The adoption of a revised Comprehensive Plan for the City of Batavia, adding the term “Gateway District” to define zoning on East Main Street near the city line, is moving closer to reality as a result of action by City Council on Monday night.
“We’re talking about making it a little more Commercial (zone)-based, or having different options than just Industrial,” said City Manager Jason Molino after Council agreed to send the 2017 Comprehensive Plan draft to its Oct. 10 Business Meeting.
Molino said the plan update, led by a steering committee, has been in the works for a year and a half. Several internal and public meetings have taken place and the update has been reviewed and approved by the Genesee County Planning Board.
Responding to questions from Council members last month about the proper zoning for East Main Street, the committee changed the area from the proposed “Neighborhood Commercial” rezone to “Gateway District.”
Molino explained that Batavia is unique in that it has four major highways – Routes 5, 63, 98 and 33 – leading into the city. By creating a “Gateway District,” it promotes “good optics and good development plans,” he said.
“It’s a more guided zoning code … one with consistency,” he said. “There has been a lot of focus on gateways over the past decade.”
Following discussion about the plan’s timetable, homes in the floodplain, redevelopment of the C.L. Carr’s building on Main Street, keeping electric car charging stations out of the plan, form-based codes and cleaning up the document’s grammatical errors, Council moved the issue forward. Jankowski noted that he was pleased by the fact that Council would be able to vote on individual proposals in the plan, rather than the entire document.
The steering committee recommended incorporating form-based codes into the Future Land Use plan. Form-based codes focus on matching development with the environment and this approach aligns with the City’s vision statement, according to a committee report.