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Maintaining the Character of Red River's Main Street: The Tourist Overlay Zone Ordinance

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

In 2016, the Red River city council adopted the Tourist Overlay Zone ordinance with the aim of preserving the unique character of Main Street. The ordinance requires that any new buildings or businesses built within the zone's boundaries must cater to tourist-oriented purposes. In this article, we will explore the implications of this ordinance for the Red River community and what it means for those planning on buying or building within the designated area.

The Tourist Overlay Zone stretches from Caribel St. on the west side of town to Jayhawk St. on the east side. This area is considered to be the heart of Main Street and is where most of the tourist-oriented businesses are currently located. These businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops, contribute significantly to the local economy and help to create a vibrant and unique downtown experience for visitors.

However, as with many popular tourist destinations, there is always a risk of losing the charm and character that makes the area special. This is where the Tourist Overlay Zone comes in. By requiring that any new businesses or buildings within the zone cater to tourists, the city hopes to maintain the unique character of Main Street and preserve it for future generations.

It's important to note that the ordinance only applies to the first 50 feet back from Main St. and only on the first floor. If you plan on building beyond this area, the Tourist Overlay Zone does not apply. However, if you do plan on building or setting up shop within the designated zone, you must comply with the requirements of the ordinance.

The full text of the ordinance is available here, and anyone with questions about zoning in Red River is encouraged to contact our office or the city for more information. The city is committed to working with residents and business owners to ensure that the Tourist Overlay Zone serves its intended purpose while also promoting economic growth and development in the community.

In conclusion, the Tourist Overlay Zone ordinance is an important tool for preserving the unique character of Main Street and promoting economic growth in the Red River community. With the requirement that this designated zone caters to tourists, the city hopes to maintain the charm and vibrancy of downtown Red River for generations to come. If you plan on buying or building within the zone, be sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements of the ordinance to ensure compliance and help preserve the character of this special community.


- Rob Swan



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