The City of Chicago recently completed a massive revision of its zoning ordinance, and it goes into effect this November. The previous ordinance was a real nightmare -- it was written in 1957, when the general assumption was that Chicago would grow from 3.5 million residents to 5 million, and the predominant form of commercial development would be the strip arterial pattern that developed with streetcars. There were thousands of amendments to the ordinance, but no rewrite until this year.
What might be the biggest innovation in the new ordinance is the new B-2 Neighborhood Mixed Use District. The new district allows ground-floor residential uses by-right, adjacent to a wide range of business uses. The City of Chicago is selling this as something that will stimulate new development in under-performing business corridors, will drastically reduce rezonings and eliminate requests for special use permits in business districts, and be an effective residential infill tool that will save existing businesses as well.
This strikes me as being pretty unique. Has any member of the Throbbing Brain (tm) heard of anything like this? Is something like this used in your home or work community? Would a mixed-use district be useful in your home or work community? Is this an innovation in typical Euclidean zoning that would allow/create the kind of mixed-use development that planners seek through PUDs, form-based codes, and even New Urbanism?
Or am I just showing my lack of knowledge here?