Zoning is the process of classifying lands into districts with specific regulations concerning building and structure designs, placement and uses.
Property owners or their designated representative may ask to change the zoning of their land or revise existing conditions relative to its use.
If a zoning change requests clears the planning commission, it proceeds to council for final approval. This is what happened June 3, when developers proposed new restaurants and retail at the former site of Richardson Square Mall.
Zoning changes tend to be long-lasting, which is why some residents push back on these requests if they think the proposed use will impede the flexibility of future development in a given area.
In this case, council members said they wanted a more concrete answer for what will become of the former Sears building before approving the proposed zoning change. In doing this, they said they protect residents from ending up with a project they might not be happy with.