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South Main Street corridor plan heading for city planning commission

August 25. 2013 4:49AM
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LIMA — A plan to spur economic development along the South Main Street corridor is heading to the city’s planning commission.

The proposed zoning overlay will codify uniform zoning regulations and design review standards for the corridor. The overlay was presented to Lima City Council last month. On Monday, members of City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee sent the proposal to the city planning commission for further consideration.

“Basically it provides enhancements for development by providing design guidelines. It looks at what’s currently in use land use wise,” said Laura Junglas, president of The Org Doc, a Cleveland-based consulting firm. “There’s a lot of residential, vacant property and those kinds of things but it’s really all zoned business right now and light industry. This overlay will help reflect those current uses within the corridor right now.”

The proposal doesn’t actually change any of the city’s existing zoning for the corridor, which consists of the properties on South Main Street from the Ottawa River south to Fourth Street. Junglas said the overlay would add restrictions on what kinds of land uses would be permitted but current uses would be grandfathered into the overlay.

Mike Blass, chairman of the Kibby Corners Development Corp., told councilors last month the goal is to create a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood by making sure there’s a vision to guide future development.

“What’s there now doesn’t really preclude conflicting land use. What we don’t want, to use an extreme example, you don’t want an auto salvage yard next to a day care facility,” Blass said. “It’s a matter of not excluding anybody. We want businesses there, we want foot traffic there, we want commerce to occur but it should be done in an intelligent, deliberate, logical way so that we can promote investment because there’s less uncertainty and therefore conceptually there’s less risk for people to invest in that area.”

Amy Sackman Odum, the city’s director of community development, said the proposal would come back to full City Council after consideration by the planning commission.

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