University District Zoning Overlay

Columbus City Council adopted the University District Zoning Overlay (UDZO) at the regular City Council Hearing on May 1, 2017. The code will go into effect after 30 days (May 31, 2017).

Adopted Image

UDZO Code as adopted by City Council (May 1, 2017) NEW!

UDZO Summary NEW!

UDZO Map of Commercial Subareas NEW!


The City of Columbus Planning Division is collaborating on the development of the University District Zoning Overlay (UDZO) as recommended by the University District Plan adopted in 2015.

Phase 1 of the University District Zoning Overlay (UDZO) is expected to take place from April 2016 through the Winter of 2016/2017. This phase will:

  • Incorporate plan guidance regarding such issues as height, parking, and FAR into the UDZO for application to commercially zoned properties.   
  • Incorporate any relevant UCO provisions into the UDZO and eliminate overlap.
  • Update administrative elements of overlay as necessary.
  • Establish a new code chapter for the UDZO that will carryover the existing University Area Planning Overlay currently residing in "Chapter 3372 - Planning Overlays"

A future Phase 2 and potential Phase 3 will be necessary to address other elements of the University District Zoning Overlay impacted by the University District Plan (2015) such as the residential areas of the district and the questions of expansion of the University Impact District and changes to the role/composition of the University Area Review Board (to be renamed University Impact District Review Board or UIDRB)

Topic Areas

The University District Plan has recommendations within the commercial areas for the following topics that staff is proposing to include as part of the University District Zoning Overlay (UDZO). These topics areas served as the organizing element for the Public Open House, online survey, feedback received, and the staff response to the feedback received. 

  • Design Guidelines
  • Parking
  • Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
  • Height
  • Potential Expansion of the University Area Review Board (to be renamed University Impact District Review Board or UIDRB) 


Updating the existing overlay to develop the new University District Zoning Overlay (UDZO) requires a public process involving property owners, community leadership, and other stakeholders. These include:

  • Updates provided to the University Area Commission (UAC), University Area Review Board (UARB), and committees of these bodies.
  • Public Open House
  • 1 month public comment period for draft UDZO recommendations, 1 month public comment period for draft UDZO code
  • Project website with links to pertinent documents
  • Online community survey regarding the key proposals to the UDZO that differentiate it from the existing overlay
  • Recommendation by the UARB, UAC, and Development Commission
  • Adoption by City Council 


Following is a generalized 2016/2017 timeframe, subject to change:

UDZO Timeline Table 3-21-17 

Project Files

UDZO Draft Code 1-23-17 (For Development Commission) 

UDZO Update - Summary

UDZO Feedback Received

UDZO Response to Feedback Received

UDZO Matrix

February 22 Development Commissions

Development Commission Agenda 2-22-17 

July 25 Public Open House Boards

Summary Board

FAQ Board

Regional Mixed Use - RMX Board

Neighborhood Mixed Use - NMX Board

Design Guidelines Board

Parking Board

FAR Board 1

FAR Board 2

Height Board

UARB Board

Survey for Public Comment

The survey was available here from July 25 through August 25 for public comment on the draft recommendations of the University District Zoning Overlay (UDZO)

For Additional Information or to receive updates about the planning process, Contact:

Christopher Lohr, Senior Planner
614-645-7244, [email protected]