In early April the Phoenix City Council will be voting on a proposed zoning overlay designed to streamline the process and make it more cost effective for small businesses to renovate and use older buildings in the downtown area.
Known as the Arts, Culture and Small Business Overlay, this modification to the existing zoning laws would relax parking requirements and allow up to a 25% expansion (up to 500 sq.ft.) without requiring additional parking.
According to Kimber Lanning, director of Local First Arizona/Chain Reaction, the zoning overlay would help in 3 distinct ways: 1) There is an economic advantage to adaptive reuse of older building that is made easier with the zoning change; 2) There is an environmental advantage to using what is already in place: 3) Successful cities integrate the old and the new to give a sense of culture and flavor to the urban area. Such integration encourages a diversity of dwellers and give both character and energy to the region.
The Urban Team is a proponent to this zoning change. First Friday festivities have shown us the potential of our inner city. The gaiety of the artist, music and cultural scene are making downtown Phoenix an interesting and fun place to visit. Encouraging the expansion of an art, culture and small business community will certainly help build and diversify the area.
If you agree, please contact your council person and let them know it is important to you as well. Click here to find out who your representative is and contact them.