Mayor Harold Shirley wants city officials to take control over proposed housing projects instead of letting developers do it for them.

Shirley said the southern Utah city is experiencing a housing crunch, but that its past performance has been shortsighted and reactionary because officials have waited for developers to request zone changes.Instead, the mayor said Wednesday, the city must make long-range plans to anticipate rezoning needs.

Such planning may make some people nervous, Shirley said, "but it makes me nervous the way we do it now."

The city council on Wednesday scheduled an April 10 public hearing to discuss rezoning six areas for medium density multi-unit housing. If approved, the six areas would be rezoned to a proposed R-3-16 designation, meaning 16 housing units per acre could be built.

R-3-16 is a new zone proposed to accommodate smaller apartment complexes.

The new zoning designation was suggested by an ad hoc zoning committee composed partly of residents who are concerned about whether recommendations for parking and fencing ordinances will be strictly enforced.

Of the six areas, only two have a significant amount of undeveloped usable land available for building near Southern Utah State University.