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Midway reviews development rules during moratorium

The Midway Community Center and city offices are located at 160 West Main Street.
Ben Lasseter
The Midway Community Center and city offices are located at 160 West Main Street.

A building moratorium currently in place in Midway is giving city staff a chance to focus on how it will guide future development.

When Midway resolved not to approve any new large-scale projects until February, it created a chance to reevaluate the types of building it’ll allow in town. That could impact the number of future apartments, single-lot homes and nightly-rental properties there.

“The moratorium is not a tool that we use to stop growth,” Midway Mayor Celeste Johnson said. “It’s a tool that we use to update our codes so that the growth that is going to come can be directed by the city as much as possible.”

After a few months without new applications for large-scale projects, she said some of that code review is coming up for discussion in city meetings.

One proposed amendment would decrease the maximum number of homes allowed per acre from 20 to five. The Midway Planning Commission recommended the council deny that change in order to avoid limiting building options in the future. At a regular meeting last week, the council put off the decision until the next meeting, when the public will have another opportunity to weigh in.

According to Johnson, it’s unlikely the city will finalize all the goals it hopes to achieve by the end of the moratorium. So, it’ll either seek to enact another six-month moratorium without new major projects or work proactively with developers to make projects work for everyone.

“The general plan has 10 chapters," Johnson said. "Some of those chapters probably will be finished by February, but there’s going to be a couple that are going to take longer. The other tool that is available is to basically announce through the appropriate channels that the following codes are going to be changed. Then, anyone that comes in to do a project knows that their project is going to be approved based on the final outcome of those changes."

Midway City Council will next meet on Tuesday, December 21 at the Midway Community Center at 160 West Main Street.

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