LaGrange considering several UDO amendments

Published 7:02 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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During the LaGrange City Council work session on Tuesday morning, the council discussed four potential text amendments to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance.

The first potential change would modify the UDO’s table of permitted and prohibited uses to allow data processing hosting and related services within general industrial and agribusiness zoning.

Currently, the ordinance only allows data processing hosting in corridor mixed-use, activity center mixed-use and campus general business.

City Planner Mark Kostial said data processing centers are an ideal fit for campus general industrial and agribusiness zoning designation, which was recommended by the planning commission.

The second change would modify how the city defines extended-stay hotels and motels.

Kostial explained that the city currently defines them as hotels and motels that have 10 or more sleeping rooms used for temporary occupancy of transients and contain cooking facilities in more than 50% of the individual rooms.

For example, a developer group out of Atlanta wants to build a hotel that would otherwise be an extended-stay hotel if not for them putting in one less than half the number of rooms with kitchenettes in the rooms; i.e. 49 out of 100.

The new definition proposed by the planning commission would define extended-stay hotels/motels as:

“A hotel or motel containing 10 or more guest rooms intended or designed to be used, or which are used, rented, or hired out to be occupied, or which are occupied for sleeping purposes for guests and contain kitchen facilities for food preparation including but not limited to such facilities as refrigerators, stoves, and ovens.”

The third and fourth proposed amendments would modify distance requirements for daycares and warehouses.

Currently, the UDO requires that child daycare facilities be at least 1,000 feet away from any other daycare facility.

“Quite frankly, I can’t rationalize in my mind why we require daycare to be located 1,000 feet away from one another,” Kostial said.

Kostial said that currently a proposed daycare is being held up in the 300 block of Whitesville Road because it’s too close to an existing daycare on Fannin Street.

“Staff is recommending and the planning commission unanimously recommended that this language be stricken from our code,” Kostial said. “It just doesn’t seem as though it’s necessary.”

Another issue staff discovered is that warehouses are required to be 1,500 feet from one another as measured from property line to property line.

“That would be impossible within our industrial parks. I think the purpose and intent behind that language was specifically associated with warehousing that is permitted within our corridor mixed-use and our activity mixed-use zoning districts that are only permissible via a special use permit,” Kostial said.

The proposed new language in the code would only apply the distance requirement when a special-use permit is required.

All four text amendments were unanimously recommended by the planning commission.