THE FACTS ABOUT THE C-4 ZONE AND THE VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT PLAN
- An absolute certainty is that in 2020, Midway will lose about $450,000 per year, a major portion of the budget. With the 2020 census, Midway will lose about $450,000 in resort fees because of the declining ratio of resort units to residential units. There is no “if” on this issue. It will inalterably happen. The loss is about the same amount the City presently receives in property taxes. The only alternatives to deal with this huge loss of funding is to either curtail services to the community or find additional tax revenues. When homes are built, there is a net drain on City resources. Services associated with residential development cost more than the revenue gained. Raising real property taxes is extremely distasteful to all, and may not be able to fill the gap. The practical solution is to broaden the sales tax revenue by adding businesses which fit in with the Midway theme. This increase in sales tax revenue will be paid largely by visitors to our community.
- Most of the property south of Memorial Hill is now zoned Commercial. The City and the community cannot prevent commercial development in that area. History teaches that development will take place there eventually, and likely in the near term. If a developer proposes a commercial project that is within the permitted uses in the zone, they must be allowed to move forward. Recently, two efforts to put storage units on this property failed, but caused wide-spread alarm in the community, prompting the current planning effort.
- Since the area is zoned Commercial, if the City does not take action now, no one can stop random unattractive businesses from locating on the property. Picture a two-story wall located 15 feet from the property lines — the back wall of a condo or apartment project. Picture also a 7-11 market or a multi-story office complex. The point is, there is an uncontrollable risk of development that most would find incompatible with our community under the current zoning. Preserving the open fields simply is not an option.
- A creative, European-style Village which will bring needed funds to Midway is proposed. Starting more than a year ago, the City has been working toward a plan for the limitation of the kinds of uses that can be made in this area to help assure an attractive development that will balance the look and feel of our mountain village community with the need to provide a broader commercial base and attract more visitors to our community. In other words, the effort is to shape the future development so that it is appropriate for our community and will also serve our financial needs.
- There are no high-rise buildings in the proposed plan. The C-4 Zone will not allow a “high-rise” development. Rather, the height limitations will increase as you move to the center and toward Memorial Hill to accommodate the density and economic viability of a blended-use European Village, with a town square and surrounding shops, cafés, and the like and a pleasant, walkable square with a lovely performing arts center as its centerpiece. Conceptually, such a Village would incorporate open space, residential and commercial (and even some animals) to give the look and feel of a European village, consistent with the historical theme of Midway.
- Bringing visitors to Midway will help all existing businesses. The proposed commercial component of the Village would not detract from the existing businesses in Midway. A rising tide floats all boats. Visitors to this new area will shop and visit other nearby businesses. The point is, existing businesses would have MORE visitors visiting them. Instead of hurting local businesses, this development will grow them. A critical mass of attractive commercial shops, restaurants, etc., attracts people in greater numbers than isolated similar businesses.
- Planning and managing change it is the best way to preserve our community. This kind of planning for future development always draws fire from those opposed to change. However, change is inevitable. The best we can do as a community and as a community government is to plan wisely and carefully to channel that change in such a way that it serves the needs and the desires of the majority of the community in the most intelligent manner possible. We are losing a major revenue stream. We require a better economic base for our community needs in terms of roads, infrastructure and other services. We cannot control commercial development of the land in question, but we can plan it to provide a gathering place and visitor-attractive elements that will be both a pleasant addition to our community and a resource for our needed economic support for years to come. The Memorial Hill site is considered by those who have been working on this issue for a long time to be Midway’s “last chance” to do something wise and fitting under these circumstances.
- No buildings higher than 35’ (2 stories) will be around the perimeter.
- No gas stations, no storage units, no box stores, etc. will be included.
- Quaint, walkable streets and open space (which may include animals) will be a critical part of the Village.
- A visual and performing arts center will be a central feature of the Village surrounded by a gathering plaza with sidewalk cafes and shops.
- All the buildings in the development will have a European Village look and feel, thus promoting the Midway vision.
If you’d like to express your views about this proposed development, you are invited to address an email to: MAYOR BONNER, CITY COUNCIL AND PLANNING COMMISSION and send it to email@example.com. It will be delivered to your addressed list.