Pima County zoning proposals aimed at easing 'green' home features

Will help developers include amenities like rainwater harvesting
2013-03-25T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T11:20:20Z Pima County zoning proposals aimed at easing 'green' home featuresBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Pima County has proposed changing zoning rules to allow someone to run a small bakery business from home and to make it easier for developers to include "green" amenities in buildings.

On Wednesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission will hold public hearings on the proposals.

One proposed zoning code change would make it easier for developers to include green amenities such as rainwater harvesting in their plans by adjusting such items as building heights or landscape requirements.

For example, "green roofs," which are rooftop gardens, could count toward landscape requirements in some cases.

The changes are part of the county's efforts to promote developments that use resources more efficiently and "to eliminate potential barriers" to green building, said Assistant Planning Director Chris Poirier.

Another proposed change to the Home Occupation Code would allow people to make cookies, sweet breads and some kinds of cakes at home and sell them.

The current rules prohibit any commercial food preparation at home, but the code needs to be brought in line with new state standards that allow certain home baking businesses, Poirier said.

"We're opening the door to allow for that," he said. "They're still subject to all the other standards, and they still have to get a state permit."

Limits on the number of workers, signs and other factors will still apply.

Poirier said he expects Pima County will approve a few permits for home-based bakeries this year.

He emphasized this change would allow very specific kinds of home-based businesses and would not allow for catering or other commercial kitchens.

At Wednesday's meeting, county officials will ask the commission for permission to put the proposed changes into a draft form that would be presented to the commission and the Board of Supervisors later this year.

The commission will also hear a permit case for a medical marijuana dispensary in Ajo.

exceptions to home-based enterprises

Home-based businesses are allowed under the county's zoning rules, except for these kinds of businesses:

• Auto repair and service.

• Veterinarian service, kennels and pet grooming.

• Commercial food preparation.

• Mortuary or embalming service.

• Tattoo parlor.

• Welding service.

• Any commercial use not customarily associated with home occupations as a secondary use.

Source: Pima County Zoning Code

If you go

• What: Planning and Zoning Commission meeting

• When: 9 a.m. Wednesday

• Where: Public Works Building basement, 201 N. Stone Ave.

• Online: Meeting materials at pimaxpress.com

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at bpallack@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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