A total of 43 board action cases were reviewed in 2017, which was one more than the previous year. This included 27 zoning map amendments, and was the second year in a row of robust zoning activity as the impact of the Great Recession receded. Special Use Permits and Land Use Plan Amendments stayed at relatively stable levels, while there was an increase in Text Amendments after a two-year period of having fewer than usual because of a new Development Ordinance that was adopted in 2016. The decrease in the number of street abandonment cases over the past 5 years was due to the winding down of efforts to identify street rights-of-way that could be abandoned.
Of the 27 zoning map amendments reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission in 2017, two were ultimately withdrawn, but the other 25 were approved by City Council. The total acreage approved increased to the highest level since 2012. The largest category of rezoned acreage in 2017 was for nonresidential development, but there was also a significant amount of mixed use zoning approved due to the adoption of a new Mixed Use Downtown zoning district in the vicinity of the future multi-purpose stadium in downtown.
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 2017, the total number of approved land development projects was higher than the previous year, and included an increase in new residential lots/units and acreage. A continuing trend seen over the past couple of years is that the number of attached single-family residential units, such as townhomes, has been equal to or higher than the number of detached single-family residential units. There was also an increase in the square footage of non-residential development approved, as shown in the following chart. This is mostly due to the the amount of commercial square footage, which included several significant Market showroom projects that totaled over 300,000 square feet.