§ 156.125  ZONING CERTIFICATION.
   (A)   Authority.  Prior to review of any application for a building permit (or any application for an occupancy permit if no building permit is required), the Zoning Administrator shall determine that the application conforms with the regulations of this chapter, and certify as such on the building permit approval. Any application for a building permit that contains the information required by division (C) below shall be deemed to be an application for a zoning certification.
   (B)   Purpose. Implementation of city plans, policies and ordinances related to the built environment depends, in part, on compliance with city development regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that land uses are located appropriately per the city zoning map, that parking and loading standards are met, and that zoning bulk standards are met. To support this objective, the zoning certification process ensures that property owners making improvements do so in a manner that is in keeping with the regulations of the city and do not adversely impact neighboring properties or the community at large. This process allows for consideration of such matters prior to commencement of construction and seeks to prevent owners from inadvertently undertaking construction contrary to the standards of this chapter.
   (C)   Zoning certification required.  No building permit pertaining to the construction, remodeling, moving or reconstruction of any structure shall be issued by the city, unless an application for a building permit has been made to and a signature has been obtained from the Zoning Administrator.
      (1)   Applicable standards. The following standards shall apply to zoning certification, as well as others that may be specified in the city code:
         (a)   Construction, building, moving, remodeling or reconstruction of any structure shall not be commenced without valid zoning certification;
         (b)   Improvement of land preliminary to any use of the land shall not be commenced without valid zoning certification;
         (c)   Permits pertaining to the use of land or structures shall not be issued by any official, officer, employee, department, board or bureau of the city without valid zoning certification;
         (d)   Any zoning certification issued in conflict with the provisions of this chapter shall be null and void, unless previously approved by ordinance or as a condition of the permit.
      (2)   Application procedure for zoning certification.  Every application for zoning certification shall be accompanied by the following:
         (a)   The certificate of a registered architect or registered structural engineer licensed by the state, or of an owner-designer, that the proposed construction, remodeling or reconstruction complies with all of the provisions of this chapter;
         (b)   A plat, in duplicate, of the piece or parcel of land, lot or lots, block or blocks, or parts or portions thereof, drawn to scale, showing the actual dimensions of the piece or parcel, lot or lots, block or blocks, or parts or portions thereof, according to the recorded plat of the land;
         (c)   A plot plan, in duplicate, drawn to scale, and in a form as may from time to time be prescribed by the Zoning Administrator, showing the locations, ground area, height and bulk of all present and proposed structures, drives and off-street parking and loading spaces, the building lines in relation to lot lines, waste disposal areas, the use to be made of present and proposed structures on the land, and other information as may be required by the Zoning Administrator for the proper enforcement of this chapter. One copy of the plat and the plot plan shall be retained by the Zoning Administrator as a public record;
         (d)   All applications for zoning certification for the construction, moving, remodeling or reconstruction of any structure to be located in an industrial district shall be accompanied by sufficient information to enable the Zoning Administrator to determine that there will be compliance with all of the applicable performance standards of § 156.072, Performance Standards, at all times. At the request of the Zoning Administrator, the applicant shall provide the following:
            1.   A description of the activity to be conducted, in sufficient detail to indicate the extent to which the proposed operation will produce waste products, conditions or external effects regulated or otherwise limited by § 156.072;
            2.   A description of the type and location of any abatement devices or recording instruments used to control or measure conformity with any of the standards set forth in § 156.072;
            3.   Any other data and certificates as may reasonably be required by the Zoning Administrator to reach a determination with respect to whether the proposed use or structure will comply with the requirements of § 156.072;
            4.   All information and evidence submitted in an application for zoning certification to indicate conformity with the performance standards set forth in § 156.072 shall constitute a certification and an agreement on the part of the applicant that the proposed structure or use can and will conform to such standards at all times.
      (3)   Zoning certification.  Zoning certification shall be either issued or refused by the Zoning Administrator within 14 days of the receipt of an application, or within a further period of time as may be agreed to by the applicant, provided, however, the Zoning Administrator shall have 21 days to issue or refuse zoning certification on all applications, as required by division (C)(1) above. When the Zoning Administrator refuses to issue zoning certification, the applicant shall be advised in writing of the reasons for that refusal.
      (4)   Period of validity.  Zoning certification shall become null and void six months after the date on which it is issued unless construction, moving, remodeling or reconstruction of a structure is commenced and progressing, or a use is commenced within that six-month period.
   (D)   Occupancy certificate required.  No structure or addition constructed, moved, remodeled or reconstructed after the effective date of this chapter shall be occupied or used for any purpose, and no land vacant on the effective date of this chapter shall be used for any other use, unless an occupancy certificate shall first have been obtained from the Zoning Administrator, certifying that the proposed use or occupancy complies with all the provisions of this chapter.
      (1)   Application for an occupancy certificate.
         (a)   General requirement.  Every application for an occupancy certification for a new or changed use of land or structures, where no zoning certification is required, shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator, and be in such forms and contain information as the Zoning Administrator shall provide.
         (b)   Application for occupancy certificates for industrial uses.  All applications for an occupancy certificate for any use to be located in an industrial district, where no zoning certification is required, shall be accompanied by sufficient information to enable the Zoning Administrator to determine that there can and will be compliance at all times with all applicable performance standards of § 156.072. At the request of the Zoning Administrator, the applicant shall provide such information as is specified in division (C)(2)(d) above.
      (2)   Issuance of an occupancy certificate.
         (a)   No occupancy certificate for a structure or addition constructed, moved, remodeled or reconstructed after the effective date of this chapter, shall be issued until such work has been completed, including off-street parking and loading spaces, and the premises has been inspected by the Building Inspector and determined to be in full and complete compliance with the plans and specifications upon which the issuance of the zoning certification was based. Any modifications from the approved plan must be remedied prior to zoning certification being issued.
         (b)   No occupancy certificate for a new use of any construction or land shall be issued until the premises has been inspected by the Zoning Administrator, or their designee, and determined to be in full and complete compliance with all the applicable regulations for the zoning district in which it is located.
         (c)   An occupancy certificate shall be issued, or written notice shall be given to the applicant stating the reasons why a certificate cannot be issued, within 14 days of the receipt of an application therefor, or after the Zoning Administrator is notified, in writing, that the structures or premises are ready for occupancy, provided, however, that the Zoning Administrator shall have 21 days to issue or refuse an occupancy certificate on all applications required to comply with the provisions of division (C)(2)(d).
      (3)   Conditional occupancy certificate.   
         (a)   In no event shall a conditional occupancy certificate be issued from March 15 to December 1 of each year when weather conditions allow for completion of exterior improvements as determined by the city's Director of Public Works.
         (b)   When weather conditions do not allow for the completion of exterior improvements, the city agrees to issue conditional occupancy certificates (commonly known as temporary occupancy certificates) upon the completion of temporary winter lot improvements, which shall consist of a temporary stone driveway and apron consisting of compacted CA6 stone.
         (c)   A sidewalk across the frontage of a residential lot shall not be considered a temporary winter lot improvement and shall not be required for the issuance of a conditional occupancy certificate.
         (d)   Prior to the issuance of any conditional occupancy certificates, the developer shall deposit with the city:
            1.   Bond(s) or other acceptable surety in amounts as determined by the city's Director of Public Works to secure completion of outstanding private improvements the following spring; and
            2.   An executed indemnification by the owner in a form approved by the City Attorney for each residential building for which a conditional occupancy certificate has been requested.
         (e)   The bonds shall be individual bonds for each unit, and cash bonds shall not be required.
         (f)   No such certificate of occupancy shall be issued unless the Director of Public Works approves of the issuance of the conditional occupancy certificate, and unless the developer provides a schedule by March 10 for the completion of all outstanding items for the city's Director of Public Works to consider.
         (g)   If so approved by the Director of Public Works, the developer shall meet the time frame as set forth within schedule or the city shall have the right to pull the individual lot bond as defined in this division.
   (E)   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)