The new zoning district will allow overnight camping for special events. The rezoning was needed prior to this year's event so that the Fair Association was in compliance.
The Fair is scheduled to begin Sunday, July 4, and wraps up Saturday, July 10. "This really was a response in the change that has occurred in the way a Fair operates," Mayor Greg Costello said. "We have many RV and camper vehicles that are situated on the fairgrounds for a temporary period and our zoning did not allow that.
"This is a move to make sure they are within zoning compliance and there is not an exception for the Fair. This hopefully puts them on solid ground for the future, for both the carnival operators and exhibitors who hook up temporary to water and sewer on the fairgrounds."
In March, when the city established the new zoning district, two definitions also were added to the city's code book to help the property be in compliance.
The fairgrounds is now defined as a place "where the annual Warren County Fair is held, including events sponsored by the Warren County Fair Board, such as demolition derbies, tractor pulls, livestock exhibitions and equestrian events."
A campground is defined as "an area of land, including supporting sanitary and other facilities, for the overnight or temporary parking of recreational vehicles and other modes of camping."
The only permitted used in the OPR district are sports fields and fairgrounds. Private or for-profit campgrounds are specifically disallowed, the ordinance reads.
At Tuesday night's board of alderman meeting, a public hearing on the rezoning request was held with no objection. Later, aldermen unanimously passed an ordinance granting the rezoning.
Earlier this month, the city's planning and zoning commission voted 7-0, with three members absent, to allow the rezoning to occur.
In other action from Tuesday's meeting related to this year's Fair: * Aldermen voted unanimously to give special permission for excessive noise during the Fair. The Fair can remain open until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, through Friday, July 9, and until midnight Saturday, July 10.
Under city ordinance, it is unlawful for any loud or unusual noise to occur in any residential area or in any commercial zone adjacent to a residential area between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and 10 p.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday unless an exemption is approved by the board.
* The board approved a request to close Walton Street and Kuhl Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Highway M to Pinckney to the Warrenton High School entrance from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the parade, scheduled for Sunday, July 4.
* A fireworks exhibition permit was granted. A firework show will be held Sunday, July 4.
Recreational Structures Prohibited on CityEasements, Including Streets Also at Tuesday's meeting, aldermen voted unanimously to approve an amendment to an ordinance related to the placement of recreational structures upon city easements. Property owners will be prohibited from placing recreational structures, such as basketball backboards, game-ball poles or similar ones, on any street or road right of way. Other portable structures can continue to be placed on an easement. According to Graville, the old language did not include any reference to recreational structures. "Obviously the right of way is the property of the city," he said. "You govern what is placed in that right of way. In my opinion, this is a safety issue where you have people placing basketball goals in a public street, a city street. "We are aware of situations out there. Obviously since it's city property, we're always concerned about liability and safety of the citizens and children." Costello also agreed the move is being made for safety. "We would like streets to be used as streets and not for basketball courts," he added. "It is a safety issue. A conversation with the chief of police identified there was some softness in the enforcement."