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Commission schedules public meeting

The Paris Planning and Zoning Commission wants to know what you think. So, the commission is going to host an informal public meeting on Aug. 29 to find out.

“In 2003, the city’s Comprehensive Planning and Zoning Codes were adopted,” Commission chairman Eric Wells of Paris said. “It’s been more than a decade and it’s time to review and update the plan and the codes. We know there are areas that need to be addressed and have been over the last decade.”

For example, Wells pointed out that West Walnut Street (Highway 22) is zoned C-1 (commercial) for 200 feet off the highway.

“The problem is that, in fact, lots are all necessarily 200 feet,” Wells said. “So, we have some lots that are partially C-1 and partially R-1 (residential). We want to give someone who has that situation the opportunity to come in and have their situation addressed. They may want their property all commercial.”

Wells said bringing it up in an informal meeting will save the property owner money.

“Right now, the property owner would bear the cost of a re-zoning,” he said. “If we do several at one time, then the city bears the expense.”

Wells said there are other issues that can be addressed at the meeting.

“Right now, a Bed and Breakfast or Tourist Home can’t be done as a R-1,” he said. “We want to look at making it a conditional use under R-1.”

Wells is also seeking ideas from citizens.

“If you know of an idea that might make our zoning better, we want to hear these ideas,” Wells said. “We want the people who live here to have a voice in the planning and zoning of Paris.”

Wells also added that the goal of the gathering will be to fine-tune the current plan rather than coming up with a wholesale restructuring.

“We want to review and make changes,” Wells said. “We’re not going to try to reinvent the wheel. The current plan is a good one but as needs change, it needs to change.”

Wells said once the meeting is held, it will take the commission 60 to 90 days before it’s ready to send changes to the City Council for consideration.

“The commission can only make recommendations,” he said. “The City Council has final approval.”

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