City attorney Tom O'Neill explains where condominiums can and cannot be placed within city limits at a recent Buckhannon City Council meeting. / Photo by Katie Kuba

City officials amend ordinance to exclude condominiums from locating within historic districts

BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon City Council approved an ordinance that explicitly permits the placement of condominiums in some residential zones with the exception of the city’s historic districts.

On second reading, city council unanimously approved Ordinance 457, which amends section 502(A) of the city’s zoning ordinance to include and allow for the placement of “certain” condominiums or other unit property “within certain parts of the R-2 General Residential District A zone.”

The ordinance does not permit condos to be constructed or placed within R-1, the city’s residential area for only single-family homes.

City attorney Tom O’Neill briefed council members on the law’s progression, explaining they had elected to exclude historic districts from the zones in which condominiums might be placed after receiving public input at their May 5 meeting. Ordinances may be revised so long as the changes are not made on the final readings of ordinances. Ordinance 457 is a three-reading ordinance.

O’Neill pointed to a map with a green line delineating the boundaries of Buckhannon’s Central Residential Historic District.

“If you recall on first reading, you amended the ordinance to preclude the placement of condominiums within this green line,” he said. “Condominiums will be permitted in the R-2 zone [with the exception of historic districts]. It’s also important to note that what is permissible in the R-2 zone is also permissible in the R-3 zone and all of the higher numbered residential zones as well as the commercial zones. But again, even in the C-1, C-2 and C-3 it’s part of the Central Residential Historic District, they will be prohibited from locating in that area.”

In essence, R-1 zones and areas that fall in city historic districts are the only spaces within which condominiums may not be located.

City recorder Randy Sanders made a motion to approve the ordinance on second reading, which was seconded by councilwoman Shelia Lewis-Sines prior to it passing unanimously.

A third reading, public hearing and potential passage and adoption of Ordinance 457 will take place at the next council meeting set for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 2 at city hall.

In other city news, council appointed Brett Miller to the Charles W. Gibson Library Board to fill the unexpired term of the late Bill O’Brien. The term will end June 30, 2024.

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