Blue Springs discusses zoning

Zoning was the topic of conversation at a recent group session of the Blue Springs Aldermen. The aldermen met with Mike Slaughter, urban planning consultant for Oxford-based Slaughter and Associates.

Slaughter and Associates put together a comprehensive plan for Blue Springs and the plan includes suggestions for zoning, ordinances, subdivision regulations, future land use, and more. The plan is a guide for a community, village, town, city, county, or state to go by in determining steps to make in the future.

Pending final approval from the Department of Justice, Blue Springs has been annexed from a village to a town, with an increased population of over 461 residents from approximately 228 residents.

Slaughter came to talk to the board about steps that need to be taken in regards to zoning.

He said, “I am very excited to get this annexation taken care of. It opens a lot of opportunities for the future. The annexation is final according to Mississippi laws, but we are still awaiting final clearance from the Department of Justice.”

Slaughter explained to the board that before there is zoning in the annexed area, a public hearing will need to be held in which residents can come and voice their opinions as well as ask questions. In addition, zoning ordinances will have to be updated.

“I think Blue Springs needs to update the zoning map as soon as possible,” said Slaughter.

He showed the mayor, city clerk, and board members different maps, including the future land use map, which Slaughter said is the basis for the zoning.

“We have to go through the legal process of updating the zoning map, have a public hearing, and adopt it,” said Slaughter.

The board said that they think they should also be aware of any Toyota Memorandum Of Understanding restrictions and the mayor agreed to get a copy of the Toyota MOU and find out what those restrictions are.

Slaughter told the board that if ordinances are passed, there needs to be some kind of way of enforcing these ordinances. He suggested that a zoning and planning commission be set up in Blue Springs.

 Nothing was decided on at this discussion. The next regularly scheduled board meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 at Blue Springs City Hall.