Public invited to review commercial center study

City officials are inviting local residents to a presentation about the final draft of a study which would guide zoning regulations for small commercial centers within neighborhoods.

A presentation on the Columbus Neighborhood Commercial Access and Design Study will be 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St.

The study was initiated by the City of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department in late 2015 to determine which residents in Columbus have access within walking distance to neighborhood commercial goods and services and whether a need for such a use will be present in the future, said Emilie Pinkston, who led the project.

The study also was used to determine how such neighborhood commercial centers should be designed if they are proposed for a residential area. The study includes a series of recommended zoning ordinance updates and design guidelines that could guide future commercial development near residential areas, Pinkston said.

Neighborhood commercial centers are small-scale commercial developments located within or near the boundary of residential neighborhoods. The centers are intended to provide value to the surrounding neighborhood by offering goods, services and amenities within walking distance of homes.

As part of the study, city planners looked at some of the existing commercial areas that are located near neighborhoods, including 11th Street at Lafayette Avenue, 16th Street and Home Avenue, 23rd Street and California Street, 25th Street and Talley Road and Gladstone and McKinley avenues, said Jeff Bergman, city-county planning director.

The study explores how the benefits of neighborhood commercial uses can occur while minimizing the disadvantages often associated with living near a commercial establishment.

Recommendations for zoning changes are guided by a resident survey conducted last year that asked residents to describe their experiences living near existing neighborhood commercial areas in Columbus. Input from the public at the Sept. 27 session will provide the final recommendations for the study, the planning department said.

A draft of the study is on the Columbus city website at columbus.in.gov and may be reviewed before the Sept. 27 session.

For more information

To view the draft Neighborhood Commercial Access and Design Study on the city website, visit columbus.in.gov/planning/columbus-current-projects/.

For more information: 812-376-2550.

If you go

What: Final draft presentation of the City of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department’s Columbus Neighborhood Commercial Access and Design Study

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 27

Where: Columbus City Hall meeting hall, 123 Washington St.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.