By Jill Richardson
Kuna Melba News
Melba Planning and Zoning committee began discussions to rezone the downtown area to allow for Mixed Use zoning. The stretch of Carrie Rex included in the discussions is the four blocks from Fourth Street to Baseline.
This rezoning will allow for residential and commercial use in the area where it is currently zoned as commercial only. The homes in that area are considered “non-conformed use” due to the current zoning. “The way it is zoned now, if an older house burns down the owners can’t put another house back up there or owners cannot add to existing homes,” said P & Z representative Don Conklin. “Those older houses are never going to get improved until we change the zoning so that they can be improved and yet leave it available for businesses that are already there.”
Currently the only zoning available in Melba is defined as Commercial, Industrial or Residential.
“We would like to attract new business to the downtown area, but are we likely to do so with the current zoning?” asked P & Z representative Ron Mitchell.
Mixed Use zoning would still allow for P & Z committee approval on what could be constructed in the area.
“We can define the zoning any way we want,” said Area of Impact representative Steven Bills. “Other cities have defined it as a certain percentage commercial and the rest residential.”
Bills has researched the comprehensive plans for cities like Parma, Wilder and Meridian to get an idea of what changes they have made and growth they have experienced. The committee would like to see planning specifically for the growth and needs of Melba.
Next month’s meeting on March 6 at 7 pm will incorporate writing the language for the new zoning.