Public hearing set for planning revisions

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday, Feb. 24, to get feedback on proposed changes to the city's subdivision ordinance.

The hearing will take place during the commission's monthly meeting at the New Prague City Hall, 118 Central Ave. N. It will cap off months of work that the commission and staff members put in to update the ordinance, which was written in 1986. New Prague Planning Director Ken Ondich noted there has been a number of changes to state laws since the ordinance was first written.

City staff has been doing updates to the ordinance in pieces and the commission has been reviewing them during its monthly meetings since July. Areas covered have been general provisions, filing and recording, preliminary and final plats, design standards, required improvements, administration and enforcement and park and public land dedication.

On January 5, local land developers were provided a copy of the original and the updated ordinance for review. Ondich said the developers had few comments or huge issues with the changes.

There have been 13 major changes to the subdivision ordinance, many of which bring the city's ordinances in line with state statutes. There are also references to specific areas of the city's zoning ordinance relating to landscaping of new homes or stormwater management and the addition of a section regarding requirements for the developer's agreement.

Another change in the ordinance will prohibit private streets. Ondich explained that usually maintenance of such streets is poor and these streets are narrower than public streets. This can create problems with access to emergency vehicles.

Ondich noted the city's attorney is reviewing the updated ordinance. The review should be done by early February and Ondich didn't expect any big changes.

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