§ 156.123  AMENDMENTS; TEXT AND MAP.
 
   (A)   Authority. The regulations established, and the districts created by this chapter may, from time to time, be amended by an ordinance passed by the City Council, upon receiving a recommendation from the Plan and Zoning Commission (PZC). Amendments for a text amendment or a map amendment (rezoning) may be filed by the City Council, PZC or Zoning Administrator. In addition, the owner of a property or an individual or entity with a contractual interest in a property (with the authorization of the owner) may file for an amendment to the zoning map, and any interested person may propose an amendment to the text of this chapter.
   (B)   Purpose.  Amendments to this chapter are intended to revise or refine the zoning ordinance or zoning map as needed to keep it a current and effective tool for development regulation. Amendments should reflect new conditions or newly identified situations, technologies, business approaches or unexpected conditions. The amendment process is not appropriate solely to relieve a particular inconvenience for an individual applicant, as such changes affect other aspects of the chapter and/or surrounding properties.
   (C)   Application procedure for amendments.
      (1)   An application for an amendment shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator. All submittals shall contain all the information specified on the zoning amendment application form provided by the city or as deemed necessary by the Zoning Administrator.
      (2)   The completed application for amendment shall be forwarded by the Zoning Administrator to the PZC within 30 days for the purpose of conducting a public hearing, to be held not more than 90 days from the date of the receipt of the application by the Zoning Administrator.
      (3)   Following receipt of a recommendation by the PZC, the City Council will either approve the application, approve the application with modifications or conditions, deny the application, or refer the matter back to the PZC for further deliberation.
      (4)   If a proposed zoning amendment application is rejected by the City Council, that application, or one substantially similar, may not be resubmitted within 12 months of the date of rejection by the City Council.
   (D)   Hearing and notice.
      (1)   The PZC shall hear the application for amendment at a public hearing on an established meeting or other date it may set.
      (2)   Notification shall adhere to the published notice and written notice requirements as contained in § 156.120(E)(3), Notification requirements.
      (3)   The PZC may give any additional notice as it may, from time to time, by rule provide.
      (4)   Any party of interest may appear and be heard at the hearing in person, by an agent or by an attorney.
   (E)   Protest against map amendment.
      (1)   A written protest regarding a proposed map amendment may be filed with the City Clerk, signed and acknowledged by property owners, individually or collectively, representing one or more of the following:
         (a)   Twenty percent of the block frontage on which a subject property is located;
         (b)   Twenty percent of the block frontage directly opposite a street from where the subject property is located; or
         (c)   Twenty percent of the block frontage directly opposite an alley from where the subject property is located.
      (2)   Where a protest against a proposed map amendment has been properly filed and found valid by the Zoning Administrator, it shall not be passed except by the favorable vote of two-thirds of all members of the City Council.
      (3)   Protests by such property owners shall be deemed valid only if:
         (a)   The protest is made only after an authorized representative of the affected property owner(s) has considered the evidence in the case;
         (b)   The protest is made in writing and submitted to the City Clerk not earlier than the first day after the public hearing has concluded, and not later than six days following the public hearing, and provided that the written protest is circulated by first class mail by the protesting party to the applicant and their representative, if any, identified in the application for the proposed amendment and/or all other represented parties, if any;
         (c)   An authorized representative of the protesting property owner(s) shall be required, on request of any party in the case, including the city, to give oral testimony under oath to support the protest;
         (d)   The protest is directly related to the evidence presented during the public hearing and upon which the Plan and Zoning Commission may base their respective findings of fact.
   (F)   Standards for map amendments. The wisdom of amending the zoning map of this code is a matter committed to the legislative discretion of the City Council and is not dictated by any set standard. However, in determining whether a proposed amendment should be granted or denied, the City Council should be guided by the principle that its power to amend this code is not an arbitrary one, but one that may be exercised only when the public good demands or requires the amendment to be made. In considering whether that principle is satisfied in any particular case, the City Council should weigh the following factors, which the applicant is required to address:
      (1)   The extent to which property values of nearby properties may be diminished by the particular zoning restriction;
      (2)   The extent to which the proposed amendment promotes the health, safety, morals or general welfare of the public;
      (3)   Relative gain to the public compared to the hardship imposed upon the property owner;
      (4)   The suitability of the subject property for the zoned purposes;
      (5)   The length of time the property has been vacant as zoned, considered in the context of land development in the vicinity;
      (6)   The need and demand for the change in uses allowed by a new zoning district;
      (7)   The extent to which the proposed amendment conforms to the comprehensive plan.
   (G)   Standards for text amendments.  The wisdom of amending the text of this code is a matter committed to the legislative discretion of the City Council and is not dictated by any set standard. However, in determining whether a proposed amendment should be granted or denied, the City Council should be guided by the principle that its power to amend this code is not an arbitrary one, but one that may be exercised only when the public good demands or requires the amendment to be made. In considering whether that principle is satisfied in any particular case, the City Council should weigh the following factors, which the applicant is required to address:
      (1)   Potential impacts of the proposed text amendment on the overall zoning district purpose, value of impacted properties, or intent of a code section proposed for amendment;
      (2)   The extent to which the proposed amendment promotes the health, safety, morals or general welfare of the public;
      (3)   Relevant physical or market conditions that may have changed to make the proposed text amendment necessary for this chapter, and to be in keeping with the desirable development of the city;
      (4)   Amendments should be consistent with the city's comprehensive plan, official map, and all other plans and policies adopted by the city;
      (5)   The need and demand for the change in standards, and the extent to which uses of properties that may be relevant are diminished by the current zoning standards, and how those standards are no longer suitable for regulating development.
   (H)   Fees.  Fees for applications and processes related to this section shall be as found in § 156.126, Fees.
(Ord. 21-016, passed 8-18-21)