The public will have the opportunity to provide comments to St. Clair’s Planning and Zoning Commission on two separate issues on Monday before the board may make its recommendations to the city’s aldermen later that night.
The public hearings begin at 6:30 p.m. on June 11 in city hall. The regular meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
The first public hearing concerns owners of rental properties within the city limits being required to register their properties and have mandatory occupancy inspections completed prior to tenants occupying those residences.
The second hearing, set for 6:45 p.m., deals with amending certain provisions of the city’s zoning code to allow home occupations to operate within mobile home districts as a conditional use.
The city planners have been discussing the local occupancy permit program since late last year. Board members have gone through the proposed changes and updates to the program and came up with a document in May they felt comfortable to approve and potentially recommend to the aldermen.
Current minimum housing standards for St. Clair residents are included in Chapter 12-1/2, Article II of the city’s code or ordinances. Any changes in those standards in updating the occupancy permit program would have to come through amending the ordinance. The program also will include a listing of minimum housing and life safety standards that landlords and tenants would be required to follow.
The main idea behind revising the program is making sure residences are safe for each occupant who lives in them and providing a way for the city to enforce that safety. The changes mainly target rental properties.
The planners also have looked at Section 6-61 of the city’s code of ordinances which concerns the definition of a dangerous building.
Mobile Home Districts
In May, the board approved allowing home occupations within mobile home districts as a conditional use, but a public hearing is needed before the recommendation officially can be made to the board of aldermen.
City Inspector Jeremy Crowe said that after Monday’s public hearing, the planners can decide to forward their recommendation to the city council.
Currently, home occupations in mobile homes are not allowed under city zoning laws.
Last month, much of the discussion centered on Charles Wilson’s request to operate a home-based Internet weapons business from his home in the Crescent Village Mobile Home Park off of Highway PP on the city’s south side. Wilson, whose business would be called C.W. Guns, attended the planning and zoning meeting for the second straight month in May and answered questions about his intent.
In the end, the planning board decided the conditional use permit is the way to go instead of a permitted use so any and all conditions could be covered. With a CUP, each request to the board would be handled separately.
During the regular planning and zoning meeting on Monday, Wilson’s request again will be discussed after board members tabled making a decision in May so additional information could be gathered.
Concerns centered on Wilson storing the guns and ammunition in his home over any length of time and the repercussions of that if there were a burglary or fire.
Planners then said they would like to gather more information and have discussions with police and fire personnel about any concerns they may have. The landlord’s opinion also will be sought.