Mixed-use zoning work session set for Feb. 23

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Smithfield’s Planning Commission has scheduled a Feb. 23 work session to further discuss whether to allow mixed-use zoning in town.

The proposed changes to the town’s zoning ordinance would replace the currently unused “planned corporate office and research district” zoning designation with planned mixed-use development, or PMUD.

The new PMUD zoning would allow single-family and multi-family homes, bed-and-breakfast lodging and guest houses, retail stores and other uses to co-exist on a single parcel measuring at least 5 acres, and set a maximum height of 60 feet to permit four- and five-story buildings.

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The commissioners tabled the issue in January – then revisited it but tabled it again on Feb. 8 – after residents who spoke in opposition at the meetings argued the revised ordinance would make it easier for former Smithfield Foods Chairman Joseph W. Luter III and his son, Joseph W. Luter IV, to secure approval for the “Grange at 10Main” development he hopes to build at the western border of the town’s historic district.

The proposed development, named for its location at Main Street and Route 10, calls for a 13,300-square-foot permanent farmers market building, a hotel, 225 apartments, 45 single-family and duplex homes, 33,350 square feet of commercial space and more than 1,000 parking spaces.

The work session will begin at 5:30 p.m. in The Smithfield Center at 220 N. Church St.