Recognizing the inherent differences in Downtown O’Fallon and wanting to encourage new and redevelopment opportunities in the Downtown area, the O’Fallon City Council approved a Downtown Overlay District at their February 28 meeting.
The new zoning begins immediately and continues a process that began back in November.The Council previously gave approval to add the Downtown district to the Zoning Code at the January 24 meeting, but Thursday’s vote added the District as a zoning overlay to the downtown area.
The Downtown area is generally defined as the area from I-70 north to just past to St. Joseph Ave. and Woodlawn East to just past Sonderen Street.
The Downtown Overlay District recognizes the unique and historic attributes of Downtown O’Fallon and encourages appropriate redevelopment and revitalization of this area with a mix of retail, service, office, government, institutional, religious, restaurant and hospitality uses together with residential uses.
“The Council and Staff worked for several months to develop a plan that we think both protects the historic character of our Downtown area and allows for new development and economic revitalization of this area,” said Mayor Bill Hennessy. “We appreciate the tremendous input and support of our current Downtown residents and business owners. They truly guided the development of this District. Together, we have developed a plan that we believe will protect and grow this historic region.”
The regulations of this overlay district are intended to allow greater design flexibility, enhance the aesthetic appearance of the area and streamline the review and approval process within Downtown. New regulations for this area include:
- The District establishes limits on the commercial land uses that are allowed in downtown and adds a standard maximum building height of fifty (50) feet or three (3) stories; however, it also establishes a process for consideration of building heights up to six (6) stories under certain circumstances.
- There are no minimum lot area requirements in this District and there are no lot coverage requirements in this District except that a minimum 20% of the lot is landscaped green space.
- Parking requirements shall be consistent with existing ordinance requirements when possible, but will be reviewed and considered on an individual basis after evaluating existing conditions and space available. The Ordinance also outlines a process for review and consideration of parking plans in cases where minimum parking requirements cannot be provided onsite or a shared parking agreement cannot be acquired.
- The proposed District acknowledges that some properties are constrained by space and present challenges when making improvements to sidewalks and roadways is necessary. The District provides options as to how the improvements are constructed.
- Voluntary architectural, site design and signage guidelines.
- The Downtown Overlay District allows “R-2”, “R-3”, “R-4”, “C-O”, “C-1”, and “C-2” and Mixed Use Traditional Development Districts.