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Editorial: Zoning changes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cape Girardeau's zoning code has not been completely overhauled for 40 years. A great deal has changed in those four decades.

Many residents can recall what the city was like in the late 1960s. The center of retail activity was shifting from downtown to the Town Plaza area near Kingshighway. The final segments of Interstate 55 were being constructed and wouldn't be completed for a couple more years. The mall and other retail developments along the interstate were still several years away. And residential areas of single-family homes were clustered mainly between Kingshighway and the river.

It's easy to spot some of the major shifts in the way property is being used around the city. New retail areas have vastly increased the amount of land devoted to commercial activity. Neighborhoods around Southeast Missouri State University, formerly single-family homes, are being converted to student housing.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is getting ready to review a complete rewrite of the zoning code, a process that began months ago. By October, the commission hopes to schedule public hearings on the revisions. Anyone interested in city zoning should watch as the process unfolds and make plans to participate in these public meetings.

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