Smithville hosts public hearing on land ordinance plan

SMITHVILLE – Smithville residents met for a public hearing to discuss the new Smithville Land Development Ordinance on Thursday, Feb. 7.

EMILY TUBB/MONROE JOURNAL SMITHVILLE LAND ORDINANCE – Frank Comer, left, and M.R. Fikes look at the map of the Smithville Land Development Ordinance approved by the board of aldermen.

EMILY TUBB/MONROE JOURNAL
SMITHVILLE LAND ORDINANCE – Frank Comer, left, and M.R. Fikes look at the map of the Smithville Land Development Ordinance approved by the board of aldermen.

“This ordinance is the result of 16 months of hard work by the Smithville Planning Commission and they should be commended,” said Mayor Gregg Kennedy.
Smithville building inspector Shane Davis explained the ordinance as being a combination of zoning, land subdivision ordinances, sign regulations and more to divide the city into different commercial, residential and industrial districts.
“The purpose is to preserve and increase property values and regulate the use of land so the most can be accomplished,” Davis said.
A zoning map provided a visual for residents to see what areas of the town would be zoned for particular uses.
Mobile homes parks were a concern for some residents.
“This ordinance does not permit trailer parks in town as they are often referred to as the ‘corralling of the poor.’ This will eliminate that and accomplish diversity,” Davis said.
According to the ordinance, residential lot sizes will be required to meet a minimum square footage depending on the density of the area.
For residents who already own land that may not meet the requirements, the ordinance provides a non-conforming lot of record providing provisions to assure that no one is denied the use of their land.
“The intent of this ordinance is not to over-regulate everyone. It gives an orderly system of property use and can be changed if needed,” said city attorney Sam Griffie.