NEOSHO, Mo. — Seeking to cut down on special-use permits for downtown businesses, the Neosho City Council approved changes to two commercial zoning designations.

With unanimous votes Tuesday night, the council on first reading approved expansions for its C-2 and C-3 zoning designations.

The intent was to assist businesses on the square fall into a standard zone so that owners did not need to apply for a special-use permit, said City Manager David Kennedy.

"There are businesses under special-use permits that want to invest more," Kennedy said. "With this, we can move the business into the correct zoning so that they no longer need a special-use permit."

Kennedy cited Goo's Dojo, located at 129 E. Main St., as an example. The new C-2 zone has a list of allowed businesses, including dance, fitness and karate studios.

The C-2 and C-3 designations are used for lighter commercial applications. The C-2 zone is better suited for buildings on the square because it allows for greater building heights. The C-3 designation accommodates a wider variety of business types but imposes a 500-foot distance from churches or schools.

The C-3 zone was recently amended to allow for medical marijuana shops, cultivation or manufacture facilities as allowed by Missouri law.

The new zones will be formalized pending a second and third reading at an upcoming meeting.

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Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.