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    Performance based zoning

    I am looking for examples of adopted, performance-based development codes for mountain resort towns. Leads to jurisdictions with adopted codes, as well as functional knowledge of codes you have experience with would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any help!

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Not quote performance zoning in the pure Lane Kendig sense, but Larimer County, Colorado has land use regulations which include conservation subdivisions and transfer of development rights. Their development code is online at http://www.co.larimer.co.us .

    Most Colorado mountain communities I'm familiar with have conventional, albiet strict zoning regulations. There's nothing in New Mexico. I don't know about Utah, Idaho, Montana or the Pacific Northwest.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Most of the interest in performance based zoning these days comes from counties, although many cities do incorporate selected elements of the performance approach into their codes. Breckenridge, CO began using a peformance zoning code in 1978. Take a look at what they are doing now. I can direct you to county examples, if that would help.

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    A good report is available on the web from the cmhc. Don't have the web address off hand, but the title of the report is

    review of performance based zoning - morinville alberta.

    the cmhc also has another report, for sale,

    Leung, Hok-Lin and K.A. Harper, (2000) International Experiences with Performance Based Planning, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Ottawa.

    Dona Anad NM's has a performance based zone that may provide a good example of a use location matrix.

    www.co.dona-ana.nm.us/plan/landuse/9.html

    from a report at http://www.urbanfutures.org/r6897b.html here is a list of communities that have experimented with performance based planning

    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Breckenridge, Colorado
    Largo, Florida
    Hardin (Kentucky),
    Bath Charter Township (Michigan),
    Buckingham Township (Pennsylvania), and
    Duxbury (Massachusetts).

    Other places that I found, but don't have the url's handy include" hilltown PA, mesa county AZ, King County WA

    In doing my research on the subject, it appears that many places considered perfomance based planning during the late 70's and early 80's, but later either gave up on it or have changed more to a traditional / Euclidean / prescriptive based format.

    Hope I'm not too far off base with my assessment, its hard when the only libraries you have access to stopped getting planning journals in the mid 80's and your own collection is somewhat small.

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    Fort Collins has reverted to a more conventional system, which retains many of the goals of the former Land Development Guidance System, but is substantially more unwieldy. As I understand it, the reason for the change, and I think this applies to many of the places that at least looked at performance approaches, was to provide a higher degree of predictability for neighborhood groups and developers. I am not sure that experience actually bears that out because there have been a lot of zoning map amendments following the change. The Hardin County, KY system involved a large element of delegating review to neighbors and the county lost a KY Supreme Court case over that. I am not sure what they replaced it with. Also, in response to Dan's note that there is nothing in New Mexico, in addition to Dona Ana County's experiments with a system that incorporated performance elements, Rio Arriba County has been actively using a simple performance based system for several years, and will probably be revising and updating that in '03-'04. I didn't mention it before, because it isn't a resort town. In addition to the cmhc reports donk mentions (thanks for the references!) there is a PAS report, #461, which talks about some experiments. The Pocatello, ID system it mentions has since been repealed. Again, the reason being not that it didn't work. It worked fine. But the core of the problem with well-designed performance zoning is that neither neighborhoods nor small-scale developers like systems that work. They want a system that involves a highly political element at some point, so they can rely on political influence rather than factual arguments or good design to get rejections or approvals.

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