Proposed amendments to the city's zoning ordinances prompted residents of Seaview Terrace to ask councilors to reconsider the changes out of concern the character of their street will be negatively impacted.

The city is preparing for a series of three public hearings on proposed amendments to zoning ordinances for areas inside of the Route 1 bypass. As proposed, the changes would reduce the minimum lot size for new buildings to a ΒΌ acre as opposed to the current 1/3 acre. Other changes would allow construction on lots with no road frontage, as well as reformat the ordinances to make it easier for residents to determine the allowed or prohibited uses in a given area.

During a public comment portion of the council meeting, several residents of Seaview Terrace beseeched councilors to reconsider a proposal to move the road into the Residential 3 zoning district.

The Residential 3 zoning district would allow medical offices as a permitted use, but the Residential 1 and 2 zones would not allow such offices.

Seaview Terrace, which is a dead-end road located off of Northport Avenue, has been located in the Residential 2 zoning district since at least 1985, City Planner Wayne Marshall said. The existing zoning ordinances state medical offices are a permitted use within the district.

However, residents voiced their opposition to the proposal to place Seaview Terrace within the Residential 3 zoning district. Dawn Marriner, who said she wrote a letter to the councilors about the zoning, said the road is not designed to handle large amounts of traffic or accommodate a parking area for medical offices.

She continued by saying having medical offices located in a residential neighborhood would negatively affect the neighborhood.

Councilors listened to the comments and urged residents to attend the public hearings that will be conducted by the the planning board.

The following night, June 18, Marshall discussed the comments made by residents of Seaview Terrace with members of the planning board. Marshall suggested the board approve a change that would allow Seaview Terrace to be moved into the Residential 1 zoning district as opposed to the Residential 3 zoning district.

Marshall explained that Seaview Terrace was approved a residential subdivision and all of the existing properties are single-family residences.

The planning board approved moving Seaview Terrace into the Residential 1 zoning district.

A public hearing for Residential 1 zoning will be held Wednesday, June 25; Residential 2 and 3 will be held Wednesday, July 2; and the Downtown Waterfront Mixed-Use district will be held Tuesday, July 8.

All of the public hearings will be held in the Troy Howard Middle School cafeteria beginning at 6:30 p.m. While the meetings will not be televised live, they will be recorded for later viewing.