By Bill Short
The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed an ordinance on first reading this week that would establish a new Zoning Plan for the city.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Bethany Huffman and seconded by Alderman Al Bell.
The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Alderman Don Lowry abstaining.
The proposed ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing and final reading at the board’s April 8 meeting.
Last fall, the Millington Municipal Planning Commission directed city planning consultant Charles Goforth to prepare a “comprehensive re-zoning plan” to match the Land-Use Plan that is recommended in Millington’s 20-Year Master Plan.
On Jan. 22, the commission conducted a public hearing on the plan and unanimously recommended on Feb. 18 that the board adopt it.
While acknowledging that the proposed plan is “different in a number of ways,” Goforth has said “80 percent” of the city would not be changed.
He has noted that, when the Master Plan was prepared, it was determined that Millington has “more than adequate” land for single-family residential use. But with the sale of the Solar Farm, the city needs additional industrial property.
Although more than 2,000 acres are zoned Commercial, Goforth has said less than 400 are being used. So, some of those need to “go away,” and some need to be “relocated to the right places.”
Under the plan, some R-4, High-Density Residential, zoning would be decreased. Goforth has said Millington has approximately 260 vacant acres of R-4 that would produce 3,000 apartment units if it were developed. He has also noted that 42 percent of the houses in the city are currently being rented.
Goforth has said the proposed plan would increase the Agricultural zoning. That is partly because several areas in the northern part of the city are zoned Commercial without utilities to serve it, and where it is not needed.
He has also said the owners of Jones Orchard prefer their land to remain Agricultural rather than be in Residential, because that is their “intended use” for it.
The proposed plan would slightly decrease the R-LL, Large Lot Residential, zoning, because part of it is located in an area that has no sewer service. The R-1, Low-Density Residential, would also be slightly decreased.
But Goforth has said the R-2, Medium-Density Residential, would increase, because there is more area to “buffer” between Commercial and the larger lots.
He has also said the R-5, Residential Mobile Home Park, zoning would be increased, because the trailer park located by the railroad was incorrectly zoned Commercial.
Other proposed zoning decreases are:
(1) B-2, General Commercial, from 1,500 to 1,000 acres
(2) PC, Planned Commercial, by 160 acres
(3) M-3, Restricted Industrial, by 76 acres
Goforth has said the M-P, Planned Industrial, zoning would be increased by 330 acres and the MT, Military, zoning by 160 acres.
The plan would also establish the Old Town district for 50 acres in that part of the city.