Millville Town Council bites into substantial zoning overhaul

Before an audience of one reporter on June 23, Millville Town Council began the first of several meetings to review a 30-page zoning overhaul. Last year, the mayor had formed a committee specifically to modernize the zoning district regulations in the Town’s current code.

Their suggestions had already trudged through several long Planning & Zoning Commission meetings before arriving at this week’s council workshop.

Recently renamed Ordinance 16-01, the document will amend the town code’s Chapter 155 to prepare the town for future growth. It also adds definitions and removes redundant language.

The council discussed Article VI “District Regulations”; AR – Agriculture Residential District; R – Residential District; MPC – Master Planned Community District; and C1 – Route 26 Corridor/Town Center Commercial District.

Discussion will continue at the regular July 14 meeting, for the C2-Town Commercial District; Article VII – “Supplementary District Regulations” regarding parking; and Article XIV – “Terminology.”

Much time was spent on commercial districts, both behind the scenes and on June 22.

“The types of development that we’re seeing are different, and our code wasn’t really set up” to accommodate what happened, versus what was expected, said Kyle Gulbronson of engineering firm URS.

The council reaffirmed that it wants temporary farm-stands to retain a six-month limit in the AR-Agricultural Residential District. Otherwise, they’re approaching permanent structures.

Language was also added to specifically prohibit adult entertainment establishments, massage establishments and taprooms.

The ordinance gives examples of restaurant activities, including drive-through, carry-out, full-service, tavern and bar, and so forth.

It also includes landscape design centers, as promised when Michael McCarthy Stones expanded services.

Hotels were a hot topic in the C1 zone. Planning & Zoning would have prohibited it from the C1 zone. But the mayor’s committee specifically wanted it included — especially if meeting spaces and halls are permitted.

Ultimately, the council was comfortable with leaving it in C1, because a property owner could otherwise just request to rezone to C2.

Council Members Bob Gordon and Susan Brewer were absent.

To stay fresh, council will spread out discussion of the changes over several meetings. An official vote will occur later, as well.