The Pedestrian Oriented Shopping Overlay (POSO) was established in 2004 to allow only retail or retail-oriented service businesses to use the ground floor storefronts in all of the buildings along selected streets within the Central Business District. The POSO helps promote and preserve a balanced presence of retail and commercial uses and helps maintain the retail pedestrian friendly shopping character of the City's downtown.Earlier this year, staff from the City Manager's Office and the Community Development Department met with Downtown stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by the existence of the POSO and the retail climate in general. Following these meetings, the Plan and Design Commission conducted a public hearing and recommended changing the boundaries of the POSO.
At the September 25 City Council Regular Meeting, the City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the Pedestrian Oriented Shopping Overlay (POSO) District Boundaries. This proactive change aims to increase downtown commercial occupancy and to ensure the long-term economic viability of the Central Business District (CBD). This change will help maintain a concentration of retail uses within the CBD core, but allow new types of services such as medical or law offices in the areas outside of and adjacent to the new POSO boundaries.
Allowing additional experiential / service uses in shopping districts is a national trend in response to the increased popularity of online shopping and a large scale national contraction in the number of physical retail stores. By locating some service uses within close proximity to our retail corridor, synergistic advantages can be achieved to help support retail stores as clients and employees of service businesses patronize retail and restaurant establishments. As a next step, staff will consider and propose additional experiential uses in CBD and will review and update parking restrictions as needed.