It’s been three years in the making, and Syracuse city planners are ready to present the final draft of a new zoning ordinance and map Wednesday that will shape the city’s land use for years to come. The city began the ReZone Syracuse project in 2016 in an effort to modernize zoning codes that hadn’t seen a comprehensive overhaul since the 1920’s.
Assistant Director of City Planning Owen Kerney says it was overdue.
“The way we work, the way we shop, the way we commute to work, how we work, where we work, many of those things have changed in the last 50 or 100 years, but our zoning ordinance hasn’t really reflected those changes.”
Kerney says adjustments were made over the decades, but that created a patchwork of confusing rules and regulations that didn’t facilitate growth in the city’s business corridors or neighborhoods. He says they’ve held dozens of meetings over the past three years to gather input and feedback as the project has progressed. Now he feels they’ll end up with projects from engineers and architects that fit the vision of the new ordinance.
“Having something that is more user-friendly, that’s more clear, is something that make their jobs easier, makes it easier for the city to review, and ultimately, advance projects.”
Kerney says the new zoning map also took into consideration larger projects on the horizon, including the future of I-81 and the Syracuse Surge development plan for the near south side. The first in a series of public meetings on ReZone Syracuse will be held Wednesday evening at 6:30 in the City Hall Commons Atrium on East Washington Street.