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Zoning Code Open House October 17

Public Input Sought on Zoning Code Update – Open House October 17

The City of Cedar Rapids continues to seek public input through a series of open houses during its comprehensive update to the City’s zoning ordinance.

Third Open House
Tuesday, October 17
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
NewBo City Market (1100 3rd Street SE)
Open house format, residents can come at their convenience
The public can continue to provide feedback on a number of community topics that are shaped by zoning codes, and comment on possible approaches to addressing these issues. Examples include:

  • Site Design and Walkability: Site design refers to the location of buildings and parking on a development site. Site design regulations in zoning codes are an important factor in whether areas are walkable and accessible to nearby amenities, such as restaurants and shops. 
  • Tree Preservation: Trees offer many benefits including providing protection from sun and rain and helping with storm water runoff. 
  • Parking: Parking is a necessity, but poorly designed parking can create unattractive places and unsafe conditions. In addition, excess parking increases storm water runoff and adds to the “urban heat island” effect in high pavement areas. 
  • Exterior Lighting: Lighting helps create a sense of security, deter crime, and also provides beautification. However, done inappropriately, lighting can result in glare and light pollution. 
  • Renewable Energy: ReZone Cedar Rapids presents an opportunity to encourage renewable energy facilities, such as wind and solar. Since renewable energy systems range from small structures that are mounted on a single-family home, to large-scale facilities that can take up acres of land, it is important to contemplate how the zoning code addresses both small-scale and large-scale renewable energy systems. 
  • Development Review Process: The City is exploring how the zoning code could improve the review and approval process for development proposals. This means that developers will know what they need to incorporate into their projects, and neighborhood residents will have a clear understanding of what can be built based on the requirements in the code.

In addition to the issues identified above, the public can also provide comment on initial areas identified for the application of form-based zoning districts. Cedar Rapids currently uses a traditional zoning code, which encourages the separation of various land uses such as residential, commercial, and industrial. The City is exploring transitioning parts of the community from a traditional zoning code to a form-based zoning code, which looks at the relationship between the building, sidewalk, and street, and emphasizes complimentary designs, or “forms.” At the open house, residents can view areas identified for form-based regulations, and talk with staff about their application.

ReZone Cedar Rapids will help align the City’s zoning code to more accurately reflect the quality of life issues that were identified through the public input process of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, EnvisionCR, which was adopted by City Council in 2015.

Learn more: www.cityofcr.com/rezone.

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