City of Columbus to Revise Downtown Zoning Code & Design Guidelines

downtown Columbus code & design guidelinesThe City of Columbus, in cooperation with the Downtown Commission, is undertaking a major revision of the downtown zoning district and creation of design guidelines for use in conjunction with the code. The public can participate in the discussion and provide ideas and feedback at a public meeting on April 23rd from 4pm to 6pm in the Ground Floor Conference Room at 109 North Front Street in Columbus. If you are unable to attend the meeting, the public can still participate and provide ideas via an online form from the City of Columbus’ website. Your comments regarding proposed changes to the Downtown District and the new Design Guidelines are welcome. Comments should be sent by April 30, 2013 to Kevin Wheeler at or mailed to Columbus Planning Division, 109 N. Front Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

The Downtown District was established in 1997 with the adoption of City Code Chapter 3359 and has not had a substantial update since that time. The entire downtown falls within one zoning district, which allows most land uses pending design review by the Downtown Commission. Since its inception, the Commission has reviewed hundreds of projects, from storefront reconstructions to parks and other civic improvements, entertainment venues, new housing development and office buildings.

The revised draft code minimizes the use of specific standards in order to allow for greater flexibility. Administrative sections have been updated. The code is supported by draft design guidelines covering a range of topics, such as building height and setbacks, parking facilities, outdoor dining, and graphics. The guidelines are intended to encourage creative design while reinforcing key development principles.

Read more about the proposed code update and design guidelines as well as meeting an participation information on the City’s website.

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