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Thread: Pricing a unified development code re-write for budget purposes

  1. #1
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Pricing a unified development code re-write for budget purposes

    My fair city is considering a complete revision to the Unified Development Code next budget year. The code will include the following:
    • Review Authority & Procedures
    • Zoning (including form-based districts)
    • Subdivision
    • Development Standards (building design, site design, parking, landscaping, etc.) - note that we will have form-based districts
    • Environment & Open Space (parks, stormwater mgmt, tree preservation)
    • Infrastructure & Public Improvements (engineering issues like road design, water & wastewater, etc.)
    • Sign Regulations
    • Wireless Communications Facilities

    We are looking at two methods:
    • Partial consulting on about 1/3 to 1/2 of the work, assuming I can get my additional staff member approved. Consulting assistance would be primarily on form-based elements of the code & development standards.
    • Full outsourcing of the project for a turn-key product

    We are a city of 8,000, about 6 square miles, mostly new development with lots of vacant land, in a suburban area of a fast-growing metropolitan city. Could anyone help me ballpark the costs for having the development code done entirely by the consultant, or just partially?

    Texas examples are particularly helpful, but I'll take anything. If you could include a short description of the city/jurisdiction the code was prepared for, that would also help.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Check with New Braunfels and Blanco for some recent UDC projects. Pearland, in suburban Houston,also recently approved a UDC. My community just passed our UDC, which we did 100% in house. I would NOT recommend doing this unless you have a pretty good buy in from your community. We took over 3 years just writing the zoning part. This summer we are remapping the city, which thankfully we are utilizing a consultant for the GIS work b/c we will be short staffed this summer.

    Sorry I don't have specific figures, but I know a lot of TX cities have recently undertook writing UDC's.

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    Check with New Braunfels and Blanco for some recent UDC projects. Pearland, in suburban Houston,also recently approved a UDC. My community just passed our UDC, which we did 100% in house. I would NOT recommend doing this unless you have a pretty good buy in from your community. We took over 3 years just writing the zoning part. This summer we are remapping the city, which thankfully we are utilizing a consultant for the GIS work b/c we will be short staffed this summer.

    Sorry I don't have specific figures, but I know a lot of TX cities have recently undertook writing UDC's.
    I'm in Texas as well. I didn't realize Blanco had done a UDC--kind of surprising (in a good way). I'll give them a call along with Pearland. I won't be using New Braunfels though--they've had I believe 3 false starts and have chewed-up a couple of consultants over the last 10 years of attempting to revamp their development ordinances, to the point I know consultants are charging them a 'headache premium.'

    I'm a bit hesitant to have a consultant do a turn-key product--I've inherited two codes that were freshly-minted in that manner that were pretty awful. The other one was done about 75% in-house and was a much better product.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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