Red Bank Struggles With Complex Zoning Decision

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Mayor John Roberts and Commissioner Eddie Pierce won the Moon Pie eating contest at the Red Bank Jubilee
Mayor John Roberts and Commissioner Eddie Pierce won the Moon Pie eating contest at the Red Bank Jubilee
- photo by Gail Perry

The Red Bank commissioners Tuesday night struggled with a zoning decision that was tabled from a meeting on Feb. 4. Before the vote, Mayor John Roberts said there is no good solution to the problem.


In 1953 before Red Bank was incorporated, William L. Reeve built a duplex at 238 Peace St. The house has retained the R-2 status for its 61 years despite now being in an R-1 district. In 1986 a city ordinance was adopted that specifies if non-conforming use is discontinued for 100 days, the grandfather status is lost and zoning would revert to the dominant zoning in the neighborhood.


The top floor of the house in question has continually been occupied by the owner’s daughter. Because of renovations to the bottom floor combined with family matters, the lower level has been vacant for two years which caused the building to lose its grandfathered status of R-2. Because it is now illegal to rent that apartment, it eliminates supplemental income for Mr. Reeve.


After a 90-day delay to give the commissioners and city attorney more time to consider the matter, a motion to deny rezoning the property to R-2 failed to get a majority and died. A second motion to postpone the vote for two months also failed to pass. A vote on passing the ordinance that would rezone the property to R-2 was also split in a two way tie.


City Attorney Arnold Stulce said that the Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency as well as Red Bank’s own planning commission recommended against rezoning the property.  Mr. Stulce’s recommendation was for the city wait to make the determination after the new comprehensive land use plan is finished which will look at all zoning with an all-over strategy. He added that this would not happen overnight. He told the commissioners that a failed ordinance cannot be resurrected for a period of one year.


On second and final reading, the commission approved amending a city code to allow micro and craft breweries in Red Bank to offer tasting rooms. Samplings will be limited to a maximum of 10 ounces per person per day. This amendment is aimed at increasing the potential for commercial and wholesale business for a brewery. Big Frog Brewing, a craft beer brewery is in the process of locating on Dayton Boulevard.


City Manager Randall Smith announced the budget for 2015 that he will propose has no tax increase. The original draft of the budget will be presented to the commissioners at budget meetings scheduled for May 13 and 15 at 5 p.m. The public can come but not speak at these meetings. Citizens of Red Bank are invited to participate in the discussions at a public meeting that will take place at the regularly scheduled commission meeting on June 3 at 7 p.m.


An agreement with Tara Phillips for Yoga in the Park on Saturday mornings was approved by the commissioners for a second year.


The city manager, mayor and commissioners all commented about the success of the Red Bank Jubilee, saying it was well attended. Congratulations were extended to Mayor Roberts and Commissioner Eddie Pierce by commissioner Floy Pierce on winning such an “interesting and honorable award.” The two participated in and won the Moon Pie eating contest, by consuming a combined total of 14 Moon Pies in three minutes. The mayor set the record by eating nine in that amount of time. 

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