A new type of development option will soon be available in Lawrence.
City commissioners gave preliminary approval to a new zoning category called a Mixed Use Zoning District. The new district would allow developers with 20 acres or less to propose developments that intermingle commercial and residential uses.
The city's current zoning districts discourage that type of mixing of uses. But the idea of mixing uses has become popular as cities start to adopt more New Urbanism type of designs that attempt to mimic older neighborhoods, which typically had retail and other commercial services near residential uses.
The new category also would allow larger downtown-style buildings, but it does place some restrictions on the type of uses that can be located in the district. For example, bars and nightclubs are not allowed in the new district, but restaurants that serve alcohol are allowed.