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Vidalia unveils plans for ‘smart growth’

City of Vidalia mayor Hyram Copeland speaks about Vidalia’s past, present and future at the Concordia Chamber of Commerce before presenting plans for the “The Square on Carter,” a planned 65-acre development that will feature retail and residential space. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

City of Vidalia mayor Hyram Copeland speaks about Vidalia’s past, present and future at the Concordia Chamber of Commerce before presenting plans for the “The Square on Carter,” a planned 65-acre development that will feature retail and residential space. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA— The City of Vidalia has adopted its new master plan during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, a move that has not been done since 1970.

Orion Planning Group Partner Robert Barber said the plan has been under review for several months and calls for an upgraded development code, documents, bike trails and both public and private projects that would address the appearance of the community and add character to the community going forward.

“It’s a long range look for the city,” Barber said. “It covers future growth and development patterns, community character, mobility issues, bike lanes and future streets.”

The city engaged an economic development consultant, who immediately upon looking at Vidalia’s planning tools, spotted right away that to do economic development well going forward, the planning tools would have to be updated, Barber said.

He said since the plan had been adopted, the city would now have to implement it.

“If the plan is implemented well over time, the improvements that will occur in Vidalia will improve quality of life for citizens in Vidalia,” Barber said.

Barber said although the city is vibrant, he discovered changes that required action.

“Vidalia hasn’t taken a long range or systematic look at itself,” Barber said. “Through this process, it will refresh Vidalia’s development code and offer a new start for development.”

Mayor Hyram Copeland said the plan would give the city the tools it needs for new direction.

In other news from the meeting:

4 Board voted to improve a pre-file ordinance adopting new development codes.

4 Board voted to improve the city budget.

 

 

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