A public hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Oct. 19 to consider the proposal, but Building Inspector Philip Verdung said he plans to meet before then with property owners who would be affected.
"Development in the residential district could present a future problem," Verdung said. Businesses are permitted to build very close to the property line in the commercially zoned areas downtown, which includes several blocks of homes, churches and professional offices at the east and north edges of the district.
The city planning board, on recommendation of the planning and community development department, is recommending that the blocks of primarily residences and churches be rezoned from C3 general business to O-D old town district.
Additionally, the rezoning proposal would give the city more control over downtown building, city attorney Bill Odom told the mayor and Board of Aldermen last week.
Another feature of the new ordinance would be a tax abatement program to encourage improvements to downtown properties.
Making the improvements would not raise the taxes on the properties, but rather the abatement program would allow taxes to be frozen at the current level for a maximum of five years if a minimum of $5,000 was spent on renovation work.
This is not the same as the abatement program in Corinth's Historic Preservation District, said Community Planning and Development Director Dave Huwe.
The historic preservation abatement program is due to expire in one year unless action is taken to extend it, he said.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.