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Thread: Calculating net residential density

  1. #1
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Calculating net residential density

    My jurisdiction's Master Plan calls for residential density to be calculated using the net density, rather than gross density, of a site or development. However, we have no formal policy of how to determine net density.

    Typically, areas to be dedicated to parks or roads, or undevelopable areas such as wetlands, are removed from the net density calculations.

    My question is quite simple. How do other communities calculate net residential density? Or, how should net residential density be calculated?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    My jurisdiction's Master Plan calls for residential density to be calculated using the net density, rather than gross density, of a site or development. However, we have no formal policy of how to determine net density.

    Typically, areas to be dedicated to parks or roads, or undevelopable areas such as wetlands, are removed from the net density calculations.

    My question is quite simple. How do other communities calculate net residential density? Or, how should net residential density be calculated?
    I suppose you could have a policy that defines net density as the subtraction of jurisdictional wetlands and required open space by code. However, net density becomes problematic when you have other site development variables to factor in (right-of-ways, detention needs, steep slopes, etc.).

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Now I have never dealt directly with having to calculate net density for a development site, but I would say that, for simplcity's sake, include the unbuildable portions of the development when calculating the net density.

    But certainly don't count dedicated parks/school site, rights-of-way, publicly owned detention/retention areas.

    Bascially, I would count everything that will be privately owned.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Working with municipalities and development pro formas, we usually calculate the net density by subtracting roads (from edge of right-of-way, which may or may not include sidewalks), parks, storm basins, preservation areas, and other areas that will be owned or maintained by the municipality, or property held in common for a neighborhood (such as landscape easements maintained through property taxes, mello-roos, etc).
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    In my experience, "net developable land" has meant those lands that are developable for density purposes excluding right-of-ways, steep slopes, wetlands, etc...but that was before I arrived at my current jurisdiction in Florida where they give density credit for everything. Go figure.

    I prefer the former.
    Annoyingly insensitive

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