Woodstock City Council moves on senior living moratorium
by Michelle Babcock
May 22, 2014 04:00 AM | 2670 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jessica Guinn
Jessica Guinn
WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock City Council plans to halt new senior living rezoning for six months, while officials update the city’s ordinance from 2007.

The council unanimously approved the first reading of the moratorium Monday at its specially called meeting, and the moratorium will go back before the council at a future meeting for a second and final vote on approval.

Jessica Guinn, director of community development, said there have been changes to the way the state law defines senior living since the city adopted its senior living ordinance in 2007.

Guinn said the city staff needs time to update the city ordinance to reflect new definitions for assisted and independent living categories.

“The properties that have already been zoned would not be impacted,” Guinn said. “We’re just asking for a moratorium on new zoning applications to give us an opportunity to go back and make sure our code is in line with the state law. And to make sure our code is in line with the current best practices for senior living.”

Guinn said the city hadn’t been told of any new plans for senior living, so the moratorium shouldn’t immediately impact development.

The item is expected to be placed on a future agenda for final vote.

If the council passes the moratorium on the second and final reading, the ordinance would provide a six-month moratorium on new senior living, or SL, zoning applications — meaning no new applications would be accepted during the moratorium.

Based on the first reading passed by the council, the moratorium is anticipated to halt senior living rezoning applications until Nov. 17, or until the mayor and council lift the moratorium.

While the moratorium is in place, the staff will review the zoning requirements for senior living zoning within the city.

The May 26 meeting of the mayor and city council was canceled, and the next meeting on the city calendar is scheduled for June 9 at 7 p.m. at the Chambers at City Center in downtown Woodstock.

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