BRUNSWICK — City officials are in the midst of their comprehensive planning process and Monday night continued conversations calling for a moratorium on zoning applications to curb additional apartment complex construction.
“We’re looking at the best uses for different zoning areas,” said Ward 2 Councilman Nick Hanek. “Right now, we are in the middle of a comprehensive planning process, and it makes sense to wait to see what the recommendations are going to be.”
At-large Councilman Brian Ousley presented the legislation on the six-month moratorium, which would temporarily stop the acceptance of applications for zoning requests related to multifamily housing units. The moratorium first went into effect in 2018 and this will continue the practice as the city works through its planning process.
“The reason behind it is that we keep building apartments in this community. We are just getting inundated with apartments,” said Ousley.
There are roughly 19 complexes in the city.
The comprehensive planning process is an opportunity to discuss what might be best for the community and Ousley said there might be a better way to use space such as that on Pearl Road where businesses usually take root.
“There’s really no room now for expansion for any kind of business, any kind of restaurant,” said Ousley. “This was the reason for the moratorium.”
Council approved the second reading of the ordinance dealing with the moratorium Monday. A third and final vote will take place later this month.
“It will slow down the apartment buildings until we get some sort of grasp on what (the community needs),” said Ousley.
Council also approved the second reading of additional legislation halting the acceptance of applications for warehousing, motor freight garages and truck or transfer terminal uses.
“My guess is that the comprehensive planning will have something to say about those types of uses like warehousing and truck or transfer stations,” said Hanek. “And it’s doubly important because we are very limited in our remaining industrial space. Our business parks are starting to almost be full, so we have to look at what the best uses in terms of zoning are for the community.”
The first readings for these moratoriums took place June 22, and both moratoriums, if approved at the next Council meeting, will last for six months.
In other news
Council made changes to the language in the city’s trash ordinance to better reflect the new curbside recycling services.
“That’s our trash ordinance that we have,” said Service Director Paul Barnett. “We changed things to mimic the program we are doing right now, the program we are just starting. We did not have curbside recycling in our ordinances. We are providing that service now, so we are adding language that says we are providing curbside recycling.”
The new language says that residents are required to use the trash bins provided by the city. Barnett also said that while curbside recycling is an option, it is not mandatory for residents.
Barnett also got permission from Council to enter into a three-year contract with Zimmerman Paint Contractors Co. for painting lines on streets throughout the city.
“We normally do a three-year contract for paint markings,” said Barnett. “These are the center lines, the edge lines, the turn arrows … we paint all of those each year.”
The contract is for 2019-2021. The estimated cost for the work this year is $53,000. The city will not need to close down any roads for this project.
Crews paint the center lines at night and place cones about every 40 feet to prevent people from driving over the lines. The paint dries in about 15 minutes and the crew goes back 30 minutes later to pick the cones.