- Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 23:15
- Published on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 23:15
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Resolutions are public statements of the town or council’s commitment to follow new rules, but ordinances are written into town laws and must be enforced.
Ordinance 624 amends the Colonial Beach Town Code, Article 8. Specific changes which would allow more display area for businesses.
The current zoning ordinance limits outdoor storage to 5% of the total gross floor area of the business structure. The amendment would allow up to 30% of the total gross floor space but Gary Mitchell, Director of Building and Zoning recommends putting a cap on outdoor
The cap was recommended because building and zoning staff warns that if, in the future a super store moves in, the outdoor display/storage could have a major impact on the appearance of the business and likewise on the town.
Mitchell sited in his report some examples; a large format store with a gross square footage of 15,000 square feet such as a typical drug store could result in 4,500 square foot of outdoor display and storage, a 50,000 square foot store such as a typical grocery store could net 15,000 square foot and a 100,000 square foot such as Big Lots could net 30,000 square feet, over a half and acre.
Mitchell also cautioned that the proposed amendment leaves out the requirement of a site plan in Article 8-2 where conditional use permits are needed.
The staff report explains that not requiring a site plan may pose a problem in regards to certain aspects of administration of the ordinance. In issuing new business zoning permits, the staff is required to determine the number of parking spaces, amount of impermeable surface area and landscaping which can only be accomplished through a site plan.
Mitchell recommended putting in the requirement for site plans on new construction, but altering Article 14 which defines when a site plan is required. The alteration would include an exception to the site plan requirement for businesses that re-use an existing commercial structure provided that the impermeable surface ares is not increased.
The council passed the ordinance amendment but no cap has been set. Article 14 will be subject to advertising, a public hearing and council vote which will take place at the next regular meeting in July.
Budget and School Funding
The council passed a resolution amending the town’s 2011/12 fiscal year budget to provide one-half of the cost of the new middle school mod pod’s installation which will be offset by an amendment to include $97,000 of unexpected revenue from personal property tax.
The next resolution passed authorizes the town to transfer $18,750 from the council contingency fund in order to fully fund the contribution promised to the fire department to replace oxygen air packs and bottles.
The council contingency fund is earmarked for unexpected expenses that may come up throughout the fiscal year.
Virginia Retirement System
Virginia legislation has been passed which requires schools and towns to increase employees’ salaries by five percent over the next five years and to collect an additional five percent for what is considered a contribution.
Ham explained that although they could implement this increase and collection at a rate of one percent a year, Colonial Beach has chosen to pass the full five percent now, to avoid what he calls an accounting nightmare.
Colonial Beach Council, school officials and Montross Council agree that by increasing salaries and enforcing towns to collect the extra “contributions,” it enforces employees to pay tax on the added five percent income.
Consolidating insurance coverage.
To save money Colonial Beach has passed a resolution to terminate its membership with the Virginia Transit Pool effective immediately in order to seek cheaper insurance for town owned vehicles and Bay Transit buses as well.
Council has reappointed members Frank Mansfield, Susan Windland and Frank E. Lincoln to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Vacancies still exist on the board. Appointments are voluntary and unpaid but there is hope that someone will come forward to fill the vacancies.
Colonial Beach Planning Commission has filled one of its vacancies with council appointing Robin Schick to the commission. Planning committee members where impressed by Schick’s qualifications and sent a favorable recommendation to the council.
One vacant seat remains on the planning commission. Anyone interested in applying for either body or learning more about the positions, is urged to contact Town Clerk Kathy Flanagan at (804) 224-7181