On February 6, 2018 the City Council had a public hearing and a first reading on the newly drafted Middletown Development Code (formerly known as the Planning and Zoning Ordinance). City Council passed the new code at the February 20th City Council meeting, and the new code will take effect March 1, 2018.
Why are we adopting a new development code?
The City initiated the Planning and Zoning ordinance update in 2015 because our current zoning code is outdated to current practices and many provisions are almost unenforceable under Ohio law as it stands today.
Most of the City’s current zoning code was adopted in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The nature of zoning law and property rights under Ohio law has changed a lot over the past 50 years, and many of our old code sections simply were too vague or inconsistent with current Ohio law to be enforceable.
What process was used to develop the new Middletown Development Code?
For the past three years the Planning and Zoning Department worked closely with our zoning code consultant, Compass Pointe Planning, on the update of the Planning and Zoning Ordinance. Planning staff also worked with Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, outside legal counsel and other city departments, and sought feedback from community groups such as Downtown Middletown Inc. and Middletown Moving Forward. Staff encouraged citizen input through the development code update website and hosted a public open house that showcased the new ordinance compared to the current ordinance and answered questions.
What can be expected with the new Middletown Development Code?
A fully modern development code, consistent with current Ohio law and best practices throughout the State of Ohio. Those who rely on the code for making business decisions should notice:
- Streamlined regulations to make it easier to invest and to do business in Middletown.
- That the Code addresses modern uses and zoning issues.
- That the new Code makes it easier to understand and use the zoning regulations and processes, with clear descriptions of what is and is not permitted.
- That the new Code eliminates inconsistencies and provide for clearer definitions.
- That the new Code allows for strict enforcement of the Development Code .
The Middletown Development Code will become effective and enforced starting March 1, 2018. One more piece of the new City Master Plan is now complete and ready for action.
If you have any questions regarding the Middletown Development Code, please contact Ashley Combs, City Planner, at 513-425-7922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.