(Posted Oct. 15, 2017)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
West Jefferson’s zoning book is getting a new chapter.
On Oct. 9, village council held a public hearing before giving a second reading to an ordinance to create a zoning designation known as a planned mixed-use district.
With a 6-0 vote, council approved the legislation as an emergency measure which means it goes into effect with the mayor’s signature. Council member Lorie Cafagno was absent.
“We don’t have to wait the normal 30 days,” said council President Steve Johnson, referring to the legislation’s emergency status.
The public hearing lasted seven minutes, with only resident Linda O’Reilly asking about what was in the new amendment.
Johnston explained that a planned mixed-use district is an inclusive type of zoning. West Jefferson leaders drew it up with 40 acres at the intersection of U.S. Route 40 and State Route 142 in mind. Developers associated with the acreage want mixed use. The property lies near O’Reilly’s property.
The village describes the new zoning designation as a flexible zoning management tool that responds to sites with unique development opportunities, and one that meets the needs of integrated, modern developments that may mix residential, retail, office, institutional, civic, industrial and open space uses. The plan also ensures that mixed uses fully respond to the design and performance criteria established by the village.
In a planned mixed-use district, non-residential uses can include, but are not limited to, commercial, industrial, institutional, offices or office parks, and research parks.
The developer of such an area would have to present plans that included standards that address lot size, lot frontage, setbacks, building height, parking, signage, landscaping, lighting, architecture and materials, and site layout.
Criteria require that the character and materials of the buildings be compatible with one another throughout the entire development. Signage plans must call for consistent use of materials, colors and lettering in compliance with what is on record or what is approved per development plans.