PALMYRA, Mo. | Marion County no longer offers blanket commercial zoning after the county commission on Monday approved a commercial land use ordinance with five commercial classifications.
“It is quite a difference,” said Teya Stice, the county's land use and capital improvements coordinator, regarding the new guidelines which were approved by the county commission during its meeting at the courthouse in Palmyra. “It protects both the developer and the neighbors. This way they (developers) will have to specify what district they want, whether it be C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4 or C-5. They (neighbors of a planned project) will know exactly what is going in which will allow them to know whether they oppose it or not. They can make a decision based on information.”
The county's commercial zoning districts are now:
• C-1, neighborhood commercial district. According to Stice, this would be the zoning for businesses such as laundromats or day cares.
• C-2, community commercial district. It would include convenience stores, medical offices, movie theaters and storage units.
• C-3, highway commercial district. Included in this category are truck stops, larger car sales lots, restaurants, bars and retail centers.
• C-4, mobile home commercial district. “This district comes with its own set of rules for mobile home projects,” Stice said.
• C-5, multifamily commercial district. It includes duplexes, condominiums, townhouses, retirement homes and apartment complexes.
According to Stice, both the county commission and planning and zoning board felt the time for a change had arrived.
“We have had instances in the past where just that one blanket commercial district has not really been specific enough for what the developers wanted to do and what the neighbors were wanting to see,” she said, adding that most other counties that feature a planning and zoning board make distinctions regarding their commercial zoning.
The ordinance was supported during a Feb. 6 public hearing at the Palmyra courthouse.
“Nobody from the public came to the public hearing,” Stice said. “There was no opposition from anyone on the planning and zoning board. They approved it unanimously and the county commission did, too.”
The new commercial guidelines went into effect immediately after the ordinance was passed by the commissioners on Feb. 10.