Code that will guide Bridge Street corridor redevelopment was approved this week by Dublin City Council.

Code that will guide Bridge Street corridor redevelopment was approved this week by Dublin City Council.

The new code governs development of more than 800 acres of land in Dublin's core that extends along state Route 161 from Sawmill Road to the U.S. Route 33/Interstate 270 interchange.

The city has been working on a vision for the Bridge Street corridor that sets out plans for walkable, mixed-use, urban-style development in about 6 percent of Dublin for more than two years.

Council has been reviewing the code since Feb. 15, and the approval process for development has been much discussed as recommendations from staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission vary.

Steve Langworthy, director of land use and long-range planning, told council the latest approval process gives the planning and zoning commission power to approve or vote down a project in the first step of basic plan review. After the vote, the plan will be reviewed by a group of city staff members.

"The amendment has the same review process with public input, but what we did change was to give planning and zoning a vote to approve, disapprove or approve with conditions," Langworthy said.

A list of requirements was also included defining what will go before the planning and zoning commission for the basic plan review. Public comment on the plan is also heard during this step of the process.

Details such as a project description, plan scale, property description and other descriptions must be included. If a plan changes too much between basic plan review and following approval steps, Langworthy said, they'll have to return to the planning and zoning commission or change back to previous plans.

"We feel that gives the planning commission substantially more authority than they had before, yet stays within the planning process that has been discussed," he said.

Ben Hale Jr., a lawyer representing property owners within the Bridge Street corridor, asked that council change the language of part of the code that addresses waivers for development.

Langworthy said the change would be good clarification, but some council members expressed concern that code had been changed too much for property owners.

"By making all these changes at the request of property owners, what is it we will get in the end," Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher asked. "Are we going to get what we thought we were getting a year ago when we approved the vision?"

"I want reasonable assurance that we won't see in the future what we see today," Mayor Tim Lecklider agreed.

Langworthy said the changes made have been good and the code can be changed in the future if problems come up.

Council approved the code unanimously, with John Reiner abstaining from the vote because he owns property in the Bridge Street corridor.