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The City's entire Zoning Code and Zoning Map are being updated to align with the goals the community has identified. Every zone and district are being changed.
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The revised Pedestrian-Residential District is proposed for the blocks running on each side of Main St. from Poe to Napoleon. The City has created an Interactive Map, so property owners can click on a property to see the current zoning and the proposed zoning classification.
The goals for the PR District are to maintain and preserve the walkable neighborhoods surrounding the downtown by allowing limited types of small businesses and more diverse housing options. Property owners would have more flexibility when using their property; local entrepreneurs would have expanded opportunity to start a business; and residents would have additional walkable destinations in their neighborhoods. In addition, this zoning district more accurately reflects the existing built environment (i.e.: setbacks and lot sizes), essentially legalizing the current conditions and decreasing legal nonconforming situations.
The Zoning Code update puts the City’s planning documents into action. Community input resulted in the policies being proposed in the new code and for the revised PR District.
The 2014 Future Land Use Plan called for “traditional residential (w/retail permissions)” in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The Future Land Use Plan and the 2018 Community Action Plan (PDF) called for expanded housing options in neighborhoods adjacent to downtown.
Zoning regulations apply to uses and structures. If an exterior project or change-in-use is proposed, a zoning permit is required following the PR regulations. Thus, the PR may only affect a property if a zoning permit is required.
The following table compares the lot standards proposed for the PR District to those that exist for property currently zoned R-2 in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown.
* But see exceptions for “existing lots of record,” at current 150.86 and 150.88
** See 150.33 in draft zoning code
*** See current 150.86 and 150.88
The front yard setback in the PR District will remain effectively the same as under existing zoning. Because the neighborhoods in the PR District were built before 1975, the year the city adopted its Zoning Code, the front yard setback for a property is currently calculated based on the average front yard setback on the block – this “existing lot of record” exception remains in the new Zoning Code.
The older neighborhoods in the PR District were built before the community adopted a Zoning Code in 1975 and they feature a wide range of lot dimensions. The new Zoning Code moves the lot standards closer to the existing built environment in the proposed PR District. This will preserve the existing character of our older neighborhoods, while connecting the built environment to the Zoning Code standards.
The PR District would allow only limited types of small businesses. Two commercial uses would be permitted by right (Professional Offices and Bed & Breakfast), while a few others would be allowed conditionally (Barber/Beauty/Spa, Day Care Center, and Funeral Home, Professional Office). In contrast, the City’s Commercial Zone allows 41 uses. See the Comprehensive Use Table at 150.41.
The business uses allowed were reduced significantly in the Pedestrian-Residential District due to citizen feedback and were selected because many already exist nearby or in residential neighborhoods; many tend to be lower traffic.
Businesses, like those allowed in the proposed Pedestrian - Residential District, already exist in residential districts and zones throughout Bowling Green. A list of permitted and conditional commercial and non-residential uses in the PR District:
*See also the Comprehensive Use Table at 150.41 in the Draft Zoning Code.**Specific use regulations also apply, which means these uses have additional regulation due to their unique nature and potential for impacts on surrounding uses.
In contrast to a use permitted by right on the property, a “conditional use” is “a use, which, because of the special nature of its activities or potential adverse effect on surrounding and adjoining properties, requires additional restrictions to those provided for other uses in the same district.” See definition of “Conditional Use” in the Glossary, Article VII.
Section 150.98 requires the planning director to review any conditional use application and allows the director to establish specific requirements for the proposed conditional use, including but not limited to, setbacks, buffers, hours of operation, noise transmission, height limits, and parking provisions.
Yes, all residential zones and districts allow commercial and non-residential uses to some degree. For example, home occupations are permitted in any dwelling city-wide. See 150.54. Other non-residential uses allowed in almost every residential zone or district include a home day care, bed & breakfast, church/place of worship, and school. See the Comprehensive Use Table at 150.41.
The Zoning Code places limits on the types of dwellings permitted in each residential zone and district. The PR District allows one and two-unit dwellings only (See Comprehensive Use Table 150.41). Anything bigger – like an apartment complex or multiple-unit dwelling – is not permitted in the PR District.
Traffic and parking are important issues – and involve decisions on both private and public property.
Businesses in the PR District may not build large parking lots; only one parking pad with space for 3-5 cars may be constructed in the side or rear yard. See 150.71(B) and the definition of “Parking Pad” in the Glossary, Article VII. This regulation limits the businesses that may want to locate in the PR District to those with few visitors traveling by car and the majority arriving by foot, or to those businesses that don’t have visitors at all, such as certain artist studios or office uses. Additionally, driveways and parking pad locations are more stringent, which is more aesthetically pleasing, but may also not be something attractive to potential businesses. For example, a front yard cannot be paved (See Figure 25 of 150.71), which is not true of the current Zoning Code. Lastly, having a maximum lot coverage also minimizes paving and buildings.
Residential density is defined in at 150.19(A).
One and two-unit dwellings would be permitted in the PR District (see the definitions of “Dwelling Unit” and “Two-Unit Dwelling” in the Glossary, Article VII), and Accessory Dwelling Units would be allowed conditionally (where one unit is owner-occupied, among other requirements, see 150.43(J)).
Planning documents call for expanding housing options for current and future residents in the neighborhoods adjacent to downtown and city-wide. No multiple-unit dwellings will be permitted in the PR District. “Multiple-Unit Dwelling” is defined in the Glossary, Article VII, as three or more dwelling units on a lot.
No, the proposed Zoning Code specifically targets street tree planting in 150.77, which requires that every new development and every new building expansion include the planting of one street tree per 40 feet of lot frontage or fraction thereof. The current Zoning Code does not have a tree planting requirement for residential.
For the first time, the City's Zoning Code will recognize passive greenspace as a permitted use, in nearly every part of town, including the PR District. See the Comprehensive Use Table at 150.41 and the definition of “Passive Greenspace” in the Glossary, Article VII.
ZoneCo (formerly Calfee Zoning) is the company of zoning professionals that helped the city to update its Zoning Code.
No, the City’s historical preservation ordinance provides important protections for historical neighborhoods (Sections 158 and 150.11 B would remain the same language that currently exists in the code). If a building, street, or neighborhood is listed on the Local Historic Register, approval would be needed before significant changes to the exterior of a building could be made.