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City of Idaho Falls adds codes to preserve look of South Downtown

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - A recent Idaho Falls City Council agenda proposed amendments to the area of South Downtown, or "SoDo," as they've named it.

Eric Grossarth, Public Information officer with the City of Idaho Falls, says the city isn't rezoning. They are implementing a form-based code that will preserve the look of the area.

"Basically a form base code allows an area to have kind of its own set of code, building code or standards of how things look and are used so that we can enjoy it the way we like," Eric said.

For example, the warehouses can stay how they are right now; however, if one of the owners sells or does a remodel, they'd have to follow the city's form-based code.

Grossarth says the city isn't trying to get rid of the warehouses, but enacting land development regulations that will lead to "predictable results," including walkability and economic growth.

"We're not kicking out the warehouses or the use of those. This is just allowing that as people. This is an older part of town. And as people decide that they want to use that building a different use, they can maybe keep some of that look and feel of that building."

Lucy Simmons owns the historic warehouse that used to be Challenge Creamery. It also houses her business, Mini-Bazaar, that has been there for decades. She's spoken with the city about the code.

"We've been to the meetings, you know, to make sure that what we're doing would fit into their plan," she said. "And they told us that we would be fine. But, you know, we may need to upgrade our frontage...We just want it to look nice and fit with downtown while because it's a great place."

The City of Idaho Falls says while new use for the warehouses and homes in South Downtown may not happen overnight, the look and feel of the area will be preserved in the midst of development all over Idaho Falls.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Stephanie Lucas


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