By Bill Short
Commission members took the action during their April 15 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Mike Caruthers and seconded by Brett Morgan.
Charles Goforth, planning consultant for the city, said it has been approached by a company that wants to build a water park here, and it is “looking at various sites.” But he noted that Millington does not have a zoning district designated for that use.
The general purpose of the district would be to allow development of publicly and/or privately owned recreational areas that offer a higher level of entertainment than is normally found in a public park.
The specific purpose would be to provide land for a water park, which is defined as an amusement park with facilities primarily for aquatic recreation. It is normally a large outdoor area with aquatic rides, shows, refreshments, food service and other entertainment.
These activities would be made available to the public with an entry fee.
Within the areas designated as E-R on the city’s Zoning Map, the following uses would be permitted:
(a) lakes and pools with water slides
(b) lazy rivers
(c) ropes courses
(e) wake boarding lakes and areas
(f) entrance buildings and gift shops
(g) event buildings and assembly areas
(h) restaurants and snack areas
(i) other similar areas approved by the commission
The water park would consist of at least 25 acres, with a minimum lot width of 100 feet, a 50-foot front yard, 100-foot rear and side yards if they adjoin a Single-Family Residential district and 25 feet in all other locations.
Although structures could not exceed 35 feet in height, this limitation would not apply to flagpoles, antennas and towers required for ziplines or waterslides.
But they would have to comply with all pertinent codes and ordinances and be located a distance equal to their height plus 10 feet from the nearest property line adjacent to a residential area.
“It isn’t like a public park,” Goforth noted. “It could be privately or publicly owned. Some are publicly owned but leased to other people for operation.”
He said a Site Plan and the location for the park would have to be submitted for commission approval.
“At that time,” he said, “we would incorporate whatever landscaping requirements the commission considers appropriate.”
During discussion shortly before the vote, Morgan said the commission will have the flexibility to examine how it might “screen or buffer” between the park and any other kind of development.
“I think we need that,” Goforth concluded, “because we don’t have the Site Plan yet.”