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New city subdivisions will require underground utilities and sidewalks in future

Changes to the city’s subdivision regulations will not affect two new developments to be built in Vicksburg.

The board Wednesday approved changes to two sections of the regulations to require underground utilities and sidewalks for all residential and commercial subdivisions, but grandfathered two pending subdivisions, allowing them to be built under the present regulations.

Community development director Victor Grey-Lewis said the ordinance revisions “cleaned up the subdivision ordinance to make it user friendly,” and would make new subdivisions more marketable to people.

“What we are doing is to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and to attract new development,” he said. The changes become effective 30 days after they have been published.

Grey-Lewis told the board the developer of one subdivision has submitted a preliminary plat, or map, of the subdivision, which is being reviewed under the present ordinance.

The developer for the other subdivision, called “Hidden Valley,” has submitted a plat for the development’s first phase. Phase I, he said, will be reviewed under the old ordinance, and subsequent phases would have to follow the new regulations.

“But Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said he wanted Hidden Valley to also be built under the present ordinance.

“I’m all for change, but you don’t want to have a negative impact on someone who is currently developing a subdivision. It’s only fair. My feeling is this ordinance should not apply to any subdivisions that are currently committed to development at this time.

“It’s not right to have someone start under one set of regulations and then turn around and tell them they have to build the rest of it under another set of rules,” he said.

“That’s my concern. I just think that everything on that should be under one set of regulations. We encourage development, (but) we shouldn’t be incurring additional costs.”

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield agreed, suggesting Hidden Valley’s developer should decide whether to have underground utilities.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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