LaGrange considering second round of UDO text amendments

Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2022

When LaGrange approved its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) in June 2021, city staff was well aware that they would likely have to revisit the ordinance with text amendments to address unforeseen issues within the first six months.

The city did so in January of this year. Since that time, city staff has discovered other issues and have proposed a few additional text amendments to the UDO involving cottage houses, community gardens, solar farms, front porch size requirements and garage requirements for townhomes.

City Planner Mark Kostial outlined the proposed amendments during the LaGrange City Council work session on Nov. 22.

The first amendment would allow for cottage houses to be built on individual lots within mixed-use zoning districts.

“Currently, we do not allow individual cottages to be built. They would be required to be built as part of a cottage-court-style development,” Kostial said.

If approved, individual cottages would not have to be built on individual lots, but the city would still require that the dimensions of the lots be delineated so that setback requirements are verified.

A second text amendment would simply allow community gardens within traditional neighborhood residential zoning districts without the need for a special use permit.

Similarly, a third amendment would allow solar farms within the city, but only in general industrial and agribusiness zoning districts with a special use permit.

Next, Kostial presented an amendment that would modify front porch dimensional requirements within four building types.

“Currently, we mandate these porches to be 12-by-8 feet,” Kostial said. “We’re just proposing that they be 96 square feet.

Finally, the council discussed a text amendment to clarify that townhomes with lot frontages of less than 50 feet must have rear-loading garages.

All five text amendments were recommended by the planning commission.

A public hearing was held to hear comments on the proposed text amendments during the subsequent regular council meeting and no one spoke for or against the issue.

The UDO text amendments could be approved as soon as the next regular LaGrange city council meeting on Dec.13 at 5:30 p.m.