Editorial

Jackson zoning

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Zoning ordinances and building codes have been used by municipalities for decades to regulate development and construction in ways that protect the general interests of the public.

Sometimes, developers, builders and property owners complain about the codes, but reputable businesses involved in those activities do their best to adhere to them since whatever they do will be inspected by city officials.

One area that is likely to be ripe for future development is along the stretch of Jackson Boulevard from Hope Street to Farmington Road that currently is being widened to a four-lane thoroughfare. This is will open up Jackson's entrance from the west and could make property there desirable for commercial development.

In order to guide that development, the Jackson Board of Aldermen is considering zoning options. At public hearings held so far on proposed zoning along Jackson Boulevard, there has been little opposition expressed, which is surprising to city officials. Typically, major changes involving zoning produces considerable feedback.

Some of the reaction to the proposed zoning changes has come in the form of negative criticism in Speak Out. One comment asked when Jackson residents would "get to vote" on the proposed changes.

That's what public hearings are for. At these hearings, residents are invited to raise questions, express concerns and state their preferences. Without that input, aldermen will rely on the recommendations of city officials and their own personal opinions.

The last public hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday. Then it will be up to the board of aldermen to make a final decision on the Jackson Boulevard zoning. Residents who are interested in this process should take advantage of the hearing and make their views known before the board acts.

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