A public hearing on proposed revisions to the land use code regulating Camden County’s Lake Area Planning & Zoning District has been rescheduled after the initial July 24 date was cancelled due to lack of a quorum.

A public hearing on proposed revisions to the land use code regulating Camden County’s Lake Area Planning & Zoning District has been rescheduled after the initial July 24 date was cancelled due to lack of a quorum. The hearing has now been set for 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 29 in the third floor hearing room of the Camden County Courthouse.

The proposed revisions come after three years of waiting. Public hearings initiated in 2015 kicked off the process that ended up being a code rewrite by P&Z attorney Ryan Harding in conjunction with input from now former P&Z administrator Kim Willey.

While the 2015 hearings were apparently held solely by the P&Z Office, at the time, county commissioners attended and spoke at the hearings without planning commissioners in attendance. However the planning commission is now holding the public hearings on the revisions in order to make a recommendation to the county commission.

During the 2015 hearing process, citizens mainly expressed concerns about enforcement, noise pollution and conflicts between lakefront businesses and residents.

The most apparent proposed change in the code in regards to enforcement is reducing the initial correction period when the P&Z administrator determines a violation is occurring. The time frame is currently 90 days, but it would become 30 days.

The other items do not appear to be addressed in the proposed code overhaul.

The biggest difference proposed is the removal of lakefront setbacks for all residential zones, except manufactured home parks, as long as these lots are served by a state-approved centralized sewer system. These setbacks are currently 25 feet.

A defined distance limit on satellite parking was also removed, only requiring that this parking be “within a reasonable distance.”

Overall, the proposed code has been rearranged with a few definition changes and altered road standards.

The definition of lodging facilities is one of the more significant possible changes in definitions.

Lodging facilities and hotels/motels are currently defined simply as a “facility offering transient lodging accommodations on a daily rate to the general public.”

The proposed new definition for lodging facilities states, “Any building, group of buildings, structure, facility, place, or places of business where five or more guest rooms are provided, which is owned, maintained, or operated by any person and which is kept, used, maintained, advertised or held out to the public for hire which can be construed to be a hotel, motel, motor hotel, apartment hotel, tourist court, resort, cabins, tourist home, bunkhouse, dormitory, or other similar place by whatever name called.” A hotel/motel would be a “commercial facility offering transient lodging accommodations on a daily rate to the general public.”

P&Z Administrator Tanna Wirtz has stated the revision process is only in the preliminary stages with lots of room for public comment and further revisions.

Other possible changes

•The code currently states a permit is not required for buildings 400 square feet or less. That would be 120 square feet under the revisions. Permits for retaining walls over four feet would also now be addressed for the first time, but would not need a permit.

•Unzoned areas would be addressed for the first time, requiring their zoning process to be treated similarly to a rezoning.

•Yard sales within residential zones would be limited to no more than three days in a 90-day period.

•Rentals of single rooms within a residence would be allowed under the revisions, to no more than two people.