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ETZ Authority approves more zoning changes

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Chaves County Planning and Zoning Director Louis Jaramillo (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Several more zoning changes for properties in the extraterritorial zoning region of the county were passed Thursday night, including one that now will require annual reviews of special use permits for second residences on residential properties.

The Roswell-Chaves County Extraterritorial Zoning Authority voted unanimously, 5-0, to approve changes to 11 different articles of the Extraterritorial Zoning Ordinance, which pertains to county properties within 2 miles of the Roswell city limits.

The Chaves County Planning and Zoning Department staff, which oversees most of the administrative work involved in the ETZ in consultation with Roswell city planning employees, decided prior to the meeting to omit any requirements for city water and sewer connections for parcels less than 5 acres in size. Authority members — County Commissioners Robert Corn, Dara Dana and Will Cavin and City Councilors Jeanine Best and Margaret Kennard — agreed.

City and county staff have decided to make the changes primarily to update the ordinance to reflect current needs, as well as state laws and regulations.

During an August meeting where no public comments were made, the authority approved changes to four articles having to do with the flight zone district (Article 17), the outdoor advertising overlay district (Article 19), area and setback requirements (Article 20) and additional height, area and use requirements not covered in other sections (Article 21).

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On Thursday, only one person asked questions but did not object to proposed changes.

The changes were to Articles 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, which pertain to various types of residential zoning districts; Article 12 covering the Office Professional District; Article 13, Commercial District; Article 14, Industrial District; Article 16, the Floodplain Overlay District; and Article 25, Special Use Permits.

The section about special permits prompted the most discussions among authority members.

After the authority’s approval, the section now clearly indicates that any type of changes in ownership of the property, including a change in the name of the entity owning the property, will require a new application.

One possible need for a special use permit is to allow for a second home on a residential parcel. Often a mobile or modular home, the second unit is allowed for “multigenerational” housing for a relative who needs assistance.

Some authority members said that people are not supposed to keep the second unit if the need for that unit no longer exists, yet some property owners keep the second houses indefinitely, including after selling or transferring the property to new owners. Planning and Zoning Director Louis Jaramillo said enforcement can be difficult.

The agreement was to make “multigenerational” residences subject to annual reviews.

“If we find that there is a change, then we will bring them back” for a new application, Jaramillo said.

More changes to the zoning ordinance are expected to be considered at an Oct. 15 meeting, now scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Chaves County Administrative Center, 1 St. Mary’s Place.