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Published: Wednesday, 8/3/2005

Waterville: 4 zoning districts proposed

Proposed changes to Waterville's zoning code would be more strict for businesses wanting to locate in the village.

The changes set up four commercial zoning districts, instead of the two districts in the code.

The new zoning classifications would be C-1 neighborhood commercial, C-2 highway commercial, C-3 downtown commercial, and C-4 mixed-use commercial.

"Having just two categories was a little too broad for some areas of town," said Gary Waugh, chairman of the village's planning commission. "We split it into four categories to try to make it more definitive and give us better control."

The zoning code is at least two decades old, officials said, and it has rarely been updated. The planning commission started revising the code several years ago with the help of Poggemeyer Design Group consultants, but the commission just recently recommended the changes to council.

"The planning commission was trying to bring the zoning districts up to date," Tom Bolus of Poggemeyer said. "We went through quite a few meetings, and the group really put in a lot of effort."

Mr. Waugh said that if the code changes are adopted by council, the planning commission will look at changing the zoning around the village to reflect the new zoning categories. Zoning changes also must be approved by council.

"We think the zoning changes are important to protect the community and be proactive," Mr. Waugh said.

Village Council last week had a first reading of the proposed zoning code updates. Consultants are scheduled to make a presentation about the changes at a council meeting on Aug. 22; and officials scheduled a public hearing on the matter for Sept. 12.

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