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Pedestrian Retail Areas

Pedestrian Retail Area
Mapping commercial destinations in your community.

What’s Happening Now?

We are evaluating retail areas within your neighborhoods to determine where to suggest adding to existing pedestrian retail areas (pedestrian zones). We will map these areas and apply rules to protect and promote pedestrian retail. We are also considering modifications to current regulations that would apply to existing and new pedestrian zones. Pedestrian retail areas are important because they serve the neighborhood residents' daily needs. They play a key role in creating safe neighborhoods where you would want to live, work, and shop.

We've been meeting and talking with community groups about our preliminary recommendations, and conducted an online survey that closed April 30. Survey responses are posted on the project documents page. We'll review all the feedback that we received and will publish our updated analysis and recommendations in mid- to late-summer.

A pedestrian retail area:

  • Requires a building to have pedestrian-oriented businesses like shops and restaurants on the ground floor
  • Enhances pedestrian safety with rules about parking and driveway placement
  • Waives some parking requirements to encourage businesses to move into the area (in areas that have parking requirements)

We are considering the following additional rules in pedestrian zones:

  • Require overhead weather protection for new buildings
  • Limit businesses with drive-in lanes on the edges of pedestrian zones
  • Establish a minimum size for new development (minimum floor area ratios) in Urban Centers, Urban Villages, and Station Overlay Districts (for more information see the Minimum Density project page)

Pedestrian zone rules only affect development on private property. They do not currently affect or require changes to:

  • On-street parking
  • Streets
  • Sidewalks
  • Street lighting
  • Bike lanes
  • Transit routes
  • Street-landscaping
  • Business development

Project Goals

Our goal is to identify and map areas in neighborhoods around the city where residents could meet their daily needs. In pedestrian zones, we encourage people to park their car conveniently and walk from business to business if they choose to drive to a pedestrian retail area.

By adding a pedestrian retail area designation to a neighborhood commercial (NC) zone we aim to:

  • Preserve areas that offer a mix of street level pedestrian-oriented destinations accessible by foot, bike, and transit
  • Identify and encourage areas that have potential to transition to a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood business district
  • Encourage more walking, biking, and transit use to and within neighborhood business districts by preserving and promoting active destinations

The End Result

We will consider changes to the requirements for development in pedestrian zones. We will designate some of the properties we evaluate as pedestrian zones to protect and encourage pedestrian retail areas.

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