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As building moratorium ends, Midway prepares for general plan update in 2022

Midway Town Hall
Ben Lasseter
/
KPCW
Midway Town Hall

A building moratorium that allowed Midway city staff to make progress on amending city code and preparing a general plan update is set to expire this month.

Midway City Planner Luke Robinson says without a constant stream of building applications to review since August, his office made progress in its goals efficiently.

“I think in looking back over the last five and a half to six months,” Robinson says, “it’s been really beneficial for us to have that and have some time to be able to devote to that and get a good jump start, and then I imagine we’ll probably have quite a bit more, as far as code-text amendments and general-plan adjustments as we go, but it’s given us a good running start on it.”

At the city council meeting last week, the council and planners discussed some code changes to address open-space use and strategies for clustering developments, as well as streamlining the development review process. That’ll make it easier for city staff to accomplish more in the future.

The proposed code changes could further the goal of offering workforce housing and keeping open spaces.

“If folks want individual, single-family homes spaced, they’re not going to like the clustered projects,” Mayor Celeste Johnson says, “but we’re hoping to get some projects toward our historic Main Street, where they can be smaller homes, they can be clustered. The parking may even be off site - they may not have a garage, they may not have a driveway. There would be strategic parking areas. Looking at creative options like that, we believe, will give us some diversity in our housing.”

The city will also look for ways to show its distinct character, and tiny homes could be one way to accomplish that.

“That’s one of the options that can be so perfectly clustered, and it can end up looking like a little European village,” Johnson says. “That would be very unique to our community.”

Robinson says through the rest of 2022, there’ll likely be more code changes that could affect the commercial district.

In March, the city will hold an open house for feedback on the general plan update, which will be up for review by the city council next fall or winter. The public will have several ways to be involved with that process, including a community survey.

The council may extend the building moratorium if it wants more time for code amendments and general plan work. If so, that could happen at next week’s regular meeting.

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