Columbus Rewriting its Zoning Code

Planners in Ohio’s capital city hope a new zoning code will help reverse some of the damage done by the city’s previous zoning codes.

1 minute read

April 20, 2023, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

North High Street

LisaCarter / Shutterstock

Planners in Columbus will be spending the coming months undertaking a public engagement process to help write a new zoning code for the state of Ohio’s most populous city, with a draft version of the new code expected later this year and final approval slated for 2024.

“Columbus has already highlighted 62 main corridors throughout the city with growth potential via more favorable zoning rules, including West Broad Street, Cleveland Avenue and Bethel Road,” according to an article by Tyler Buchanan. The zoning changes will start there, according to Buchanan, before being applied to the whole city. These corridors were identified in a recently published report titled, “Where Do We Begin?” by the Zone In team of Columbus planners.

As for the intended benefits of the new zoning code, planners have a lot riding on the first comprehensive rewrite of the city’s zoning code since the 1950s. “A planned rewrite of the Columbus zoning code will go a long way toward spurring badly-needed housing construction, improving transit options and developing ‘walkable’ neighborhoods, city leaders say.”

As noted in an article picked up by Planetizen in April 2022, the city’s current zoning code has been criticized for discriminatory practices and a “piecemeal” implementation.  

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