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Columbiana council members back time limit on site plans

December 22, 2012
Morning Journal News

COLUMBIANA City Council members weighed in on a planning commission suggestion that site plans have term limits. Mayor David Spatholt, who serves on the commission, brought the matter before council Tuesday night.

He explained the commission was considering term limits because there have been cases where a site plan was approved for a property, but the plan never materialized.

Council members and City Manager Keith Chamberlin recalled instances in which a property was targeted for a specific purpose but never moved forward.

Chamberlin said a term limit would be beneficial because it would allow someone else to use a property if the original plan falls through.

"If a deal falls through with a landlord, you don't want to keep somebody else from stepping up to the plate," he said.

Planning Commission member Ron LaLonde had suggested the term limit be set at six months, but Councilman James King felt that wasn't long enough since some plans can be delayed as a result of weather.

LaLonde made the suggestion because without a term limit, a property can be sitting vacant "forever."

Dick Simpson, who previously served on the commission, told council that in the past the commission would call a property owner after one year if nothing had been done and request an update.

"That worked well. That's a simple way to handle it," he said.

Municipal Attorney Daniel Blasdell, in response to council's request for his suggestion, said that was a "reasonable way to handle it."

Council members were in agreement that one year seemed fair, although no action was taken on the matter.

Council then approved a second reading of the following:

- Making temporary appropriations for the first three months of 2013.

- Establishing dates of regularly scheduled meetings for 2013.

- Establishing the wage scheduled for certain full-time and part-time city employees and rates of pay for part-time Firestone Pool employees.

In new business, council approved appointing King and Councilman Tom Ferguson to the volunteer firefighters' dependents fund board and requests from Crystal Siembida-Boggs for three benefit races next year, which are the Visions for Veterans 5K race on May 17, the Twas the Night Before 5K race on Dec. 14, and the new Halloween half-marathon on Oct. 27. Proceeds from the half-marathon will be donated to the city police department.



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