Hattiesburg Land Development Code Amendment

by / Wednesday, 15 November 2017 / Published in News & Hot Topics

In early 2017, the City of Hattiesburg adopted a new Land Development Code (LDC).  During that process, you either provided input, or the City may have communicated with you as a likely interested party.  Now, with potential changes to that new Land Development Code being presented, we wanted to reach out to you again to ensure that you have every opportunity to provide valuable input.  This email simply serves to give you a bit of advance notice and a general series of events that we expect over the coming months.

 

In the last ten months, the Planning Division has had the opportunity to work with the new LDC – as many of you have as well – putting it into practice.  While there is likely no “perfect” code, practical application often gives light to certain opportunities or gaps upon which we can continue to improve.  Over the last several months, you may have discovered such opportunities, and we would like to hear your ideas – as a staff, we have also identified several such opportunities and gaps.

 

At the December 6, 2017 Planning Commission meeting (1:00 p.m. at the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center), the city will present a list of proposed amendments for consideration.  This is only the first of what will likely be a series of three or more “batches” of amendments over the coming months.  This first group of amendments generally seeks to address issues that city staff identified as gaps and opportunities for clarification or better definition.  It is not the intent of this amendment to significantly alter uses or the character of zoning districts.  Below is a brief description of the types of amendments included, and of course, the detailed proposed changes are available by contacting City Hall or visiting the Planning Division page on the City’s website – www.HattiesburgMS.com.  The draft ordinance showing requested amendments is available immediately, as is a version of Table 5.1 (Table of Uses) showing in red any proposed edits.  Within the next week, we will also add a memo with change-by-change explanations that may be beneficial.

 

Brief description of amendments: The general intent of the proposed amendment is an effort to clarify language in certain sections, to define or clarify definition of certain terms and uses for ease of interpretation, to establish additional uses that may be appropriate, to modify certain uses permitted in certain zones, to address various issues in which the code is silent on conditions, to clarify processes and authority for the City Council, Planning Commission, and Board of Adjustment, to better align with state law on administration and enforcement, and to define the composition of and terms of office for the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment.

 

 

 

If there are areas of particular interest in the Land Development Code that you would like to speak to, please feel free to do that at any time.  We expect that in December and January, we will begin preparing for the next in the series of amendments.  Please be on the lookout for additional communication from the city about public hearings specific to this topic.  It is likely that the next “batch” of amendments could go to the Planning Commission in February or March of 2018.

 

Should you have any questions about the Land Development Code, the amendments now being proposed, or the process that will be followed in the coming months, please feel free to contact the city Planning Division at (601) 545-4599.

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