If you want to be a development detective but find yourself turned around by the terminology in various city releases and news reports, never fear.
Here are some definitions of common terms paired with ongoing projects and examples you might recognize in Swan City.
Projects that provide more than one purpose in the community, like a building with apartments on top and retail shops on the bottom, are referred to as mixed or multi-use. Expect to see combinations of housing, retail, parking, commercial, and industrial components.
Example: The upcoming Oak Street development will likely have seven stories of residential, retail, and parking space.
Changing an area of land from the city’s designated use is known as rezoning. Examples of rezoning requests might be developers looking to build a high-rise in a neighborhood with a certain building height restriction, or open a business in an area marked residential.
Example: The 17-acre site of The Ledger was rezoned to make way for the new Downtown West Gateway development, featuring retail, residential, parking, and office space, plus pedestrian and bike paths.
Special Use Permit
Also known as a conditional use permit, this is granted to provide relief from regulations when land is being used in a manner not normally compatible with the zoning. It is only granted when the intended site use is deemed appropriate and compatible with the surrounding area.
Example: The city recently denied a conditional use permit for The Chapel, a proposed event space and bar that would have gone into the vacant chapel space at 417 N. Massachusetts Ave. City commissioners cited incompatibility as their reason for denial.
Enterprise zones are areas of the city where building a site earns you incentives, like a break on real estate taxes or money back from costs of relocating, machinery and equipment, or construction permits. The goal is to promote economic development in under-utilized areas, so only certain commercial and industrial users qualify.
A freestanding building that shares no walls with other homes or structures is considered a single-family home, which is a type of zoning district in the city.
Example: If you live in a south Lakeland neighborhood, your area is most likely zoned differently than downtown apartments. You can look up your address online to learn more about how your area is zoned.
One building that contains multiple housing units is considered multi-family housing, which is another type of zoning district.
Example: You can find the land designations — including Lakeland areas zoned for multi-family housing — on this map.
The primary activity or function of a site. A site’s principal use must be aligned with the zoning ordinances of the land it’s on.
Example: Living in a home within a residential zone is an allowable principal use.
An activity or function of a site labeled subordinate or incidental.
Example: The garage or shed on your home property might be labeled an accessory use.