A total of 42 cases were reviewed in 2016, including the highest number of zoning map amendments since the beginning of the Great Recession. Special Use and Land Use Plan Amendments stayed at relatively stable levels, while there were fewer Text Amendments than usual during the past two years due to a new Development Ordinance that was adopted in 2016. The decrease in the number of street abandonment cases was due to the winding down of efforts over the past several years to identify street rights-of-way that could be abandoned.
All 28 of the zoning map amendments reviewed in 2016 were ultimately approved by City Council. The total acreage approved increased to the highest level since 2012 when approximately 510 acres were zoned as part of the 350 South project. Over 60% of the rezoned acreage in 2016 was for residential development, the highest amount since 2006, largely due to a single planned unit development project that accounted for 114 acres.
A good indicator of the amount of development occurring in the city is the number of final plats, site plans and group developments approved that resulted in new residential lots/units or additional building square footage. The table below shows the types of major projects approved over the past three years by land use category.
In 2016, the total number of new residential lots/units was lower than the previous year, but this was primarily because there were no large apartment complexes, which boosted the number in 2015. Otherwise, the number of single-family projects and lots was comparable to previous years. Overall, the total number of projects reviewed increased, and the most notable trend was a significant increase in the amount of commercial square footage. While the total non-residential square footage decreased, this was mostly due to a drop in the industrial category, which in previous years included a few particularly large projects, such as the 800,000+ sq. ft. Ralph Lauren Corp. warehouse/distribution facility off Highway 66 in 2014. The chart below compares the amount of non-residential square footage approved over the last five years.