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Grayson approves zoning change

GRAYSON - "This a big change from what we've done before," Mayor Jim Hinkle said prior to the Grayson City Council approving a major zoning change Monday night. "It's a big leap to get into this."

Following a public hearing, the council passed an ordinance that would replace the current R-4 (single-family residential) zoning with what is called planned unit development, which would include mixed-use districts of residential, commercial and office space.

The new zoning also will include conservation subdivisions and a provision for the existing R-4 subdivisions to become R-4/PUD so they will be in compliance with the new ordinance. There will be no new permits issued for R-4.

"Anything we do now is for small acreage," Hinkle said. "There's no more 85 acres around anymore with maybe the exception of one piece of land."

The new classification also will have areas for greenspace and "performance-based" buffers around the perimeter of the property, according to City Planner Steve Sappington.

To encourage construction of innovative housing like a senior citizen center, the new zoning calls for up to six units per acre for the residential part with a 10-acre minimum. A builder must begin his project 18 months following approval from the City Council.

Linda Turner, a member of the city's planning commission and resident of Britt Street, said she was opposed to the new ordinance.

"We're going from four houses to six or more houses per acre," she said.

In other business, Mayor Hinkle opened sealed bids for Grayson City Park improvements. Great Northern Construction of Grayson issued the low base bid of $331,591.15 for the project. All of the bids will be reviewed by the council and the city planner, and the matter will be taken up at a future council meeting. Part of the money for the project ($62,000) will be provided by a federal grant.

The council also:

' Agreed to install all-way stop signs at the intersections of Britt Street/Tripp Street, and Britt Street/Pine Grove Avenue to slow down traffic.

' Set dates for the upcoming budget public hearings for August 6, 13 and 20.

' Approved patching of Wilshire Drive from Local Area Road Project funding.

' Designated Southern Landscape Group to repair sprinkler heads.