After months of deliberating on a proposal to add verbiage to the zoning ordinance to address permanent barbecues and outdoor kitchens, the Orchard Lake City Council adopted language at its Sept. 17 meeting.
Several city residents had previously lodged complaints with the city, primarily against waterfront homes with permanent barbecues and outdoor kitchens.
“The issue was that for some residents these structures were too big in size and the concern was they would be obstructing lake views and some didn’t like to look at outdoor barbecues in general,” said Director of City Services Gerry McCallum.
After the city planner revised the zoning ordinance, under Sec. 4.15 (A) of permitted accessory buildings and structures, a public hearing was held July 31; however, no residential opposition was voiced.
“By adopting an ordinance that sets criteria, it’s easier from an enforcement standpoint,” McCallum said.
According to the ordinance, permanent barbecues and outdoor kitchens were added as permitted accessory structures. A permanent barbecue is defined as a permanent, immovable structure, attached to the ground that is typically used for grilling or smoking food. Sometimes these permanent barbecues are called “built-in island barbecues,” and are not intended to include portable barbecues that are permanently affixed to the ground, in-ground post barbecues, fire pits, or chimneas.
Outdoor kitchens are defined as an outdoor workspace, consisting of a permanent barbecue and other features associated with a kitchen, such as counter tops, a sink and cupboard space.
Dimensionally, both waterfront and non-waterfront properties must not exceed a maximum lot coverage of 32 square feet. The minimum distance between the structure and house is 5 feet.
Permitted locations for waterfront and non-waterfront properties are side yards only. Waterfront yards are permitted to encroach 18 feet into the waterfront setback.
A first reading was subsequently approved on Aug. 20.