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Liberty adopts new lot sizes, Walmart announces renovations

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LIBERTY – Leaders hope to make the city more competitive when enticing new developers to town regarding subdivision regulations.

“We want to help facilitate it,” said Assistant City Manager Chris Jarmon.

The council met last week and adopted new minimum lot sizes in the city by a vote of 5 to 1.

Regulations previously varied based on the type of land use, with widely varying dimensions for duplexes, single-family detached houses, manufactured homes and patio houses.

The change will bring conformity to all these types of lots, as the city has decided to simplify the code and go with a universal 5,000 square feet minimum.

Several council members addressed the change, which was approved by the city’s planning and zoning commission in May by a 3-0 vote.

“It’s not saying you can’t have a bigger lot,” Jarmon noted.

Councilman Tommy Brents quarried about the type of development the change would bring to Liberty. Jarmon told the council that most new developers that inquire about the city are looking at lot sizes similar to the ones voted on by council.

“I don’t like the idea of making a residential lot smaller,” said Councilman John Hebert Jr., the only dissenting vote on the issue.

Hebert Jr. inquired about other neighboring communities and what they had done.

City Attorney Brandon Davis, who also serves as legal counsel in Dayton, spoke about rules established on subdivision standards on that side of the river and how the city has found ways to incentivize developers to build larger lot sizes.

“I can tell you every developer I’ve talked to across the river wants 5,000 square feet or smaller,” said Davis.

He did cite several instances where Dayton has worked with developers to provide more green spaces and other amenities in some subdivisions in exchange for smaller lot sizes.

Leaders also heard from Walmart, who announced significant upgrades to its Liberty location in the coming months.

Plans for the store will see an increase in their online shopping area, more self-checkout lines and an expanded beer and wine area.