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Thread: Process of rewriting zoning ordinance

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Process of rewriting zoning ordinance

    i'm searching for where to begin in starting the process of rewriting the zoning ordinance to make the language clear to the people. anyone done this before? it needs to be updated -- i'm wondering what others have experienced with this process. any thoughts would be greatly appreciated along with helpful tips.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Two recommendations:
    • Enlist the active participation of a committee of past and present citizen board members who are familiar with the code (Zoning Board and Planning Board).
    • Your zoning administrator should be be involved with the project from the start.
    All these years the people said heís actiní like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  3. #3
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SGB View post
    Two recommendations:
    • Enlist the active participation of a committee of past and present citizen board members who are familiar with the code (Zoning Board and Planning Board).
    • Your zoning administrator should be be involved with the project from the start.
    Absolutely.

    You want to ensure that the public sees that the process is transparent.

    However you do that is not as important as the fact that you do it. Talk to your local newspaper reporter over coffee. E-mail the Homeowner Associations regularly. Chamber. Whomever.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    First, do a techincal review of the old ordinance. What works, what doesn't. Include a broad spectrum of participants -- not just the ZA, but other daily users and people using the code. Draft - even without using names - a document summarizing the results. Thats a good first start.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    We are redoing our Zoning Ordinance right now, too. However, our changes do not really reflect any policy changes; we are only cleaning up some language, changing fees, and putting our industrial district chapters into the same layout as the rest of the Ordinance. For things like that, its not as critical that you call all the associations and organizations that others have mentioned. Its when you are changing policy or enacting new rules that you want to let as many people know as you can. For a basic update where you are just changing some language I think you'll be fine just reworking in-house and presenting the staff changes to your Planning Commission when the time comes.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian rosierivets's avatar
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    21st Century Land Development Code

    Anyone have an experience with the newish 21st Century Land Development Code and implementing it or parts of it as a model?

    Thanks!
    How about you take a gander at making an executive decision for once, huh?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Review past variance requests and appeals. If something is consistently granted, it should be codified. The best Board of Zoning Appeals is the one that never has an agenda item.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by rosierivets View post
    Anyone have an experience with the newish 21st Century Land Development Code and implementing it or parts of it as a model?

    Thanks!
    I've got it. It's ok as a reference and giving you ideas. As a model-I would be careful. Here are better sources for model ordinances.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian vagaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jwr108 View post
    i'm searching for where to begin in starting the process of rewriting the zoning ordinance to make the language clear to the people. anyone done this before? it needs to be updated -- i'm wondering what others have experienced with this process. any thoughts would be greatly appreciated along with helpful tips.
    I am currently in the process of finishing up a major overhaul of our zoning code and subdivision regulations. I tried doing a steering committee by personally inviting people to participate and advertising it in the local newspaper, but got very little participation. Several people volunteered to serve, but then didn't show up for the meetings. So we eventually disbanded the committee and let the Planning Commission provide most of the direction. Toward the end of the process and after having the proposed documents on the Planning Commission agenda several times for discussion (i.e. several opportunities for public input), we held a public meeting and specifically invited the development community to comment on the proposed document prior to it going for formal adoption. We had two developers out about 15 invitees show up.

    Public involvement and transparency is all well and good, but the reality of it is that very few people care about zoning codes until it slaps them in the face (i.e. they can't do what they want because of it.)
    ...my lifestyle determines my death style!
    - Metallica

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    I can see that happening very easily. Everyone acts like they want to be involved but then, in the end, no one is around to deliver input. I definitely will use the Planning and Zoning Commission. This process is a very good one by which to gather input from P&Z. I like sending press releases, which is what I will do, they read them on the local stations ( I did it with our rental housing process). If people want transparency, and then do not respond, the process goes forward.

  11. #11
    Member
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    We have a Steering Committee that has been meeting about once each month and just completed our Comprehensive Development Plan. I am a new ZA and we have just begun rewriting our ordinances, including two new Overlay Districts. I found an excellent model from Purdue University Indiana LTAP Center, School of Civil Engineering. To get a copy, call 765-494-2164. Also, we are a small rural Indiana county and our callout for a Steering Committee netted over 75 people. In addition, each public hearing (we had 4 in 4 different parts of the county) had an average attendance of about 20 people. And this was just the CDP. I can only imagine what the ordinance hearings will be like...

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