Downtown Design Project

Map of Urban Design Framework showing major gateways, connectivity and mobility, and character areas

Implementation Efforts Continue

Based on the Urban Design Framework, which was created with community members and approved in 2018, the city is working on land use policy updates and new development rules to implement that vision for a more vibrant Downtown.

Policy updates, which take the form of draft Comprehensive Plan changes, will be headed to the Planning Commission on Jan. 22. The commission will hold a public hearing and consider adoption of the new policies. City staff members are currently refining the proposed changes, based on public comments and Planning Commission feedback provided at a Dec. 12 work session.

The new development rules are still being created. They are intended to remove obstacles to desired development in Downtown and set expectations for site and building design that help achieve a vibrant Downtown and meet community expectations. Draft development rules for public review are expected to be released in mid-February. Public open houses are tentatively scheduled for early March.

Downtown Design Project - Description

A vibrant downtown is a top community priority, and the city is taking the next steps to make downtown a livelier, more welcoming destination.

Project goals include:

  • Develop the urban design framework for downtown to define districts and gateways, outline building design and placement, identify opportunities for gathering areas and provide connections for pedestrian and bicyclists to connect everything. The framework was approved by the City Council in Fall 2018.
  • Create opportunities for community members to influence downtown design, including the look and feel of the area. This is ongoing.

  • Update development rules to ensure the urban design framework can become a reality. Development rules are being developed now, and a public review draft of the new development rules are scheduled to be released in February. City Council is scheduled to consider approval of these changes in 2020.

  • Remove development obstacles. This is a key part of creating new development rules.

  • Develop an action plan to identify quick wins and long term efforts to make downtown as exciting and inviting as ever. This is scheduled for 2020.