Leetonia Zoning Committee recommends eliminating little-used inspection fees

LEETONIA- The Zoning Committee is suggesting the removal of inspection fees from the zoning ordinance.

The committee Wednesday night agreed to present to council the option of eliminating the fees after council member Sue Buchanan discovered an apparent typographical error the most recent update that stipulated an inspection fee of $4 per square foot, a change from $4 per 1,000 square foot. Also the ordinance calls for the zoning inspector to receive 30 percent of inspection fees each month.

The zoning ordinance already includes a construction permit fee at the beginning of projects and a certificate of occupancy fee at completion, so the committee said the inspection fees are not needed.

“We want businesses to come to our community,” Buchanan said, citing the excessive fees.

Also at the meeting the committee discussed setback distances for the business, industrial and manufacturing districts, which the ordinance currently leaves to the discretion of council.

Village Solicitor Walter Newton suggested a clarification of the setback distances so that incoming businesses will know exactly what is expected and can appeal to the zoning board if more is needed. Newton also suggested that the zoning committee seek input from other departments such as zoning, fire and police to determine the ideal distance.

Newton added that the issue will likely require public hearing since it will affect people’s use of their property.

Zoning Inspector John Rydarowicz said that he has never used the inspection fees nor the setback requirement during his tenure.