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Posted: February 26, 2010 12:01 a.m.

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Commission approves zoning ordinance changes

The Social Circle planning and zoning commission made a recommendation Monday night to approve the proposed changes to the city’s existing ordinances.

The changes will include notification by mail to all neighboring properties of any land that petitions to be rezoned, as well as placing larger signage by the road that is perpendicular, and easier for passersby to read.

"We want to make sure property owners are notified," planning and zoning commission Chairman Kent Adams said. "The only way to do that would be certified mail. We asked for that to be put into the proposal."

The city council will vote on the commission’s recommendation at their 7:30 p.m. meeting on March 16.

Current zoning ordinance does not require notification to be mailed. Current signage is also placed parallel to the road, which many residents have complained is difficult to read without stopping their vehicles and snarling traffic.

All signage would have its general area increased by 33 percent, and must be two-sided to allow drivers from both directions to read.

The changes have been in the works since members of the community complained about poor notification regarding the piece of land that would be rezoned to commercial to make room for the controversial proposed motorsports complex.

The commission did not send the changes through without a handful of changes. The proposed changes placed the burden of notification on the petitioner, but Adams and the other commission members believed that the burden should rest on the city. The city would have seven days in good faith to try to notify all the residents.

"The applicant should not have to do that," Adams said. "The city has a responsibility to the citizens to provide notification."

The planning and zoning commission will hold their next meeting on March 21 at 6 p.m. in the old City Hall.

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