Achieve higher intensity commercial/industrial land uses through at least one of the following strategies:
a. Include in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map a commercial district with reduced lot sizes and zero-lot-line setbacks, or a FAR minimum of 1.
b. Set targets for the minimum number of employees/acre in different commercial zones.
As one walks along an indoor mall there is another storefront to look at and enter every 25 to 40 feet. Mall interiors have very few blank walls. Successful commercial zones follow this same Gehl Door Average rule of thumb: the more different retail shops located along a street, the more reasons to be there. See a sampling of ordinances for limiting parking garage walls facing the street.
Employment density of at least 25 jobs per acre in compact, human-scaled, walkable centers and neighborhoods is one criteria under the national Star Community Rating System.
Document the existence of a district meeting the FAR standard and/or zero-lot line.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND: locate the higher intensity district near higher density housing; have at least one co-working office space in your city.
The number of retail entrances per 330 feet in a downtown retail district ranges between 8 and 13; employment density of 25+ jobs/acre in compact areas; a maximum block perimeter of 2000' in a downtown zoning district.
Who's doing it
Grand Marais - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Grand Marais has managed commercial and residential growth to create a vibrant downtown waterfront district. The zoning code distinguishes between the highway commercial district and the waterfront district, directing appropriate development to the waterfront that encourages walkability in downtown. Amenity of the waterfront deliberately designed to enhance attractiveness of commercial downtown and create a walkable commercial district. The City has also encouraged higher density housing in and adjacent to the downtown.
The EDA is the process of updating the county housing study and plans to have a shovel-ready workforce housing project by the end of 2015.
Zero lot lines are allowed in our C-3 Commercial District in our Downtown Area. This area of town is centered to promote walkable/bikeable commercial activities in close proximity to both single family and higher density housing.
(3a) New Brighton’s B-2 and B-3, Neighborhood Business and General Business zoning districts provide for zero-lot-line setbacks in the side yard abutting other business-zoned districts. Further, New Brighton’s B-3, General Business zoning district provides for a floor area ratio of 1.0.
Included in the city ordinance is a municipal development ordinance. The zoning map includes two districts that have zero setbacks: central district and mixed use district. Both districts require reduced lot sizes down to 5,000 sq. ft and encourage higher density residential housing. The mixed use zone is a transitional zone between commercial and residential development.
Mixed Use Districts (MU-C and MU-R) include zero lot lines (build-to line). For commercial districts, Section 534.11, Subd. 2 (b): "The front setback requirement for a principal building on a lot located along an arterial road may be reduced to five (5) feet when a customer entrance is provided along that wall of the building." The Code does not include FAR minimums.
The Mixed Use districts are located in areas where there is existing commercial and residential intensity and planned growth. Also the Land Use Plan Map in the Comprehensive Plan designates mixed use and higher residential densities as the predominant land uses in the City's commercial centers.
Section 544.15 of the Zoning Code states: "Pedestrian circulation and access, Subd.1. Pedestrian access points shall be provided at all pedestrian arrival points to the development including the property edges, adjacent lots, abutting street intersections, crosswalks, and at transit stops. Pedestrian access shall be coordinated with existing development to provide circulation patterns between developments.” One of the goals for the downtown area in the Comp Plan states: "As the market permits, provide circulator transit services connecting the City Center area to the remainder of Richfield." The plan for the I-494 corridor (p. 4-9) “envisions the evolution of a strip freeway corridor into a complete community that features a range of housing types, shops, services, entertainment and amenities. The proposed land use pattern for the area is described as an urban village, an area of multiple story buildings that are more densely developed than the surrounding neighborhoods achieving a greater mix of land uses and more pedestrian activity.” This complete neighborhood philosophy permeates the City's plans for its major commercial areas.
The Riverdale Transit Station District, which regulates development near the Riverdale commuter rail station on the Northstar line, allows zero-lot-line setbacks, no minimum lot size, and a minimum building height of two stories, which yields an FAR of at least one.
Isanti’s Central Business District (CBD) has a zero lot line setback and no minimum lot size. The Central Business District is surrounded by a Central Business Transitional District (CBTD) which promotes a high quality mix of uses found within the Central Business District along with residential uses that easily transition the area from downtown to more residential areas. Condo’s and/or apartments constructed within the CBTD are subject to the “zero-lot-line setback” and “no minimum lot size” regulations outlined in the CBD.
Under zoning code 154.159: Minor Subdivisions, table C demonstrates that in zone C-2 (Central Business District) there are zero-lot-line setbacks. In addition, lot sizes in the downtown C-2 zone are 2,000 square feet compared to 10,000 square feet in C-1 and 20,000 square feet in C-3.
Maplewood encourages a higher density of commercial land use with commercial districts. many of these lots have reduced lot sizes and zero-lot-line setbacks, or a FAR minimum between .75 and 1 to some standards. These districts can seen within the area surrounding the Maplewood Mall , as well as the commercial areas along Highway 36 and 61.
The City of St. Cloud adopted the Land Development Code (LDC) as its official Zoning Code on February 10, 2008. Article 9 of the LDC established the C-3 (Central Business District) and C-4 (Fringe Central Business District) to provide for high-density commercial development within the downtown core and surrounding fringe areas. These areas are defined as being highly accessible by customer foot traffic. Both of these areas do not require a minimum lot size to be maintained and allow for zero-lot-line setbacks.
The City Zoning Ordinance allows for zero-lot-line setbacks for the City's Central Business District. The flexibility allows for higher intensity of commercial land use in the Central Business District and a better use of space.
As articulated in the City Code, the purpose of the zoning district B3 “Planned Shopping Center” district is to “allow maximum flexibility in development” This district, which is shown on the official Zoning Map, allows for a minimum lot size of 1.5 acres after subdivision (Section 24-139, paragraph f.1).