Drafting and Amending Ordinances
Presentation given by Gary Cornell, AICP of Jordan, Jones & Goulding Inc.
during the Summer 2008 GAZA conference.
Why update a Zoning Ordinance?
- New Comprehensive Plan
- Changing development trends
- Chainging state/federal regulations
- Local updates to Land Use Map(s)
- Legal challenges
- Many piecemeal amendments
- Awkward document formate
- Weak/unenforceable standards
- Outdated/conflicting terminology and standards
- Wordy/bureaucratic language
Examples of Text Issues
- Vagueness - "landscaping shall be sufficient to enhance the overall site appearance"
- Archaic terms - "trailers", "drive-in theater"
- Lack of enforceability - "may be required"
- Wordiness - "any", "all", "each", "every"
Innovative Land Use Controls
- Unified Development Ordinance: consolidates multiple development ordinances into a coordinated format (can include Zoning, Use standards, Subdivision development standards, Environmental protection, Public improvements standards, Signs, Buffers and Landscaping)
- Streamlining and Web-based Applications: correct out-of-date and confusing aspects of current codes and procedures for customers/developers, improve efficiency of code administration. Best Practice tools include an administrative manual, flow charts and checklists, customer newsletter, interagency plan review committee, and web-based tools for codes and permits.
- Character Area Districts: areas that have visual or functional character, a unique or unusual sense of identity, based on the Future Development Map and Comprehensive Plan.
- Mixed-Use Development: combination of complementary uses, designed to be walkable and pedestrian-oriented.
- Traditional Neighborhoods: mixture of housing types, sizes, and prices. Walkable density, low-intensity mixed-use, grid street patterns, narrow streets and alleys, on-street parking, formal open spaces, sidewalk and streetscape.
- Overlay Zoning Districts: underlying zoning of an area remains, provides extra design standards or other regulations based on site-specific goals (historic preservation, economic development, natural resources, gateway corridor)
- Performance-based Land Use Controls: consider setback vs. noise levels, lot size vs. density, environmental impact, public facility access/impact, design/compatibility