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Thread: New zoning ordinance

  1. #1
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    New zoning ordinance

    New to Cyburbia... I'm putting together a new zoning ordinance for a small town, less than 5,000 people - have any good references or other ordinances that would be helpful. Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    That's a pretty broad question.

    To get helpful responses, you may need to:
    • Describe the town (rural, suburban, heavy residential, heavy industrial, etc.)
    • Describe the new ordinance compared to the old (adding complexity to a too simple ordinance, or simplfying a too complex one?)
    • Describe what's included beyond the basics (landscaping, signage, architectural standards?)
    Just some suggestions. Many Cyburbians will be able to help, if you can be a bit more specific about what would help.

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  3. #3
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Depending on where your town is and what its particular needs are, there are several decent examples you can find there in South Carolina. I'd be more than happy to help if you can give a bit more info.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Does your town have a fairly recent comprehensive plan? That should outline some objectives they hope to acheive through the zoning ordinance. You can't just really take an ordinance for someplace else and expect to apply it to your town. Each town has different issues and different desired outcomes. Usually there is no reason to make a brand new ordinance, but rather make amendments to the existing ordinance, or you could really screw up the legal conformity of some properties. Be careful.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Personally, I am a fan of Form-Based Codes.

    Regardless of what type of ordinance you adopt, make sure that it is tailored for your municipality and not some cookie cutter copy. I have seen some places forget to change all of the names of the municipality that they ‘sampled’ from.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  6. #6
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    I'm not suggesting that dsmcompany simply lift a code from another town and change the name. Chances are that, unless the town in question is either in an affluent area, and/or directly adjacent to a larger city there is a good chance that there is no comp plan to start from other than the broader one for the county. The governmental structures are very different in SC than here in Pennsylvania or Michigan. And since comp planning and zoning is relatively unknown in many areas, there are other places that have gone down the same road and could be good examples of how to proceed.

    I don't disagree that form based codes would be great

  7. #7
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    No need to reinvent the wheel. Try to find a municipality of similar size and demographic makeup as your own, preferably from your own state or neighboring state. Before you get too married to developing an ordinance, make sure you know what the residents want from the ordinance. Bottom up thinking combined with top-down planning saves a lot of trouble in the long run.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  8. #8
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    Town is less than 5,000. historically rural, stong influences from metropolitan over-spill development. Comp Plan is about 12 years old. I feel that i should not be spending so much time planning - and start writing the law because the developers will take advantage - and have- of the 1/2 written existing law. Any ideas?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ssc's avatar
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    I would suggest passing a moratorium - asap - on major subdivisions and new construction in order to stop potential developers from trying to get in before the new zoning is passed.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    I know it would be politically next to impossible to do considering the political climate of where you're located, but I would echo ssc's suggestion of a moratorium, if can be done.There are many communities in the Upstate that are reeling from too much development without the adequate infrastructure to deal with it. I never thought i see the day when there would be traffic jams in Oconee County, but there it is.

    Anyway if you're located in Greenville County you should be able to get some advise from the County Planning Dept. I know they do have staff planners give technical assistance to the municipalities. If you're in Spartanburg, Pickens or Oconee, well, I guess you may be on your own.

    If anything you need to set up some rudimentary development review standards in compliance with your comp. plan. Second you need to revisit your comp plan. After 12 years I'm sure it is in definite need of updating. Plus, since SC law dictates that zoning has to be based on a comp plan, updating will set the groundwork for a better than average zoning code.

    Let us know if you need any more.

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