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Riverlea Land Use Committee: Recommendations to Council 10-15-2007download copy of report [PDF]

Statement of Purpose

The Riverlea Mayor and Village Council asked that we review the current land use policies and regulations of the Village, as they relate to building regulations, zoning, signage, streets and utilities. We have undertaken that task over the past (17) weeks, and can make the following recommendations regarding changes or improvements, which we believe will help maintain the character and quality of the Village.


  1. Minimum lot sizes. We recommend that the previous council ordinance, to make lot width an average of the width of lots within 500 both ways or a 50 minimum width, whichever is greater, be reinstated, with an exception added to exclude existing buildable lots, and to add a maximum of forty percent (40%) lot coverage requirement to the minimum lot size limitation.
  2. Lot splits. We recommend that the process start with the Planning Commission, to review and make recommendations to Council, rather than starting with the Village Council.
  3. Buildable Lots. 50 wide assumed to be the minimum buildable width for the purposes of these recommendations.
  4. Meeting Notices. We recommend that yard "notice" signs should be utilized for Notice to the Public, in addition to the posting in the kiosks, and whether posted on kiosk or by yard sign, shall be no fewer than (21) calendar days in advance of meeting where the matter is to be discussed. .
  5. PODS & Dumpsters. We recommend regulation of time in place (1 week max.) and location on property (driveway or behind building line, as approved by the PC), and that dumpsters used for construction or remodeling be placed behind the building line, or in a location approved by the PC, and for a period of not more than (4) weeks.
  6. Above-ground Pools. We recommend prohibition of above-ground pools, but allow ponds, water features and hot tubs if they meet current area and water depth regulations. Hot tubs shall be visually screened from neighbors and street view, and lighting of pools or hot tubs must be approved and installed in a manner that does not cause spill-over beyond the property line, or infringe upon any neighbors privacy.
  7. Building Inspector & Inspections. We recommend a contract be initiated with the City of Worthington, with the fee structure per their ordinances and fee schedule. Non-compliance with ordinances or approvals would result in fines and property liens filed with the Franklin County Auditor.
  8. Drive Approach Design Standards. We recommend limiting curb-cuts to one (1) curb-cut per house, existing circular drives excluded (considered an existing non-conforming use).
  9. Parking: Parking of any vehicle, including but not limited to automobiles, trailers, boats, or campers on grass is prohibited. Parking of trailers, boats or camping vehicles in driveways permissible for (1) day only.
  10. PC Recommendations:

    1. There needs to be separation between the Planning Commission, Village Council, and the Mayor. In the event of an appeal of a PC decision to Council, there might be a conflict of interest. The PC should continue to have (5) members.
    2. The quality of the submittals needs to be improved, with rejections if not complete.
    3. Re-filing of a disapproved application can not be made without substantial revisions; simply re-filing the same application should not be permitted.
    4. A time limitation to the validity of an approval needs to be defined and enforced.
    5. A final inspection for conformance to the approved ARB plans and conditions need to be enacted, with an appropriate associated fee.
  11. Bonds and Fees: We recommend a raise in all bond amounts (curbs, street cutting, utilities, etc, amounts to be determined) and utilize City of Worthington building permit fee schedule.
  12. Lighting Standards: We recommend that the replacement, addition or installation of any light fixture be of the type which will not cause spill-over beyond the property line.
  13. Additional Recommendations:

    1. Find a location that can be used as a meeting hall, such as the meeting rooms available in the Griswold Center, Worthington Public Library, or Worthington City Building.
    2. Require street tree replacement at a ratio of 2:1, and any other trees of 3 caliper or larger that are removed in the construction or remodeling of homes require a 2:1 replacement with new trees of 3 caliper minimum.
    3. Require PC review and approval of exterior color changes, and develop a palate of acceptable colors. Repainting the exterior in the same color would not require PC review.
    4. Require PC review and approval of all landscaping, both plantings and hardscape. Replacing dead plant materials with the same species would not require PC review.
    5. Have a person knowledgeable in landscape design on the committee, or available on an as needed basis.
    6. Require enforcement of minimum property maintenance standards for buildings and yards, through the Title IX, Section 93 Nuisances section of the Riverlea Code of Ordinances.
    7. Require that the submission date for any review be made (24) hours prior to the deadline, on a business day only. (therefore, no Sat., Sun. or Holiday submittals allowed)
    8. Any request to add any business item to the Village Council or PC agenda shall be submitted no fewer than (30) days in advance of the meeting. Any matter submitted fewer than (30) days in advance of any meeting will be held until the subsequent meeting. All notice requirements for any meeting shall be no fewer than (21) calendar days, whether notice is by kiosk posting, yard sign, or mail.
    9. Modify the Riverlea Code of Ordinances to state that emergencies are defined as issues that affect the conduct of the business of the Village, i.e. contracts, repairs, or legal matters which affect the entire Village.
    10. Modify the Riverlea Code of Ordinances to define Home Occupation and the associated limitations of what is permitted.
    11. Engage an Annexation Consulting firm to weigh the pros and cons of annexing the Village to the City of Worthington, and to analyze all associated benefits vs. costs of same. (i.e. street repairs, sewer upgrades, police & fire protection, trash removal, staff availability for services and expertise, etc)
Respectively Submitted,
Riverlea Land Use Committee
Jo Ann Bierman
Kerry Bierman
Gary Bruck
Eric Eckert
Fran Feldmiller
Tom Fitzpatrick
Lisa Morris
Lori Pisching
Mike Toman
Mike Jones, Chairman
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