Magic Valley Mall requests zoning change, possibly add new uses in the future

Published: Jan. 5, 2018 at 5:42 PM MST
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On Wednesday, the general manager of the Magic Valley Mall had a

in front of the Twin Falls Planning and Zoning Commission requesting a zoning change.

The 58 acre mall currently has a Planning Unit Development zone, or PUD, and they want to change to a Zoning Development Agreement, or ZDA.

"What the Magic Valley Mall has is actually about five or six PUDs and they all have varying degrees of regulations with those agreements," said Jonathan Spendlove, a senior planner with Twin Falls City.

The ZDA would allow the mall to have one agreement.

"What the're trying to do is not completely rescind everything from those five or six, but they want to have one agreement," Spendlove said.

He said the old PUDs were created in the '80s, '90s and was updated through the 2000s, but the city's zoning code has changed was well.

"As malls are kind of changing across the nation, they're looking forward to wanting to do new types of land uses that are not listed in those PUDs and our zoning code has some of those listed," Spendlove explained.

He said it will be a little easier to be under the ZDA regulation because it's "one document to look at instead of six."

Utah-based Woodbury Corp., who owns the mall, also asked for a few modifications to the city zoning code.

"A couple of those is to add some uses, alcohol consumption on site. Currently you're required to have a special use permit if you're within a 300 feet residence," Spendlove said. "They're also asking for indoor recreation and entertainment. Indoor recreation requires a special use permit. They're asking for a parking structure land use."

Spendlove said it's not "necessarily not permitted in our code, it's not specifically listed either," so the company just wants to have it just in case they want to build one in the future.

"They have some other things and development criteria they're looking to be able to use so they can have those other land uses," he continued. "One of those things they're talking about is having a residential on the mall property in the future."

All plans are still in early development. The general manager of the mall was not able to comment at this time.

As for the city, he said they want to help "facilitate that change with a more seamless transition."

"We want it to be used. We like it to have to people going there. We have a lot of people coming out of town and that's the first thing they see. We want it to still be busy and used and viable," Spendlove said.

The next step in this process is for the company to get approved by the planning and zoning board. The meeting will be held at the new City Council chambers on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

If they get the approval, it will then move onto the City Council.

"They get a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission. The council makes a decision on approving it after that. An ordinance would be drafted once the ordinance is adopted, signed by the city council and published," Spendlove said. "They would be under those new regulations and they could move forward with whatever plans they're looking at doing."