10/21/2021 | Fenwick Committee Forwards Height Change To Hearing

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FENWICK ISLAND – An amendment to the ordinance to include mechanical equipment in the city’s commercial height regulations will go to a public hearing.

On Wednesday, the Fenwick Island Charter and Ordinance Committee met to discuss a proposed amendment to the ordinance to include mechanical equipment in the calculation of the height of a commercial building.

“Essentially, it’s about marrying what is already written in the residential side of the height ordinance with the commercial side,” said councilor Natalie Magdeburger, chair of the committee.

According to the city’s zoning code, the total height of the building in the commercial district cannot exceed 30 feet – or 32 feet if the building has a freeboard that elevates the structure. But there are exceptions for rooftop-mounted solar panels, chimneys, and elevator shafts, which can extend 4.5 feet above the maximum height to accommodate the utility’s service equipment. elevator.

Magdeburger said the ordinance would be amended to add that “mechanical equipment and any other item attached to or mounted on a building must be included in the calculation of the height of a building.”

A first reading of the proposed amendment passed on first reading at the August city council meeting and was then referred to the Charter and Ordinances Committee for further discussion. During this week’s meeting, committee member Mike Quinn questioned the purpose of changing the ordinance.

“What result are we looking for? ” He asked.

Magdeburger noted that the amendment would not only match what was written in the residential zoning code, but also allow more consistent building heights across the city.

“What I’m trying to do is match it up, so that we have consistency in our code and our roofline doesn’t get higher than it is today,” said she declared.

Although the amendment would not prohibit mechanical equipment on the roofs of buildings, it would integrate it into the height of the building.

A committee member wondered, however, whether this would encourage owners to place their machines at ground level, within setbacks.

“Are we going to create another nuisance?” ” He asked.

Building manager Pat Schuchman noted this was a concern of former committee members.

“At ground level, it would create more noise problems than on the roof,” she explained. “This has been discussed at previous C&O meetings. “

After further discussion of the proposed amendment to the ordinance and its impact on the location of mechanical equipment, the committee agreed to schedule a public hearing before proposing the amendment to city council for a second reading.

“We will revisit these concerns after the hearing,” said Magdeburger.

On Wednesday, committee members also agreed to review the status of a code rewrite project.

Over the course of a year, the city paid KCI Technologies $ 20,000 to complete a rewrite of sections of the Fenwick Island code. Magdeburger, however, noted that the city has yet to receive a finished product.

“It’s not hard work,” replied John Nason, a committee member. “Why it took $ 20,000 and 13 months, I don’t understand.”

Committee members agreed this week to explore other ventures to complete the code rewrite. Magdeburger responded that she wanted to receive updates or documentation from KCI first.

“Before I go ahead, I really want to get what we paid for and see what this product is and how usable it is,” she said.


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