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Master Plan Land Use Approved, Map Categories Explained

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Submitted by David Barrow

    Central, LA – The Central Planning Commission approved the Master Plan Land Use map at their September 23, 2010 meeting.  A copy of the map is available on the city’s website at www.centralgov.com by clicking on the “City Documents: Master Plan” tab.  This approval comes after nearly three years of studies, mapping, informational meetings, and public input.

    Also included is a 70-plus page document prepared by the Moore Planning Group which explains every detail of the Land Use Plan and the planned, controlled growth for the city of Central.  This can also be viewed on the city’s website.  The Planning Commission will be using this Master Plan Land Use map to help make future planning and zoning decisions and serves as a tool for developers to show which areas of the city are most suitable for residential and commercial developments.

    A series of public meetings have been held over the last three years to gather public input and support.  Most recently, four public meetings were held in June, July and August of this year to show the public the proposed Land Use map for final public comment before adoption.

    The next phase of the city’s master planning will be to implement a new zoning code with the new zoning categories, followed by development of a floodplain management program, city-center overlay district, and new street design standards. 

    Find out more about our city’s Master Plan by visiting www.centralgov.com.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE MASTER PLAN LAND USE MAP.

    Rural / Agriculture – This land use designation is used to describe areas that have not been subdivided into individual commercial, industrial, or residential lots and upon which development in the form of structures is minimal.  Scattered homes and outbuildings such as barns and sheds are typical.  For the purpose of this land use planning effort, this use was also assigned to the undeveloped (typically rear) portions of parcels of five acres or greater area.  Most of the area is either in pasture land or in wooded lowlands.  These lands and the open, undeveloped spaces they provide are responsible in large part for the “rural” feeling that is frequently cited as a major community asset.  It represents approximately 62% of the total area of the city.

    High Density Residential – This land use designation is used to describe properties with apartments and condominiums, typically multi-story units with common parking areas.  It represents about .15% of the total area of the city.  It is intended for a maximum density of 8 units per acre.

    Medium Density Residential – This land use designation is used to describe properties occupied by homes at a density of four or more per acre.  These residential lots are typically found within uniform subdivisions such as Morgan Place West, Rambling Oaks, Huntington Park, Biltmore, Cedar Mill Run, Bellingrath Lakes, and others.

    Low Density Residential – This land use designation is used to describe properties occupied by homes at a density between two and four per acre.  It represents approximately 5% of the total area of the city.  These lots are typically found within uniform subdivisions such as Morgan Place, Comite Hills, Geo-Je’s, and Sherrington Place.

    Neighborhood Commercial – This designates areas of low intensity development intended for small scale retail and office development that serves the immediate needs of adjacent residential neighborhoods.  An example would be a small convenience store or office building.

    General Commercial – This land use designation is used to describe properties occupied by facilities and/or operations used for indoor retail, wholesale and office activities.  Facilities vary from large retail stores to small shops and food service facilities.  Larger facilities are located at major roadway intersections in the form of shopping centers.  These areas are designated as “Town Centers” in the Master Plan and should be restricted to development of integrated grouping of retail and office facilities with shared access and parking.

    Office/Technology Park – This designates areas of moderate intensity development intended for research and technology based business and light manufacturing.  These areas are intended to be developed as integrally designed “park like” settings with high aesthetic standards.

    City Center – This classification exists along Hooper Road between Sullivan Road and Joor Road and is intended for high intensity development.   This includes mixed use residential, retail and office development that serves as the downtown or central business district of the city.  These areas should be restricted to development of integrated grouping of retail, office and dense residential facilities with shared access and parking.  It is also intended that this area will have a significant amount of “community space” and may include government facilities.  This area will display high levels of design and construction quality.  Walkability and connection to surrounding neighborhoods, schools, parks, and other assets will have a high priority.

    Conservation Areas – This classification exists along areas by major drainage channels or areas where inundation during a 100 year storm event would exceed four feet.  These areas are considered unsuitable for future development and should be protected to insure an adequate flood basin area.  Lands in these areas can be used for agricultural purposes but restrictions should be placed upon any activity that would diminish floodplain capacity.  Parks and trails serving to create non-vehicular connections are encouraged.

    Parks –  This land use designation is used to describe properties occupied by public parks and related recreational facilities.

    Restricted Greenspace – This designation is used to describe properties within the 100-year flood zone with inundation levels of less than four feet.  Density of development in these areas should be restricted.

    Incentive Greenspace – This designation is used to describe undeveloped properties that would best serve the overall community if preserved as an open space. Development proposals for these properties should be reviewed for compliance with overall greenspace development plans and judged accordingly.

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