Downtown Columbia may see new changes in coming years

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COLUMBIA - The downtown area of Columbia might look and feel a little different in the coming years, as the city has released a draft of the new Columbia Development Code called Module 2.

The development code is a three-part module; the first focusing on zoning districts, the second on regulations and what you can do on your property and the third on enforcing the codes.

Right now, the downtown area is termed a C-2 Central Business District, which means it focuses on the use of square footage of the building and its impact on traffic and parking.

Development Services Manager Patrick Zenner said it's "not giving much consideration to what impact does that create to the street life that may be occurring in front of the building."

What the city wants to do is make it a mixed-use district, called M-DT (Mixed Use - Downtown), which is what the downtown area has already become by default, said Zenner. The city wants to create a form-based standard, which identifies the relationship between the uses of the building and the public space that's in front of it.

"You're engaging the public as they either walk past shop fronts, you create recesses in a building that allow people to come in off the sidewalk and they can look within the windows," said Zenner.

"The M-DT district is just a retitling basically of what the C-2 district currently allows and is a refocusing of the attention on form-based standards versus our current process that is use-driven."

M-DT will identify building height, building length, and other design details that encourage development and would then support a more active street front.

According to consultants the city hired, this zoning change will enhance the vibrancy of downtown.

Other changes include new sections on design standards and guidelines on multi-family residential districts and new neighborhood protection standards.

There will be a public forum for residents to comment on Module 2 on Thursday, Nov. 13. The meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers of City Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Two people wait to cross the street in Columbia, Missouri, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. On Nov. 13, 2014 a public forum at City Hall will take place about a major change in Module 2 which replaces C-2 (Central Business District) with a new district called M-DT (Mixed Use - Downtown).

The lights shine at City Hall in Columbia, Missouri, on Tuesday, Nov. 4,2014. On Nov. 13, 2014 a public forum at City Hall will take place about a major change in Module 2 which replaces C-2 (Central Business District) with a new district called M-DT (Mixed Use - Downtown).

The Tiger Hotel's light shines on Tuesday, Nov. 4,2014, in downtown Columbia, Missouri. On Nov. 13, 2014 a public forum at City Hall will take place about a major change in Module 2 which replaces C-2 (Central Business District) with a new district called M-DT (Mixed Use - Downtown).

 

 

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