Arts District of Ada is pursuing rezoning areas of east Ada.  The area included would be from Mississippi Avenue to Francis Avenue and East Ninth Street to East 14th Street.

Bridgette Forshay, community development coordinator with the Arts District, said she has met with city council to discuss the proposed zoning ordinance and notified property owners and residents in the area.  

She said she’s received feedback from several property owners at question and answer meetings, as well as personal inquiries.

“A lot of people were just happy to hear that what this will do is improve the area, clean it up and try to preserve the architectural look we have,” she said.

She said some residents are interested in how the rezoning would affect them.

“The property owners and businesses that are here already wouldn’t have to leave.  They’d be grandfathered in,” she said.  

Although the rezoning ordinance would include a color palette and some architectural specifications, Forshay said residents and business owners would not be forced to renovate or repaint existing businesses.  

She said the color palette for new paint jobs in the area is extensive and includes most of the building colors already in the area.

“We want to rezone this to be an arts district area but the arts district is really a combination of residences and businesses,” she said.

Some ordinances, including how far a bar must be away from a school (Willard is located on East Ninth), will remain in place.

She said East Main Street is currently a commercial zone bordered by residence zones on the north and south.

“(The rezoning ordinance) has to be heard by the planning and zoning commission first and if they vote to make a recommendation that it be rezoned, city council will vote on it.”

Forshay said the planning and zoning commission is required to put out a public notice before its members vote on rezoning the area.  

She said letters will also go out to property owners before the rezoning vote takes place.

Key features of the district include the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center and the new business incubator, which currently houses True Embroidery and Red Earth Art Supply.

For more information, visit  To offer feedback, phone Forshay at (580) 559-5296.

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