Milwaukee Updates Zoning Code to Encourage Walkability

The city of Milwaukee will require new commercial developments to include a 15-foot "street frontage zone" to encourage walking.

December 17, 2019, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"As more and more apartment buildings take hold across Milwaukee, the Department of City Development (DCD) is updating the zoning code to clarify how the first floor should be designed," reports Jeramey Jannene.

"A new policy will require that street-activating uses, be it [sic] an apartment lobby, fitness center, community room or commercial space, be at least 15 feet deep," adds Jannene.

The changes to the city's frontage requirements will impact most developments on commercial corridors, depending on the zoning designation of the development.

"The Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee unanimously approved the change as part of an omnibus update to the city’s zoning code," according to Jannene. The article cites a 2015 article by Laura Bliss in making the case for the walkability effects of first-floor design requirements.

Friday, December 13, 2019 in Urban Milwaukee

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