Ordinances, who sets the standards we live by?

Bloggers Note:  The below post, is the view & opinion of the author, and in no way is the opinion or view of the City of Xenia, or any of its Council or commissions.

Over time we have all seen the cartoon of “A bill”, dancing and singing about how a bill becomes a law. We of course know this is not the only way something becomes "a law". Closer to home we are governed and regulated everyday by local zoning or building ordinances. This process does not have a cartoon or song about it. Normally the process is quiet and only mentioned in public notices, in the back of local papers or government websites blurbs; unless you are "in the know".  By the time most of you see those notices, months, if not years of work and input have been put into drafting the ordinance. Emotional roller coasters have taken place, personal attachments have been made, and countless revisions have passed thru the finger tips of your elected and their appointed officials. When do you get asked for your opinion? Public Hearings is the the current method and you are allowed 3 minutes! Yes,  3 minutes!

The City Planning & Zonning Commision is charted to review proposed new or modifications to existing zoning, ordinances & land use plans and make recommendations to City Council.  I have learned that it is EXTREMELY important for the citizens of Xenia to get informed early. Ordinances are very controversial topics, and every effort needs made to make them very public from day one of drafting .

I'm starting a series of blogs on such topics, with the hope you follow along here at the Greene County Herald. We will start with a very real and current issue facing the City of Xenia. The current work in process before the Xenia Planning & Zoning Commission is a proposed “Community Design Guidelines”. What is that you ask? In my opinion, it is the largest piece of zoning regulations to be written by our city in years. I offer a challenge to you, read it! You can find the current draft proposal attached to this blog

Be sure to check back often, our next posting will be the history behind the guidelines, "How did we get here?"  The public is also always welcomed at the next Planning & Zoning meeting on the subject which is Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 7:00pm at Xenia City Hall.

Community Design Guidelines Draft 040110.pdf883.81 KB


I understand time is limited, but 3 minutes? And have they done any economic impact analysis on this to see what the impact would be on the city and the economic activity within city limits?

If the city council is truly interested in truthful considerations, they should mail a copy of this proposal to every resident and start a year long hearing process to get as many people involved as possible.

Just my suggestion.

Once or if it gets to City Council, who knows what they will do with it. The choice is theirs!

One thing is for sure, the more people who take an interest in it and speak-up the clearer the majority will be heard. For now I will keep people updated on the progress of it and any new topics before the commission or council. In a day or two I will post some history, just checking facts right now, then it will be ready.

Some interesting progress on a restrictive Amateur Radio Ordinance too, it may or may not be meeting current Federal Regulations? More later on that too!

Wow...thank for all your work on this. It's fascinating to get deep into the chambers of local governments and see what is going on behind some of the doors. I am especially interested in the AR ordinance as I am working on getting my own license.