The Envision Belknap Revitalization Plan was adopted by the City Council and the City's Economic Development Corporation in March of 2007. This plan was put together by an expert team of consultants (Kimberly-Horn and Associates and Townscapes, Inc.), citizens and business stakeholders through an inclusive public participation plan.
The Primary Comprehensive Land Use Strategy of Envision Belknap was to develop an overlay ordinance to further legally preserve the ideals and visions described in the plan for the Belknap Corridor. In April of 2007, City Planning Staff and the City's Planning and Zoning Commission began investigating other cities using overlay ordinances as a redevelopment tool aimed at spurring an increase in development for the older commercial Belknap Corridor.
As with the Envision Belknap Plan, the City hired a professional consultant Mr. Dennis Wilson of Townscapes, Inc. to help the City Staff and the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission to develop the Zoning Overlay District Standards for the Belknap Corridor. Mr. Wilson prepared a draft document and several public presentations explained the concept of a form based zoning overlay district. During these presentations input was taken from potentially affected business and property owners, residents, tenants and other stakeholders within the corridor. A final draft of the Belknap Corridor Zoning Overlay District Standards was adopted by the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission on April 22, 2008.
A zoning overlay district using form-based codes is a land use pattern that allows a variety of housing types to exist among neighborhood-serving commercial and institutional uses and employment opportunities. Form based overlay zoning encourages the development of compact, pedestrian scaled neighborhoods and commercial centers intermingled with one another. Form Based Overlay Zoning recognizes the market demand for new residential and commercial development within compact, pedestrian friendly districts. These code standards work in conjunction with proactive development of pocket parks, plazas and the creation of public spaces to create a small town main street environment along the Belknap Corridor.
The status of existing residences, businesses, uses and all buildings will not change. Existing businesses, uses, and buildings would all be allowed to continue indefinitely provided that they are not expanded, reconstructed, or otherwise modified from their current footprint. No time limit or expiration of this non-conforming status is proposed in this overlay district.