Cape, Jackson zoning officials plan joint meeting Thursday

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Two cities. Two zoning commissions. One goal: Cohesive street plans.

The Cape Girardeau and Jackson planning and zoning commissions will meet jointly Thursday to discuss future street plans in what officials in the two cities describe as the first-ever such gathering.

The two city governments have held several joint council/board meetings in recent years, but the zoning commissions haven't followed suit until now.

With the two cities increasingly linked by residential and commercial development along their borders, it makes sense for the two planning commissions to meet face to face, officials said Tuesday.

"It is more of a sharing meeting than anything else," said Cape Girardeau Planning and Zoning Commission chairman Skip Smallwood, who proposed the joint meeting.

"It is a real opportunity to work with each other," he said.

The commissions won't make any decisions at the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Osage Community Centre in Cape Girardeau.

The city of Cape Girardeau plans to update its major street plans in the next few months.

Cape Girardeau city planner Kent Bratton said it's useful for both cities to look at each other's street plans in mapping out future road improvements.

Among other things, commissioners will discuss the East Main Street-LaSalle Avenue interchange project. The new Interstate 55 interchange will provide a new entrance into Jackson on the west side of the roadway and Cape Girardeau on the east side.

Other items up for discussion include Cape Girardeau's plan to construct Armstrong Drive through the commercial area west of I-55 and south of Route K, interconnecting the cities' two water systems and Jackson's comprehensive rezoning effort.

The city of Jackson has rezoned property along West Jackson Boulevard as a result of the highway widening project. Janet Sanders, Jackson's building and planning superintendent, said the blanket rezoning effort continues.

"Some we are leaving residential," she said. "A lot of it we are zoning commercial."

Rather than wait for property owners to individually request rezoning, Jackson has moved ahead to rezone the whole area at one time, she said.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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