Zoning Amendment Will Enhance Special Character Overlay Districts

October 7, 2020

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Updates to the City’s Special Character Overlay District ordinance will improve how design guidelines are created and implemented for architecturally unique neighborhoods, under a zoning text amendment approved by City Council today.

Special Character Overlay Districts are intended to enhance and preserve the unique physical character of properties within their boundaries, which are identified as overlays on the City’s zoning map. This planning tool, most often called Neighborhood Conservation Districts, was first recommended in the Department of Planning and Developoment's Green Healthy Neighborhoods Plan for the Englewood community area, and is used in many other cities in the country.

The ordinance improvements include new processes to create design standards that reflect and complement the physical features of a district. The revisions will also require more information be provided to the public during the overlay district designation process.

The design guidelines for future overlay districts will be developed in conjunction with residents and property owners.

The City’s 14 existing overlay districts will not be impacted by the guidelines.  

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