The Beatrice City Council passed a series of ordinances Monday night related to zoning issues south of downtown.
Under the approved ordinances, some central business district areas will be re-designated as general commercial. City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer said the changes were the result of previous discussions related to large storage containers in Beatrice.
During that discussion, administration became aware that some areas in the central business district would better fit under the general commercial guidelines.
“If you ask what’s the biggest difference between central business district and general commercial, it has to do with how much of a lot you can cover with a building or concrete,” Tempelmeyer said. “Under central business district, you can make the entire lot impervious. That’s why you in the downtown area buildings that are butted up against one another, common walls and that kind of stuff. General commercial there are other certain setbacks you have to meet and you’re not allowed to make the entire lot impervious.”
Tempelmeyer previously dispelled rumors that the rezoning issues were related to plans to build a new fire station, saying the two projects are unrelated.
Regarding the ordinance where general commercial was rezoned as residential, Tempelmeyer said there were areas that have had homes for several years in an area that met the qualifications for residential.
A third ordinance changed the city’s regulations related to fences, saying the finished side of new fences must face the exterior of the perimeter.
“This is something we talked about before when we brought up the fencing regulations,” Tempelmeyer said. “You talked about before that the good side of the fence be required to outward facing so it had to be put together some language to amend the zoning ordinance to require just that. It would also eliminate some items you can make a fence out of.”
The ordinance also stipulates that fences can’t be made out of certain items, like scrap wood and pallets.