The Fulton City Council granted first round approval to a bill that would designate a Brick District Overlay Zoning Area in downtown Fulton during Tuesday night's council meeting.
The bill would prohibit buildings in the special zoning area - both sides of Nichols, Court and Market streets from the north side of West Seventh Street south to the south side of Fourth Street - from allowing residential use on the ground floor.
"What this does is creates a section that grandfathers in buildings that already have housing on the main floor, but not allow more," said Nancy Lewis, director of the Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce. "Our mix (downtown) already is skewed away from retail; our hope is to bring it back more toward retail."
If any of the locations that have been grandfathered in with residential space on the first floor convert that space back to office or retail space, it also would not be allowed to go back to housing.
Ward 4 Councilman Steve Moore pointed out that Columbia, Jefferson City and Boonville all have similar policies.