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An overlay district, sometimes known as an overlay zone, is a geographic zoning district layered on top of another existing zoning district, or districts, that implements additional regulations. This would be part of the City's development code. Like other zoning regulations, overlay districts can control building codes and urban design, permitted land use, density, and other factors.
The idea of adding a downtown design overlay district is to put policy in place to promote downtown vibrancy. This includes enhancing the pedestrian-oriented business and service character in the central core to support an active, vibrant street life.
Generally, this would be applied upon development applications submitted to the City after the final ordinance is adopted by City Council. Part of the community conversation is to discuss what kinds of development applications would trigger overlay requirements. For example, this could include any of the following: redevelopment, remodels, change of use, or others.