Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cape Girardeau City Council repeals flag desecration, looks at historic corridor zoning changes

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KRCU) - Southeast Professor Dr. Steven Hoffman and Marla Mills, Executive Director of Old Town Cape answered questions last night during the Cape Girardeau City Council study session, concerning zoning changes to the Central Business District.

Within the proposed Downtown Commercial Corridor District, buildings can have residential space in the rear of the first floor, something that current zoning does not allow without a special use permit.

Dr. Hoffman believes by allowing residency in the lower rear sections of buildings and keeping commercial space in the front, the result will increase pedestrian traffic and business.

"When you have residential uses right up against the curb on the first floor it depresses pedestrian activity which has a negative effect on the commercial activity alongside," Hoffman said.

The Downtown Commercial Corridor encompasses parts of Broadway, Sprigg, Good Hope, Morgan Oak, and Main Street.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on these changes at their next meeting on Tuesday, February 22.

The Cape Girardeau City Council voted last night to pass an ordinance that repeals a city law against the desecration of flags.

In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that flag desecration was an act of free speech and protected under first amendment.

The repeal was prompted by a current lawsuit against the City of Cape Girardeau filed by Frank L. Snider III, who was arrested for flag desecration in October of 2009. Snider was released when Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle, who had filed the charges, was informed of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Matthew Caldwell, KRCU


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