St. Paul undertakes zoning study of neighborhood
Zoning codes are ordinances that allow a city to regulate land use in a particular area. They allow the city to protect the health and welfare of the residents in a particular area by reducing traffic, limiting where businesses can be located and the types of businesses or residential properties that can be in a certain location. Zoning laws also allow a city to dedicate certain areas for recreation, for single family homes and for other helpful purposes.
The city of St. Paul has recently undertaken the creation of a redevelopment plan for the neighborhood known as the Shepard-Davern Area. This neighborhood is located along the south-end of West Seventh Street. It stretches from Shepard Road between Norfolk Avenue and Homer Street.
After complaints about access in the area, the city has been studying various aspects of a potential redesign. This has included a public transportation study, a possible realignment of Shepard Road to give better access to the river, an examination of the area’s access to parkland and a zoning study. These considerations have been undertaken by a city-created taskforce.
In the zoning study, the taskforce has recommended changing much of the area to a traditional neighborhood zone. This zone allows for properties that contain both residential and business uses on the same lot. This mix of uses would allow for much more flexibility in the area. Currently, the residential, industrial and retail zones are segregated in the area.
However, the large shopping area known as the Sibley Plaza was not included in this zoning change. Instead, this developers of the plaza and members of the task force want the area to remain zoned as it is. This zone allows for parking in front of the buildings, which the developers desire. The plaza will undergo its own changes to include a new organic grocery store, smaller shops and housing.
Understanding the zoning code is critical for many property owners. This code will dictate how the property can be used. In certain situations, like this one, it may be possible to change the zoning code to better fit the needs of the property owners and the community at large.
Source: Pioneer Press, “Sibley Plaza won’t be rezoned in new Shepard-Davern plan,” Frederick Melo, Jan. 11, 2015
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