Only three commission members were present, so, instead, the commission discussed the proposed ordinances and possible changes to them, said Frank Judycki, planning commission chairman.
“There’s been a few changes proposed to some of the ordinances that we have. The changes are reflected in the land development code that was posted on the city website,” Morgan City Tim Matte said, who presented the proposed ordinances and changes the city made to them due to public input.
A slight alteration was made to the proposed change to the land development code regarding the appearance of accessory buildings greater than 120 square feet to be “compatible in terms of color, materials and roof pitch using materials normally associated with traditional building construction,” Matte said, making the ordinance slightly less restrictive.
Another change to an ordinance was to further define three-sided architecture for non-residential buildings, Matte said. “No particular architectural style is mandated. However, the architectural style of the front side shall also be expressed for the first 30 feet or 30 percent, whichever is greater, on both sides of the building,” he said. A metal building would be allowed as long as certain architectural features existed on the front of the building and on the first 30 feet of the other side, Matte said. After that, the ordinance would allow for metal construction on the rest of the building, he said.
The question of whether existing buildings would be “grandfathered” in concerning the proposed building design ordinance was also brought up. The way the ordinance is currently worded, there is no language about the ordinance applying to existing buildings, so existing buildings would be grandfathered in under the current wording, Matte said.
“If we’re going to do this and try to clean up the city, if we’re just going to say everybody’s grandfathered in … I think we’ve done nothing,” said city councilman Luke Manfre. He added that if the city wants to improve the physical appearance of the city, it should go ahead and let property owners know the time frame and give them time to get their property in compliance with the proposed building design addition, he said.
“In the case of the RV parking, the changes that we proposed was this … I had asked that we take that out of this discussion and we discuss it separately. But ultimately if it is adopted, it can go into this zoning code,” Matte said.
Matte said the city took out the section on RV parking for non-residential areas.
“There are no regulations concerning the parking of RVs in non-residential areas. It was strictly, our real intention in that was to address the parking of RVs in residential areas,” Matte said.
Residents expressed their feelings and concerns about the proposed parking ordinances.
“I could be in favor of this (recreational vehicle parking ordinance), if you would go citywide,” said resident Harvey Hammonds. “What’s good for one (area) is good for the other.”
Lucien Cutrera, an urban planner who was part of the consulting team the city brought in for advice, said the team heard concerns from residents about not making the recreational parking ordinance citywide.
“Personally, this is not the consultant talking. This is Morgan City born and bred (talking) … I cannot see enforcing that ordinance to these people who live in the Klingsville area and Levee Road who make a living with those boats,” Cutrera said.
For the proposed ordinance dealing with repairing windows fully or replacing the window with material that matches the building within 30 days, the city did add a provision for a state of emergency where the city council would determine the appropriate time frame for complying with the ordinance, Matte said.
The proposed planning and zoning changes will come before the City Council at its meeting on Dec. 18.