By Jef Rietsma
The village of Vicksburg has adopted a new zoning ordinance designation in an effort to encourage innovation in land use, starting with redevelopment of the former Simpson paper mill.
But other areas in the village might qualify as well, Village Manager Jim Mallery said.
Following endorsement May 30 from the Planning Commission, the seven-member Village Council June 4 approved enabling language for Planned Unit Development Districts (PUD).
According to Mallery, a PUD typically includes a plan that features components of commercial, residential and industrial on the same parcel.
Mill officials said if their application for a Planned United Development district is filed soon, the next step would be a review by Village staff before being fielded by the Planning Commission. The matter would then end up in the hands of council members and be subjected to a public hearing before the request is officially approved.
It could be the end of summer before the Council acts on the mill application, mill project officials said.
Objectives of such developments allow more desirable living, shopping and working environments by preserving as much of the natural character of the property as possible, encourage preservation of open space and development of recreational space and facilities.
The Mill proposal calls at first for a brewery, but with retail, residential and other uses to follow.
Mallery said developers have a tendency to look at communities with PUD zoning as progressive, business-friendly entities.An addition the language allows the village Council to deviate from the PUD standards on a case-by-case basis when reviewing and approving a PUD district application. It also adds: “Any modification from these standards shall be requested in the application and, if approved, outlined in the development agreement.”
Planning Director Bobby Durkee told the Council that the addition is unique compared to other PUDs he is aware of because it is allowing for uses and developments that almost no zoning ordinance could fully address.