Jul 26, 2014

Shaping Woodbury’s Future ‘Urban Village’

The Woodbury City Council on Wednesday approved several changes to a zoning ordinance that will impact how the urban village develops.

Shaping Woodbury’s Future ‘Urban Village’

As Woodbury looks toward , the City Council on Wednesday approved several changes to a zoning ordinance that will help shape the area in the coming years.

Many of the changes cleared up language in the ordinance, and conform with changes to state law and the city’s comprehensive plan, said Janelle Schmitz, Woodbury’s economic development director.

But the changes will also craft how the urban village—a mixed-use development slated for the southwest corner of Radio Drive and Bailey Road—comes together.


The changes adhere to the urban village master plan and, according to a presentation from Schmitz, the ordinance should:

  • help create a community amenity;
  • open the door for a broad range of goods and services at the site;
  • foster a pedestrian-friendly environment;
  • ensure 70 percent “class 1” materials are used (up from 65 percent);
  • set guidelines for landscaping; and
  • use storm water as an amenity.

The changes would “give (the urban village) a different feel than a standard commercial area,” Schmitz said.

The council voted 3-1 on the measure, with Councilman Christopher Burns against. (Councilwoman Amy Scoggins was absent.)

Burns said at the meeting that he feared that the changes amount to “micromanaging” the development process.

“For me this vote was a close call. I think staff did a fine job meeting with residents and constituency groups and think overall we had a good, thoughtful process,” Burns told Patch. “In the end, as I weighed things, I came to the conclusion that the ordinance seemed to micromanage things to a greater extent then I thought we should.

“Unfortunately we chose to vote on the changes collectively rather than section by section. Had we voted on it section by section I would have voted in favor of many of the changes,” he said.

Councilman Paul Rebholz asked about the ordinance’s affects on driving in the area, and said the city should keep an eye on a network of roundabouts extending from Hargis Parkway into the new development, which has been dubbed “Bielenberg Gardens.”

“I want to be purposeful about that,” he said.

Rebholz also asked whether the new standards—specifically materials and landscaping—could create hurdles for developers.

Schmitz said the city wants to maintain certain standards and can address some of those issues administratively and through the planned-unit development process.


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