Canton City Council unanimously approved Thursday the Unified Development Code, which will guide future economic development and provide reasonable regulations for developing private property.
“What this does is put together our development codes, zoning ordinance and all regulations and building codes into one large document,” Mayor Gene Hobgood said Friday. “If investors or developers come to Canton, they have one book that tells them everything they need to know. It’s really a great step forward to put together a good document like this. And it’s not something that can’t be changed if we do find there to be any problems with it later on.”
Other purposes of the UDC include protecting the historical small town character; conserving and protecting the city’s natural setting; creating a stable pattern of land uses; preventing blight and deterioration while conserving the buildings’ value; and ensuring that land is developed conforming to the city’s comprehensive plan.
Council member Sandy McGrew said having the UDC will help draw in new businesses because it sets a standard for the city.
“I’m glad it’s approved, because we have conditions in Canton that need to be addressed. There are homes that are unsafe for people who are living there, and we need to get things fixed for pure safety reasons,” McGrew said. “We also want to grow, have small economic development, and until our city is attractive, it’s hard to draw in those businesses. People are attracted to pretty. When we get properties up to code, I think people looking for a ho-me will be more likely to go to Canton.”
Council members also approved the zoning map recom-mended by Community Devel-opment Director Ken Patton and the planning commission to allow the area along Railroad Street, Etowah River and Marietta Highway remain light industrial and general comm-ercial zoned districts.
Coun-cilman John Rust said the zoning map allows for future businesses to request a zoning change if needed, instead of changing a zoning area before the economic growth begins.
“It’s like the stadium in Iowa, build it and they will come — basically, we’re going to wait until they come then build it,” Rust said.
In other business, the city:
•Approved the fiscal year 2015 budget and millage rate of 6.196;
•Approved Weaver Grading & Hauling, Inc. for the Laurel Canyon fire station grading contract; and
•Approved assigning the Smithwick Creek monitoring contract to RayEA, LLC.