Editor's Note: The following is a memo from the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission concerning a change in commercial development requirements.
Commercial Chapter of Horizon 2020: Design discussion
Insert a new paragraph in the text after "Nodal Development" (p 14-6) as follows:
The City shall strive to improve the design of shopping areas. The objective will be to work with commerical developers to achieve "village plazas" versus the conventional strip malls. The overall goal of these standards is to improve community aesthetics, encourge more shopping per trip, facilitate neighborhood identification and support and make shopping an event to be enjoyed.
New design standards shall be developed and adopted which better integrate the centers into the surrounding neighborhoods and create a focal point for those that leave near. They should include criteria for assuring that pedestrians and bicyclists can easily get to and move around within these centers. Parking should be behind the buildings and "broken" by areas of increased landscaping. Using a variety of building incentives to encourage mixed use development will bring consumers closer to the businesses.
Insert a new policy 3.2 (between Locational and Inner-City) on design as follows:
Policy 3.2 Establish Design Standards for Commercial Development
A. The city shall develop reasonable design standards for new and redeveloped commercial areas, which improve:
1. Integration with the surrounding neighborhoods;
2. Pedestrian movement to and within the commercial areas;
3. The aesthetics of the districts from the surrounding street system;
4. The design to create attractive focal points for the surrounding populations.
B. Incentive systems shall be developed to encourage commercial areas to provide mixed use projects that include residential and office usese integral to the design.
C. These design standards and incentives shall be adopted into Horizon 2020 and implemented through zoning, subdivision and the capital improvement program.