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Special commercial use overlay


Our office is developing a new overlay that would require that a minimum FAR of neighborhood-serving retail uses (1-1.5 FAR) be provided as part of any new high-density residential development. Major renovations of existing developments would also be affected. Questions have been raised about how to meets the different need of retail and residential uses on the first floor (lobby, service, delivery, etc). 1.5 FAR would also require retail to occupy more than on floor. Is there any guidance about:

- use of shared loading and service areas;
- minimum size of buildings on lots;
- lot occupancy (under the companion residential zoning, lot occupancy is limited to .6-.75: it has been suggested that having first floor retail requires 1.0); and/or
- the use of overlays in general.

Texts that look at these issues would also be appreciated.