The Cheyenne, Wyoming City Council voted down a measure that would have implemented design standards for new construction and building additions downtown.
The goal was to help jumpstart the revival of the state capital’s central business district. Detractors said this move could backfire and dampen downtown development. The standards would regulate how far buildings must be set back from the street, what construction materials could be used, and how open spaces are included in the projects. There are currently no building design standards for the city’s downtown. It is the only zoned district in the city without that type of regulation.
One critic told the Wyoming News that downtown is a perfect place to allow architects and developers to experiment with different styles and building materials rather than forcing them to match the character of surrounding buildings.
A local architect and downtown property owner said guidelines can help to raise the quality of designs, but added that it would be a good idea to include a flexible appeals or exemption process for developers who want to build quality projects with "innovative and modern designs" that might not meet all the design regulations.