Introduction to Regional Activity Centers and Neighborhood Activity Centers
The Land Use Plan establishes fifteen land use categories, ranging from Suburban Neighborhood to Light Industrial, and includes multiple mixed-use categories, such as Regional Activity Centers (RACs) and Neighborhood Activity Centers (NACs). Regional Activity Centers “are envisioned to be the commercial and civic hubs of the city that attract people from around the city and across the region to work, shop, eat, and attend events. Each should contain a mix of uses such as offices, retail, residential and civic institutions, integrated together in a compact, walkable area and have its own unique character.” The mix of uses is important because the uses complement each other and ensure higher property values and tax revenues for the city which allows for low property taxes while maintaining quality of life services.
Neighborhood Activity Centers are envisioned to be “small commercial centers that act as a “main street” for nearby neighborhoods.” Additionally, NACs “will be mixed-use and walkable and they will be small in scale and designed to serve the surrounding neighborhoods.” Most of the areas designated as RACs and NACs are largely developed and will require infill or redevelopment to become the mixed-use areas the Plan envisions. Currently, the Planned Development (PD) district is the available zoning mechanism to create mixed-use areas. However, there is potential for utilizing a different approach in the long-term.