March 25, 2020–6:37 a.m.
The Rome City Commission has approved a blanket rezoning of 75 parcels in the River District from Community-Commercial and Office-Institutional to Urban Mixed-Use.
The parcels are on 5th Avenue, 2nd Avenue, Turner McCall Boulevard and Avenue A.
The 2012 Downtown master Plan identified the River District as an area to focus on further opportunities.
In 2018, the River District Plan delved into further details on how that area could grow and included potential activated land uses where new and existing buildings could contain housing, retail, office, and other uses.
Opportunities for green space, aesthetic improvements, parking options, and other additions were also identified, according to Rome-Floyd Planning Director Artegus Newell.
“One of the main tenants of the River District Plan is to have a zoning category in which the area would be afforded a lively mix of activated uses,” he said. “It will also offer opportunities to revitalize existing buildings as well as for new construction. The rezoning will allow for a wider variety of uses as well as a mix of uses on individual parcels which the current zonings typically do not allow for.”
Newell added that rezoning could allow some of the older buildings to be marketed to a wider variety of clientele, hopefully keeping them occupied and better maintained.
Increased density has the potential to make the area more vibrant and complementary to Broad Street, just across the Oostanaula River.
It would also benefit the city by adding new water and sewer customers, business licenses and taxable property values.