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Sat, Dec. 07

Wind power on agenda

KINGMAN - Zoning ordinance text amendments once again will dominate the Planning and Zoning Commission's agenda at its meeting Tuesday evening.

Commissioners will consider three separate text amendments. The first is a city-initiated request to add development standards for wind turbines to the ordinance.

The amendment allows for a single wind turbine on any size parcel, or up to two turbines on parcels larger than one acre. It would require turbines to stand no higher than the maximum building height allowed in the zone in which they were built, or up to 60 feet with a conditional use permit. It also would require turbines be rated at no more than 10 kilowatts capacity, and colored a non-reflective, neutral desert color.

This is not the first time the wind turbine amendment has come before the commission - commissioners recommended approval for a similar amendment in August, however the amendment was kicked back to P&Z by the City Council for further fine tuning regarding the area of setbacks.

The initial amendment would have required to have setbacks equal to the reclining length of the turbine, including the blade - generally 30 feet or more. Proponents of turbines argued that this amounted to a de facto minimum lot size, as it would have excluded many smaller residential properties from installing them.

The new amendment includes three suggested alternative setback regulations. The first would require turbines be set back at least 15 feet from rear and side property lines, while the second would require they only be set back by the minimum requirements of the zoning district in which they were built.

The third, most lenient alternative would merely require turbines to be entirely confined to the owner's property. All three alternatives also require turbines to be placed behind the front wall plane of the property's principal building.

The second text amendment to be considered Tuesday would create regulations for sign walkers and alter the city's current regulations regarding special event and grand opening signs.

The amendment would create a set of 13 regulations for sign walkers, whom it defines as "a person who wears, holds or balances a sign for commercial purposes." The regulations would confine sign walkers to non-residential zoning districts only and would require them to remain on sidewalks, barring them from street medians, travel lanes, or unimproved rights-of-way.

The new regulations would also prevent sign walkers from using chairs or shade structures, or from spinning, waving, bouncing, tossing, or juggling their signs. Businesses would be restricted to using sign walkers for only 10 consecutive days in any 30-day period, with at least 20 days between uses.

The third and final amendment is borne of a request by Karen Lopez, and would allow skateboarding parks and their associated uses to be built within the I-1: Light Industrial zoning district. Kingman does not currently have a full-fledged skateboarding park, nor does any zoning district specifically allow for one.

According to a letter to the commission, Lopez believes I-1 offers the best setting for skateboard parks, as it allows for many outdoor uses as well as indoor trades. She is currently in the process of purchasing a 2,400 square foot building located in an I-1 zone at 1712 Adams St. in hopes of converting it into an indoor skate park with an outdoor half pipe.

"We want this to be a place where the parents feel safe dropping off their children and a place where the children go to express their talents and work on their skills without being harassed," Lopez wrote. "Kingman is in desperate need of things to do for the youth to keep them out of trouble and off the streets."

City staff has indicated that skate parks should not have a negative impact on the I-1 zoning district or surrounding properties, and has recommended approval of the amendment.

Commissioners will meet in the Council Chambers at 310 N. Fourth St. at 6 p.m.

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