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Vienna Official Proposes Fix to ‘Log Jam’ With MAC Zoning

After dozens of meetings on proposed changes to the zoning ordinance, a Vienna Town official proposed a solution to speed up the process.

Earlier this year, the Vienna Town Council extended the moratorium on the MAC zone to June 30 — after pushing the deadline several times.

Councilmember Steve Potter called the work on updating the zoning ordinance a “log jam” and brought forward a motion for a comprehensive reorganization and update of Subdivision and Zoning Ordinances, Chapters 17 and 18 of Town Code, by using a consulting firm.

“It is time for a process check,” Potter told the Town Council last night.

“There have been approximately 75 Town Council and Planning Commission meetings and work sessions plus six MAC ad hoc committee meetings and two community workshops on proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance since 2016,” he said.

Potter’s motion:

I move to direct planning and zoning staff to expand the scope of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zone and other proposed commercial zone amendments, as directed by Council to date, to include: request for proposal preparation for the comprehensive reorganization and update of Chapters 17 and 18 of the Town Code; consultant interviews and selection recommendations for consulting firms with national and Virginia experience; and determination of a realistic moratorium period for the MAC zone based upon the scope of work identified.

All pertinent work accomplished to date by staff, committees, commissions, boards, and Council, as well as relevant results from public comments, surveys, and workshops shall be retained and shared with the winning consulting firm for use in development of the aforementioned reorganization and update.

“I think this gives us a chance to kind of fix things correctly,” Councilmember Howard Springsteen said.

Potter’s motion aims to make the regulations organized and easy to understand by using plain language, charts, tables and illustrations, along with consistent with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

“The project is funded, up to $240,000, through the FY 2019-2020 budget from currently allocated funds and prior reserves,” according to town documents.

The Vienna Town Council approved the motion, which Councilmember Linda Colbert called “a great way to end 2019 and a good way to start 2020.”

Image via Town of Vienna

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