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Cornelius News

Planners vote 6-1 against tighter boat storage rules

April 27. By Dave Vieser. Cornelius Planning Board Members voted 6-1 against a new set of regulations that would limit the outdoor storage of cars, boats and RVs. This sets up an interesting situation: The Town Board takes up the same set of regulations May 15, with a recommendation for a “no” from the planners.Boats in front yards can be an eyesore, no matter how beautiful they may be on the water

“The members of the planning board had concerns about the application of the new regulations over lakefront property, ” said Cornelius Planning Director Wayne Herron. “They wondered aloud whether the storage recommended in the new rules would actually be better or worse…essentially asking whether to permit storage in the front yard or on the lakefront.”

Herron said the board also expressed concern with the message being sent by adopting the more specific regulations themselves. “Several of the board members noted that people specifically look to buy in non-HOA regulated areas and that the town should not be placing these restrictions in those areas.”

The town’s Land Development Code Advisory Board (LDCAB) had been working on the outdoor storage rules for several months.  While most property owners have complied with existing regulations, there was a consensus that the current wording was vague and needed “more specificity.”

The new regulations proposed by the town were as follows:

+In residential areas, the storage of boats and autos, if not on an improved driveway, must be in the side or rear yard and screened with an opaque fence, a tarp/cover, or within a shed or building. An improved driveway is one composed of asphalt, concrete or gravel.

+Boats, vessels, and personal watercraft must be on a licensed registered trailer and not exceed 26 feet in length. In addition, they may not exceed 6,500 lbs. A limit of one boat or vessel, or two personal watercraft will be permitted as long as the two personal watercraft are stored on a single trailer designed to carry or hold two personal watercraft.

+A limit of one recreational vehicle or trailer per property will be allowed to be parked on an improved driveway, or if not, in the side or rear yard.

+In commercial areas, autos, boats, RVs and trailers must be stored in the rear yard and screened with an opaque fence or masonry fence/wall that matches or complements the appearance of the principal structure. In addition, the storage area must be screened with a large “vegetated” barrier, which can vary from 30 to 50 feet.