Troy Planning Commission recommends zoning amendment to council


TROY — The Troy Planning Commission made a positive recommendation to the Troy City Council on a proposed amendment to the zoning code of the Troy Historic Preservation Overlay District on Wednesday, July 13.

The proposed amendment comes as a moratorium on the issuance of COAs (certificate of appropriateness), which allow demolitions in the historic district, was extended by the Council on July 5.

The amendment would:

• Update the procedure for appeals to provide clarity on applicability and review

• Remove COA requirements for and define minor alterations

• Explain when a COA is required and define the criteria for an application

• Describe the COA review and define the Zoning Administrator and Planning Commission’s responsibilities

• Introduce a process for demolition that must meet strict standards

• Propose a Historic Preservation – Overlay District (HP-O) design manual which would provide guidelines to review COA applications

• Provide criteria for demolition by neglect and follow the penalty section of the zoning code

The amendment was commended for its’ objective demolition standards by Ben Sutherly, president of the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance, at a June 22 public hearing.

The Troy Historic Preservation Alliance has been fighting the demolition of 112 to 118 W. Main St., also known as the IOOF (Independent Order of Odd Fellow) building. The planning commission approved the demolition of the building following damage done by a 2020 tornado. However, a stay was issued by the Miami County Court of Common Pleas and the case is still ongoing. Plaintiffs in the civil suit argue that attempts to repair or prevent the damages were not made and seek to have the site added to the Troy Historic District.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Troy Mayor Robin Oda commented on the circumstances surrounding the amendment.

“This recent discord seems to be related entirely to the situation with the old IOOF building,” said Oda, “and while some people are not happy with the decision made to issue a demo permit, there are other that applauded it. This decision followed the zoning code guidelines that came after a prolonged effort by the property owner… to find an alternate solution.”

Oda went on to make a motion for a positive recommendation to the Troy City Council. The motion was approved by a vote of 7-0 and the amendment will go before the city council on Monday, July 18.

Also during the meetign, the commission reviewed an application for the installation of a six-foot-tall chain link fence at 210 E. Water St., although the fence had already been installed.

A staff report indicated that, “under city code section 1143.229, standards for site improvements, installation of chain link fence is prohibited in the historic district.”

The property is zoned M-2, light industrial, however it exists within the HP-O district. While a chain link fence would be permitted in an industrial zone, historic overlay guidelines are imposed on top of and supersede industrial zoning code.

“At the time of purchase, there was an existing dilapidated and dangerous chain link fence,” said Joe Faulker who was speaking on behalf of property owner, Mark White.

“Mark’s property has been used as a thoroughfare by vehicles… Mark has had unknown vehicles parked in on his property for weeks at a time… and there was even an incident during the Strawberry Festival where another individual was selling parking spaces,” Faulker said in defense of the fence.

It was also argued that the chain link fence was in line with the building’s historic usage as an industrial building.

However, the fence was still installed prior to requesting approval and a permit would have been denied on the basis of HP-O zoning code. In addition, the proposed amendment to the HP-O zoning code would continue the ban on the use of chain link fence. The Commission, by a vote of 7-0, denied the application.

The installation of 24 double hung windows, replacement of four doors, and exterior lighting for 120 to 124 W. Canal St. was approved by a vote of 7-0.

A staff report indicated, “the proposed replacements to do not detract from the historic integrity of the district.”

The final action taken by the Commission was a positive recommendation to the City Council for the rezoning of 7 acres of land at 2601 W. Main St. from M-2, light industrial district, to a planned development – commercial.

The land will be used to build a storage facility comprised of 6 buildings and approximately 75,000 square feet.

The Commission voted to not hold a public hearing on the matter and approved a positive recommendation to City Council by a vote of 7-0.

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