchase of the trash can and placement upon approval from the planning commission. The council continued discussion of no parking signs on Ohio Street. The intent was to put those signs on just one side of the street. An ordinance would be needed to do so, and the matter was tabled again.

The council approved the hire of Pat Barrett and Michael Benedict as the two new seasonal city workers, with Dakota McSorley approved as an alternate if either of the other two should change their minds. Six people had applied for the two positions, and the council did take into consideration the opinion of city employees BJ Varellas and Drew LeMaster.

The council discussed a request for a handicap parking spot in front of Penn Drug Co., saying the city could not put one where requested. A resident had asked why the first spot in front of the building could not be made a handicap spot, but the council had discussed it with the city engineer, Steve Perry, who said the grade and area would not work for a handicap spot. There is one spot across the street available, or the city could probably put one in in front of Tom Hummel’s building. It was agreed Sidney Mayor Paul Hutt would see if there was citizen and owner interest in putting a handicap parking spot down by Hummel’s building.

In other business, the council;

heard that IMWCA insurance cost would be cut nearly in half for the 2019-2020 fiscal year;

was told Brandon Morgan would like to be on the Sidney Parks Board, and Hutt promised to check with that board to see if there were openings to be filled;

was reminded the Sidney Public Library summer reading program, “A Universe of Stories,” was starting on June 11, and volunteer help was welcome;

considered the possibility of a code enforcement officer, and will revisit the issue at the next meeting;

approved passage of Resolution 2019-15, a resolution setting salaries the council had already approved;

approved a cigarette permit for Casey’s General Store, and a liquor license for Penn Drug, and

approved the purchase of two Walker 64 inch, rear discharge mowers, and $14,446 each.

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