The Rigby Planning and Zoning Commission approved the proposed downtown overlay Thursday night. The commission’s approval does not adopt the ordinance, but is a “do recommend” for the Rigby City Council, who will be holding a hearing regarding the ordinance April 18.

Commissioner Roger Warner said if the ordinance is adopted by the city council, he would like to revisit the ordinance in the future to consider expanding the overlay to areas such as State and Clark Street.

“This is just an idea, that needs to generate more,” he said. “We can revisit this.”

If that time comes, Warner suggested they form a citizens committee.

The discussion of the overlay zone has been ongoing for over a month between the city council and the planning and zoning board.

Rigby Planner Sharon Parry said the purpose of the overlay zone is to promote primarily retail on the ground floor of buildings; promote primarily residential loft living and tech, high-tech, and upstart small business on the upper stories; promote and enhance lasting historic elements and the community’s unique architecture while accommodating new development initiative; to promote a unique sense of place that cannot be replicated elsewhere; to promote an exciting, growing and aesthetically pleasing downtown commercial district that will attract shoppers, visitors and those who may want to make future investments in properties and businesses in Rigby; and to increase the community’s awareness of Rigby’s unique and authentic architectural assets.

During the Thursday meeting, Parry said one the four main aspects of the ordinance is zero-foot setback.

In other action, the commission approved a new city code requiring development agreements, an amendment to the city ordinance regarding R-1 zones, limiting it to one dwelling per lot and updates to the planned unit development ordinance requiring preapplication meetings.

Each approval is just a recommendation to the city council.

The commission also tabled a decision for the creation of an R-Ranch zone, old plats and adult businesses for further review and modifications.

The purpose of an R-Ranch Zone is: to encourage the continuance of areas which are characterized by large and very large lots and parcels of sufficient size to accommodate one single dwelling unit and limited agricultural uses, including animal husbandry. The zone is generally intended for rural residential areas which were previously developed in the county and for those new build subdivisions in the Area of Impact that embrace the rural feel of larger lots and limited agricultural use.

The newly introduced adult businesses ordinance is proposed to limit the exposure of the community from adult businesses by allowing them in the city but only in limited locations. Such businesses are limited to the industrial zone.

Parry said without such an ordinance, adult businesses could go in any commercial zone as long as the distances in state law are followed.

Because it was the commissions first time seeing the ordinance, they asked to table a decision so they can review it.

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