The Gainesville City Council approved new regulations for the city’s Midtown Overlay Zone on Tuesday, banning some uses while allowing for single-family homes and condominiums in the area.
Prohibited uses under the new ordinance include homeless shelters, crisis centers, coin-laundry facilities, kennels, liquor stores, pawn shops and jails.
Gas stations on lots smaller than 2 acres are also banned. Industrial uses that emit smoke, odor or noise, as well as industrial uses with outdoor storage, are prohibited.
Existing uses that are prohibited under the new rule are allowed to stay.
The city’s Midtown Overlay Zone is bordered by E.E. Butler Parkway, Jesse Jewell Parkway, Queen City Parkway and the railroad. The overlay zone also includes about 200 feet outside those boundaries. The area is about 350 acres and is located south of Gainesville’s business district.
Planning Manager Matt Tate said the overlay zone was established in 2001 as part of the city’s redevelopment plan, and the zone was adopted in the city’s land development code in 2005. City officials want to encourage redevelopment in Gainesville’s midtown, which currently includes several industrial developments.
“It really set the vision and standards for this overlay to improve the aesthetics and functionality of the uses within this area. … For 13 years now, we have identified additional uses that really just do not contribute in a positive way,” Tate said.
The ordinance passed 4-1, with Councilwoman Barbara Brooks opposing. Brooks said after the meeting that she was not comfortable with having gas stations in the area, and the perimeter of the overlay zone includes major roads that have plenty of places for drivers to get gas. Allowing gas stations could lead to more liquor or package stores, she said.
No one spoke in opposition to the ordinance at a public hearing Tuesday.
The ordinance went into effect immediately.