A 1,000-foot setback for all new applications for petroleum storage tanks and a reduction in the “enhanced scrutiny area” are among the recommended amendments to an industrial zoning ordinance a subcommittee will pitch to the larger Planning Commission this afternoon.

After months of public hearings, the Planning Commission subcommittee on above ground oil storage tanks will present its three-page report today, at a 2 p.m. business meeting of the Planning Commission at the auditorium in Government Plaza.

According to the report, the subcommittee will recommend a minimum 1,000-foot setback be placed on any future applications for above ground tanks. In previous hearings, environmental groups and concerned citizens had asked for a minimum 3,000-foot setback, while industry leaders had asked for less.

The subcommittee’s recommendation measures the setback from the center of proposed oil storage tanks, rather than the perimeter of properties that contain them.

The subcommittee will also recommend the “enhanced scrutiny area,” which is the subject of the amended ordinance, should be reduced to encompass only areas north of Brookley Field.

Petroleumn storage tanks on property owned by Arc Terminals are shown on the Mobile River near downtown Mobile.

Petroleumn storage tanks on property owned by Arc Terminals are shown on the Mobile River near downtown Mobile.

In its report, the subcommittee found the current application procedures to be a good “framework,” but suggested more detail needed to be added to future applications. It also found that more notice needs to be given before an application is discussed at a public hearing.

The subcommittee will recommend future applications within the enhanced scrutiny area contain each of the following:

– A list of all permits and approvals needed to complete the development, and the status of each at the time the application is filed.

– The type, maximum amount, and classification of product to be stored.

– Details about how the product will be transported to the subject site and at what frequency.

In addition, the subcommittee is recommending notice be given to property owners within 1,000 feet of a 10,000 gallon or larger tank. The applicant will be responsible for the cost of the notice, and notices will also have to be placed on the city’s website no less than 15 days in advance of a public hearing.

The subcommittee will recommend other changes to the application process as well, including allowing an independent engineer to review applicants’ plans.

Planning Commission attorney Doug Anderson said the recommendations, once presented, would become the basis of an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance. Before the amendments are adopted, Anderson said the Planning Commission would hold another public hearing on the recommendation. Today’s meeting is not a public hearing.