Revisions proposed for county UDO

CONYERS - The Conyers Rockdale Planning Commission will hear proposed changes this week to clean up the county's Unified Development Ordinance that will cover issues such as the number of cars allowed to be parked in front of a business and what defines a personal day care home.

The changes are housekeeping measures to clear up typos, redundancies and portions that are considered confusing, said Marshall Walker, assistant director for the Planning and Zoning division of the Rockdale County Department of Public Services and Engineering.

The UDO was approved in 2006 to tie all of the county's planning and zoning ordinances together in one document.

The planning commission will hear the proposed changes at its next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the county's public conference room at 901 Main St. The measures then will go to the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners for action.

Among the changes is a recommendation to remove a provision to allow outside storage with a conditional-use permit. Walker said the county does not have a conditional-use permit, and the proposal is being done to limit outside storage in the county to commercially zoned areas only.

Other changes being proposed include:

· A change to allow federally approved manufactured homes inside the county's watershed protection district's non-reservoir sub zone. The UDO restricts manufactured homes. Walker said the original ordinance allowed them in the watershed protection district.

· A change for parking in commercial districts stating that no more than 25 percent of required parking can be allowed between the street right of way and front of a building's set back line. This change is being requested to reduce the presence of large parking lots and encourage side and rear parking. Another change would remove a blanket restriction of parking "within the front yard" in a local commercial district.

· Definition of "personal care homes" would be revised under another request from offering care "to four but not more than six persons" to "care to not more than six persons." Walker said the only reason for this change is for clarification.

The city of Conyers will present a partial update of its comprehensive land use plan for a first public hearing at Thursday's meeting. The second public hearing for city planning and zoning matters typically are scheduled at the Conyers City Council meeting following the planning commission meeting.

The planning commission will also elect a chairman and vice chairman at Thursday's meeting. Tom Harrison and Chuck Russell will begin new terms on the planning commission, a citizens' advisory board to the county and city governments.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.