The City Code of Rahway, New Jersey provides for an “M-X” zoning district (mixed use zone) that aims to create a high-density area near the Rahway Train Station (which underwent a $16 million renovation, including a public plaza in front of the station) by providing for multiple uses and pedestrian linkages to the waterfront and downtown areas. The renovation of the train station has led to an increased effort in downtown revitalization, with new residences, restaurants, and art galleries being constructed in the downtown area.
The M-X ordinance prohibits any automotive-related uses, while allowing for a mix of residential, office space, day care facilities, retail, and more. To increase the density of the area, the ordinance permits high-rise apartments with a maximum height of 12 stories and up to 500 units per acre (office buildings also have a 12-story limit). To encourage walking, the ordinance mandates a safe and convenient system of pedestrian walkways that not only facilitate circulation, but also emphasize desirable views of new and existing development. Such walkways are to be paved and include landscaping, lighting fixtures, and benches. Buildings, parking areas, and roads for automobiles must be arranged in a manner that does not unnecessarily expose pedestrians to vehicular traffic. Developers must submit a circulation plan that includes proposed improvements for pedestrian access as part of the application process. Under the ordinance, certain amenities must be provided within this zone, such as fountains, sculptures, public restrooms, and gardens in order to provide aesthetic value and comfort to pedestrians. All buildings in the zone are required to have convenient access to and from adjacent uses and blocks, and the buildings must relate to each other in placement and connection in order to create a physically integrated development.