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Earlier this month, applicant Raymond Latocki requested rezoning the Old International Shoe Company site from an industrial zoning to a Planned Unit Development zone so he could begin creating a fun factory on East Capitol Avenue.

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Like Latocki, several developers this year decided to pursue PUD rezoning requests before developing properties.

The Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission heard about a half-dozen PUD rezoning requests and plans in 2018.

As part of a PUD zoning, a developer must submit a preliminary plan for the commission and council to review. The public can also comment on the plan.

Unlike the specialized PUD zoning, under standard zoning districts, property owners do not have to submit development plans to the commission or council, Jefferson City Senior Planner Eric Barron previously said.

Latocki's preliminary PUD plan for the International Shoe Company shows the building containing items like a restaurant, a haunted house, a banquet hall, mini bowling, mini golf, ax-throwing, apartments and offices. The Jefferson City Council will hear this plan next month.

PUD rezoning requests typically takes about three months to process since the preliminary plans go before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council, Jefferson City Planners Ahnna Nanoski and Ian Zollinger said. If the commission and council approve the preliminary PUD plans, developers must submit final PUD plans, which are approved administratively by city staff, to obtain building permits and develop the properties.

Having submitted plans for zoning requests can sometimes help alleviate residents' and council members' fears.

While the City Council approved rezoning 2.69 acres in the 2700 block of Route CC from a rural zone to a general commercial zone earlier this month, some council members and residents expressed concerns. Applicant Rick Penno, co-owner of Green Horizons Garden Center, thought the rezoning request could facilitate a potential expansion at the garden center but he did not have immediate plans to expand.

After some residents spoke in opposition during last month's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Ward 5 Councilman Jon Hensley and Ward 3 Councilman Ken Hussey voted against the proposal. Since the project lacked a submitted plan, Hussey said, he could not ensure the property would be used only for the expansion and not for another commercial purpose.

"To me, it seemed like, should that be a PUD instead, or should there be some sort of plan in place as to what's going to happen?" Hussey previously said. "I think the neighboring property owners had valid concerns so I would have preferred to have seen some sort of plan for what would happen to that particular piece of property."

While creating PUD plans require extra steps for some developers, PUD rezonings provide more land use and design flexibility, Nanoski and Zollinger said.

"In 'traditional' commercial or residential zoning districts, a developer must build within the standards and regulations expressed in the zoning code, whereas in a PUD zoning district, a developer has the flexibility to build a mixed-use or unique developments that wouldn't fit under the 'traditional' commercial or residential zoning districts, but still (be) appropriate for the property and community," they said in an email to the News Tribune.

A property being rezoned to PUD must meet the same requirements for any other property being rezoned though, Nanoski and Zollinger said. City staff reviews the PUD plan to see if the rezoning complies with the comprehensive plan, demonstrated a change of character in the area, indicates a community need for the proposed rezoning and highlights how the rezoning would be compatible with nearby uses.

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