Fulton updates zone code

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Fulton officials received the first rough draft of an updated zone code intended to be more convenient for residents.

One of the key areas of focus for the overhaul is to make the Code Handbook easier to navigate for residents or prospective business owners.

For example, the definitions are at the back and are organized by topic.

Dennis Houchains, Fulton’s director of planning and protection services, said the updated code will also include flow charts to guide people through the various aspects of the code.

Not all changes will be cosmetic. Houchains said this is also an opportunity to clean up the city’s zoning code.

“We’re not making big changes,” he said. “We’re just updating the language to get where it should be. It hasn’t been updated in years.”

For example, Houchains said, staff look at rules for outbuilding sizing. There have been some questions, he said, about what the current zoning rule allows for parcels larger than one acre.

The city is also considering eliminating Commercial Neighborhood Business District (C-NB) zoning.

At the moment there is only one property with this distinction that is not being used, he said.

It’s about how existing structures can be changed or transformed into a company. The zone classification is only permitted along Business 54, Houchains said.

Essentially, he said, the category is redundant since home businesses already have a zone category within the code.

Staffers are also reviewing food truck regulations and requirements for landscaping and buffering, which Houchains said is one tree for every 10 parking spaces on a commercial lot.

The firm the city has hired to help update the code will provide the city with guidance from others on the issues so officials can consider whether changes are needed.

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