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Smart Growth scrapped

City officials say they have scrapped plans for a new set of regulatory codes called Smart Growth and will implement a more traditional form of zoning ordinances.

City Planner Wayne Mansfield said Tuesday that he plans to present new uniform development codes, or zoning regulations, to the city board for approval by early summer. He said the plan will include elements from the proposed zoning codes written by a citizen committee four years ago and from the charette public meetings this summer.

“What I will propose in this uniform development code is sort of a combination of the efforts three or four years ago and the Smart Growth,” Mansfield said.

Mansfield was hired two weeks ago to take over the city’s planning department after long-time city planner Ronnie Bounds resigned in December. Mansfield had been planner in Southaven for six years and had worked for the City of Vicksburg for four years before that.

During the previous city administration, a committee was put together to revise the city’s current zoning laws written in 1971.

Some adjustments were made in 1996 to accommodate the areas annexed into the city in 1990 and were draft proposals of a new zoning ordinance was put together, but have not been implemented.

Mayor Laurence Leyens said certain elements of the Smart Growth will be used in the new plan such as establishing individual neighborhood rules and mixed uses in certain areas.

“Vicksburg is not ready for Smart Growth, but we would like to work in that direction,” Leyens said.

To design the Smart Growth codes for Vicksburg, the city hosted a team of design professionals during two sessions this past summer and held two public hearings.

The total cost of the charrette was $250,000, but Leyens said it was not a waste of money.

“We got a lot of good information out of those meetings,” Leyens said.