TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- The trend toward mixed use development is edging its way into the All America City.
City leaders plan to rezone some areas throughout the city to make it more flexible for business developers.
For the last 19 years, the city of Tupelo has been rather strict with its land uses.
Every group had to stay within its own area — residential was in one place, commercial was in another, industry was separate and medical was in its own area.
Now, leaders want to relax the code and allow residential, retail and offices to locate in close proximity to one another.
"We want to be able to allow more of what's called mixed use development. You don't have to separate everything. In fact, some areas where you have a mixture of those uses are actually valuable places people want to live and where businesses make more money," said Pat Faulkner, city planner.
Leaders said the new codes are designed to allow businesses to be more flexible with how they use their property and protect unwanted changes in residential neighborhoods.
Marilynne Bank said she wished the change was on the books several months ago. She said she has two new hotels in her backyard.
"They are so tall. If you come out and take a look at them, you will see how tall and how close they are to our backyards. I mean, we won't be able to go out in the summertime if you want to sit on your back porch or anything," said Bank.
Leaders said the current code allows residential and commercial use to sit right up against one another. The new codes would require a transition zone.
"We want to be able to make a transition zone in between there, and it could have a mixture of uses. Maybe small buildings that are commercially used, not tall buildings that are commercially used. This would make it a smoother transition rather than an abrupt boundary line like in her case," said Faulkner.
The suggested zone changes are not set in stone. Leaders will review concerns of citizens before finalizing any plans.