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Porterdale considers adopting zoning overlay
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As the City of Porterdale reviews potential subdivision and commercial development, Mayor Arline Chapman asked the Council at a work session on Aug. 11 to consider adopting an overlay district to control architectural and structural design.
“As we move forward with the folks who want to develop the property or any future development, we need to take the Salem Overlay and adapt it, setting it up to apply to any subdivision built on Porterdale land.”

The Salem Overlay created by the county to encourage “the creation of clusters of close knit growth that keep the small town charm of Newton County,” according to the 2014 final draft of the overlay district. The overlay would establish standards governing development in residential, mixed use and commercial zones and covered things like building materials, lot sizes and infrastructure.

Chapman said she thought the Salem Road Overlay could be used as a guideline for drafting a similar code for Porterdale.
If an Overlay were adopted, it would apply to any subdivision or other development on property in Porterdale, Chapman said. “There needs to be some kind of continuity, especially since building [projects are] going up, a set of rules developers need to follow.”

Council members agreed building standards were needed, and would begin working on a plan at the Aug. 27 work session.
The council also discussed a proposed annexation of three separate pieces of land owned by Lewis “Gene” Woods. The property is on Highway 81 near Teddy Lane, and is adjacent to land annexed by the city earlier this year. After discussing the impact of an overlay district on the development of the property, the council suggested that the request move forward with the caveat that the developer will have to abide with the future overlay mandates.

City Engineer Marty Boyd reported that they were almost ready to submit a plan for sewer work to the state’s Environmental Protection Division. The proposed sewer work will be done in the area known as New Town, east of Main Street, with some work to be done on Hemlock and a little south of the river. Boyd said pretty much every street in New Town would be affected, but he did not expect work to begin before spring of 2016. The council asked him to work with homeowners to set up street closures ahead of time.

In honor of the city’s original name, it was proposed that the park near the kayak landing on Riverfront Road be named Cedar Shoals. Though Council Member Anita Rainey said she preferred Riverfront Park, the majority supported the proposed Cedar Shoals name. An ordinance naming the park will be brought to the City Council meeting on Sept. 7.