Urbana City Council to discuss zoning ordinance, property tax levy

A new resolution requesting an amendment to the county zoning ordinance will be presented to the Urbana City Council on Monday. The proposed changes to the ordinance were sent to the council in a memorandum by Elizabeth Tyler, community development director for Urbana, on behalf of John Hall, Champaign County zoning administrator.

According to the memorandum, “the purpose of these amendments is to enhance the standards for Rural Residential Overlay (RRO) districts in unincorporated Champaign County.” The memorandum claims the amendments will “allow for orderly development while protecting best prime farmland.”

The two amendments will “establish criteria to determine if a property is suited to be developed under the RRO district provisions” and “add the requirement for a special use permit to approve an RRO.”

City council will decide if changes to the zoning ordinances are consistent with the Urbana Comprehensive Plan.

Council members will once again discuss the property tax levy first brought up in last week’s committee meeting. In findings by city comptroller Ron Eldridge, property taxes will increase a maximum of 4.5 percent from last year. However, he said he expects this year’s taxes to stay the same or decrease slightly after examining the outcome of similar expectations last year.

“People can expect our taxes to be the same this year as last year,” said Charlie Smyth, Ward 1.

Mayor Laurel Prussing will submit two appointments for approval by the council. She has appointed Eric Jakobsson, Ward 2, for the Urbana Free Library Board and Gregory Chew, former drama director for the Urbana School District, for the public arts commission.

There will be an update to the progress in the Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband project. Construction that began on Sept. 12 will soon be finished, and the project will now begin moving north of Eads Street and east of Goodwin Avenue.