First zoning workshop features interactive activities

By Christina Sampson

January 24, 2013 - 5:55 pm
Residents participant in a zoning-code workshop Tuesday. Christina Sampson photo

Residents were given the opportunity to offer feedback through interactive exercises during the first community zoning workshop Tuesday at the Southern Dunes Golf Club.

Dyett & Bhatia Urban and Regional Planners of San Francisco are helping the city rewrite the zoning code.

Michael Dyett, principal of the planning company, told the handful of residents at the workshop that zoning was positive for a community.

“This is all about zoning being a good neighbor and protecting you from problem uses,” he said.

Residents participated in interactive activities to kick start a conversation about what they want.

First, residents were asked to give one-word answers to questions asking what word defines Maricopa, what needs to be improved the most, what one zoning change they wanted, what kind of business they wanted to attract to the city, what kinds of homes zoning should allow in the future and what problem uses they want to see addressed.

In another activity, residents gathered in groups to create a cover showing Maricopa on the cover of a make-believe magazine in 10 years.

Dana Burkhardt, the city’s interim zoning administrator, said family-friendly zoning was a priority for the attendees.

“They wanted the city to consider and include provisions to address the needs of the family, especially children and teenagers,” he said.

Burkhardt said residents want the zoning code to encouraged family-oriented businesses, such as “sit down restaurants,” parks and other family-entertainment amenities.

Residents also want zoning that promotes business development, more diverse housing types and zoning to accommodate alternate transportation.

Dyett said good zoning helps preserve community character while fostering economic growth.

“I think zoning can make a difference because if you lay out the rules and expectations, development of the community will come,” he said.

Burkhardt said he wished more people attended this week’s event. Twelve residents, along with public officials and city staff attended the event.

“We accomplished what we hoped, which was to engage the citizens in a dialogue on a vision for the future of Maricopa,” Burkhardt said.

Information about the process, including future public meetings and hearings, and applying to be on the task force can be found by clicking here

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