In a unanimous decision, the Ferris City Council members approved a zoning change Monday night unanimously opposed by the Planning and Zoning Commission members.
Trinity Materials requested a zoning change to use a vacant warehouse at 113 N. Main street as a distribution warehouse. The request was originally introduced by Chief Building Official Bill Jordan describing the use of the property as a distribution warehouse for gravel products.
The P&Z Commission voted against the request because it lacked a plat plan.
“According the rules for a zoning change, a plat plan must accompany the request,” said P&Z chairman Jim Kay.
Both Jordan and Ferris City Manager Dennis Burn said they felt that a plat plan was not needed as there was an existing building at the location and no changes to the building or lot were planned.
“This will be a warehouse operation for a lightweight, gravel-type product that is used on athletic fields. This will be a temporary storage of products that are in bags and on pallets,” said Trinity Materials representative Matthew Hallmark, describing the traffic flow as five to eight trucks a day.
The council's approval came with several restrictions including no overnight truck parking, a time limit for trucks blocking the street, and a truck idling prohibition while trucks are in the dock area.
Mayor Michael Driggars asked Hallmark, if the council delayed action, how would it affect their operation.
“Yes this will affect us. We are ready to start loading production there tomorrow,” Hallmark said.
Kay told the the council that he needed a legal opinion to be able to skip a requirement in the P&Z instructions. He then called for a vote from the commission members, which unanimously opposed the request and chose to table it for further investigation.
“I’m not against the request, I feel that all the requirements should be met,” Kay said.
Driggars then called for a council decision. The motion to approve the change was made with a second. Hallmark's request was approved by a unanimous decision.
The council also unanimously approved an ordinance to establish a code of conduct for public officials and city employees.
“At the Jan. 20 city council meeting, the city manager was directed to prepare a code of conduct that would apply to the city council, all boards and commissions and to all city staff. The attached ordinance declares that all public officials and city employees be independent, impartial and responsible only to the citizens of the city,” Burn said.
The council passed the ordinance without discussion.
After reconvening from discussing the review of the city manager and city secretary in executive session, the council approved pay raises for the city manager and city secretary.