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Consultants to create master plan for city’s core

May 16, 2011

By PAUL SIMS
sdnnews@bellsouth.net

The group working to develop form-based codes for Starkville will wrap up nearly a week in the city with a presentation to city officials tonight.
Most cities set zoning rules that guide how property can be used in certain areas, such as commercial, industrial or residential use. Form-based codes are an additional focus on building design and usage.
The standards will allow developers to build higher-quality projects without going through numerous administrative steps.
Placemakers LLC representatives started a workshop Wednesday which will continue through today, said Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas.
The presentation will conclude the workshop – which included groups associated with the Highway 182 corridor, Mississippi State University and Mississippi Department of Transportation officials regarding Highway 12 and Russell Street as well as numerous developers and builders, Dumas said.
They’ve eaten at restaurants and been out in the community to obtain information and gather opinions trying to “see what the issues are and what peoples’ wishes and wants are as they related to future development,” he said. “They’ve had a heavy presence here in the past week.”
In April, the Board of Aldermen approved the spending of $80,960 to put together master plan and form-based code for aspects of the city’s core.
Those supporting the change say it will improve the administrative process for development and be applied as an overlay to existing code requirements in specific areas.
“It’s a big change but it should be a very positive impact for development in the city of Starkville,” Dumas said.
Mayor Parker Wiseman has said he expects Placemakers will turn around the work fully by fall.
In other matters, the board is scheduled to consider:
u A tax abatement request for Medical Development Properties LLC for Premier Imaging Center Research Facility located on Stark Road.
u A low bid from APAC of Mississippi in the amount of $572,215 to conduct work in the 2011 Capital Improvement Program in the city. City officials propose trimming some costs to get closer to the budgeted figure of $455,000.
u Hiring Clayton McHann to serve as an independent contractor to inspect the work developed under the Capital Improvement Program.
u A change order to allow additional time for Ellis Construction to complete the Pat Station Road extension project due to recent wet weather.
The Starkville Board of Aldermen will meet at 5:30 p.m. today at City Hall.

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