Columbus Introduces Zoning Code Proposal

Published on April 04, 2024

An aerial shot of Columbus City Hall

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther today introduced to Columbus City Council a groundbreaking proposal to modernize Columbus’ 70-year-old zoning code to address the city and region’s housing, mobility and affordability challenges while fostering quality development and sustainable growth. If adopted, the proposal is expected to support the creation of 88,000 new homes – 44% of the region's housing demand – in 10 years, offering a significant solution to the region’s mounting housing pressures.

"Columbus is on the cusp of a remarkable transformation under this proposal. This modernization of our code, where our residents have already called for change, will address critical housing and affordability challenges and lay the foundation for a more equitable, vibrant and sustainable future for our city,” said Mayor Ginther. “By leveraging our corridors to create diverse housing options and grow our transportation system, we are charting a course toward a more inclusive and prosperous Columbus for all."

Drawing on adopted neighborhood and area plans, two years of technical analysis and engagement with thousands of residents, the code proposal recommends creating six new mixed use zones on 12,300 parcels of land along Columbus’ busiest streets. Presently, these parcels are projected to support the creation of 6,000 housing units, but through market-driven parking strategies, permissibility for taller construction and through a clearer and more navigable process, capacity analysis suggests the proposed code could unlock the creation of 82,000 additional homes. 

“This is about the future we want. Right now, our exclusionary and convoluted zoning code hurts us all by contributing to rising rents, skyrocketing home prices and a looming homelessness and eviction crisis. If we don’t act boldly now to allow more housing supply, longtime residents will get priced out of neighborhoods they love,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “Moreover, upzoning along the corridors represents an inflection point for Columbus to pivot away from car-centric sprawl and toward a sustainable future of dense, mixed-use, transit-oriented development.”

On Monday, April 8, Columbus City Council will consider a resolution to receive the proposal. Should the resolution be approved, the city will initiate a 60-day public comment period. Starting April 9, Columbus residents may visit to review the proposed changes to the code and to share their feedback. Residents may also visit the Zone In Gallery, located at 141 N. Front St. The gallery is an interactive space where residents may learn about the code proposal and have their questions answered live. Additional information, including gallery hours, is also available on the Zone In website.

“Modernizing our zoning code is one of the most important things we will do as a community to shape our city’s future,” said Council President Po Tem Rob Dorans. “In the coming months, Council will host multiple public hearings while the Zone In Gallery and website will be available to our residents to learn more about the proposed changes. As the Chair of City Council’s Zoning Committee, it is my hope that our residents will engage with us directly to ensure the legislation Council will vote on has true community feedback incorporated and that our new zoning code will address our housing crisis and more equitably shape the future growth of Columbus.”

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