Green River's planning commission has been working for three years to clarify the residential zones in the city. Connie Copenhaver of the planning commission said, "The planning commission does not rewrite the ordinances but undertook these zoning changes to clarify the existing ordinances. After we wrote the general plan for the city, we found the existing zoning ordinances were very confusing. We began the process to clarify and update them and make them easier to understand."
Copenhaver explained that in each of the old ordinances, referrals were made to other sections of the city's codes and it was very unorganized. The planning commission has proposed some changes to make each ordinance self contained and a person would not be required to look somewhere else for more explanation.
"Most of the changes we made were wording and verbage. We did create a new zone, R2. This will replace the RM1 zone. We felt this zone was important to allow people to purchase a piece of property to put a mobile home on. A mobile home will be allowed as long as it meets the building requirements," said Copenhaver.
R1 zone characteristics are: single family dwelling; non dwelling accessory buildings such as greenhouses, sheds, arbors, allowed; modular homes; can have a garden; limited animal rights; fences; and other single family specific items will be allowed. This zone is specific that all of the items allowed are not for retailing, but for private family use. Other items allowed in this zone will be parks, schools and churches. Some conditional use permits will be required, and a minimum lot size of 7,500 square feet with a minimum of 70 feet width will be required.
Copenhaver explained the limits for R2 are set by federal and state regulations. Recent changes enacted set requirements for mobile homes which state the home must meet HUD requirements. No home which was constructed before 1976 will be allowed because they do not meet the requirements. If a mobile home is allowed, it must be set on a foundation, must be skirted, and must have a building permit from the city. The lot size requirement is slightly different from R1 and the set backs are just slightly different also. The same accessory buildings will be allowed as R1. Apartment buildings and multiple family dwellings will be allowed in R2 zones.
R3 zones will allow multiple family dwellings such as apartments and condominiums. All developers and builders must have their plans approved by the planning commission. Nothing more than 25 feet, two stories, will be allowed in Green River at the present time due to the limitations of the fire department for combating fires.
Copenhaver fielded several clarification questions and informed the Green River City Council these changes will be fine tuned as far as typing errors and will then be returned to the council for approval.