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Downtown Zoning & Design Guidelines

Existing zoning map

An amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Regulations that converted all C-5 zoned properties to D-1 Downtown District and eliminated the C-5 District from the zoning regulations.

The area is generally bounded by SW 3rd Street (north), SW Topeka Blvd (west), SE Jefferson (east), and SW 11th Street (south).


On April 18, 2017 the Governing Body approved the amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Regulations. 

Ordinance 20062

D-1 Zoning / Design Guidelines and Sign Standards


The Process

On January 23, 2017, the Topeka Planning Commission held a public hearing and approved the D-1 project

You can view the relevant portion of the January agenda packet here

Minutes from the meeting are available as part of the February agenda packet

Amendments were scheduled for discussion at the March 21, 2017 City Council meeting and for action at the April 4, 2017 City Council meeting. Council agendas are posted here.

Additional Information

A Neighborhood Information Meeting was held Monday, November 14, 2016 at 6:00PM
620 SE Madison, 1st floor Holliday Conference Room

The last comprehensive code update in 1992 created the C-5 Commercial District.  C-5 encompasses the Core Area or Central Business District of Downtown Topeka.  The D-1 Downtown District was created in 2001 to better encourage mixed use activity in Downtown.  At the time of its creation, D-1 was intended to replace the current C-5 zoning.  The purposes and intents of these districts are as indicated below:

C-5 Commercial DistrictThis district is established to provide for a wide range of commercial activities which are contained in the central business or core area of the community. The extent and range of uses permitted are to provide for high efficiency of land use and to encourage a broad mix of commercial, office and residential uses.

D-1 Downtown DistrictThe purpose of this district is to facilitate a compatible mixed use activity center within the core area of downtown Topeka. The district is predominately composed of state offices, as well as local and federal facilities, commercial and retail uses. The district includes compatible residential, office, civic, and commercial retail/service uses which complement and support a high density of activity and facilitate pedestrian usage.

There are three components to the D-1 portion of the zoning code amendment: 

  1. Update the Zoning Use Matrix of Section18.60 that will convert the C-5 Zoning to D-1 Zoning
  2. Update the Downtown Design Guidelines of Section 18.200.090.
  3. Add standards related to signs in the "D" Districts. 

Additional information about miscellaneous zoning code amendments considered in conjunction with the D-1 zoning is available here.



Bill Fiander, AICP

Planning Director

Kris Wagers

Administrative Officer
620 SE Madison
Topeka, KS 66607

Planning Contacts

Licensing & Inspections