Thursday, May 28, 2009

Commercial Uses in Subdivisions

Part of the issue of including other uses in PRD neighborhoods is the overall viability of these secondary uses.  

The Planning Commission was concerned that allowing small-scale commercial or office uses might result in businesses that fail and leave the neighborhood with vacant space right in the heart of the neighborhood.   The issue was one of ensuring the balance between residential and secondary uses is appropriate to foster success.  

Staff clarified to the Planning Commission that the proposed Code language is opening PRDs to the possibility of including mixed use or town center concepts with supportive secondary uses. The final decision is one to be made by the applicant, who will decide what the viability of the commercial uses will be.  Staff also pointed out that some types of uses may be more viable in the future with new gridded street patterns and development patterns being developed as a result of the Code changes initiated by this project.  

Concerns over the types of uses that could be integrated in the PRD were also discussed.  These were addressed when staff talked about how the Code would be structured to include a strictly defined set of uses (as described by the Planning Commission as “service-oriented commercial" - dry cleaners, barbershops, etc.).

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