New Castle News

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August 24, 2013

Council to start over with zoning ordinance

NEW CASTLE — New Castle City Council will start over to make changes to the city’s zoning ordinance.

At its meeting on Thursday, council unanimously defeated proposed amendments to the ordinance.

Those amendments included language changes dealing with the city’s historic district, downtown overlay and the Historical Architectural Review Board. The amendments essentially would have changed certain building improvements in the historic district and downtown from mandatory to voluntary.

At a public hearing last month, residents were unanimous in their opposition to the changes regarding the historic district. Some members of council also expressed opposition to those changes.

Other amendments that council supports include items such as permitted fences in residential districts, sign dimensions and changing home occupations from a conditional use approved by council to a special exception approved by the city zoning hearing board of appeals.

Council voted down all amendments, which were contained in one bill. City solicitor Jason Medure said council could cast only one vote on the measure, either in favor or in opposition to the entire bill. It could not vote on each amendment within the bill separately, he said.

He said council would have to introduce separate ordinances for each section to be amended. Council plans to draft separate ordinances, but only for changes unrelated to the historic district, downtown overlay and the Historical Architectural Review Board.

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