Urbana council to vote on zoning, public works

By Maureen Wilkey

The Urbana City Council moved to vote on new revisions to the Urbana Zoning Ordinances of the Mixed Office Residential (MOR) Zoning District at its next meeting.

The revisions would require that buildings in the MOR district have their main entrances on the street, have some windows on the front facade and have parking behind the building instead of underneath or in front of the building. The MOR district is located along Green Street between Lincoln Avenue and Race Street.

“We are looking to maintain the character and add some new development in the corridor between the campus and downtown,” said Alderwoman Esther Patt.

Alderman Milton Otto expressed concerns that the council had taken a step backwards in its zoning policies.

“I am committed to adding density to the area,” Otto said. “I think we are sending the wrong message to people who are looking to develop the area.”

The council will vote on the ordinance at its next meeting on Sept. 7.

n In other news, the council also recommended a vote on an ordinance proposed by the public works department to amend the annual budget to include the expenses incurred by making improvements to the landfill.

“About a year and a half ago, the Environmental Protection Agency told the city that there was a problem with seepage in the landfill,” Patt said. “The improvements will cost around a million dollars, which is a hefty price to pay, but we have to pay to keep a healthy environment and have to do so according to the law.”

The council also scheduled votes on Sept. 7 on ordinances regarding traffic signals and the disclaiming of a slight encroachment of the News-Gazette building onto city property.