• We're a fun, friendly, and diverse group of planners, placemakers, students, and other folks who found their people here. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! Use your email address, or register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

aBuildout Analysis

chris2plan

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
We are developing a GIS-based buildout analysis for our NJ county. (No, we are not entirely paved over.) We have a good handle on how to calculate residential build-out based on zoning, but non-residential is a real headache. Our county is completely incorporated with 39 municipalities and 39 zoning ordinances. (The County Planning Board has no zoning authority.) We are hoping to calculate build-out by municipality as well as for the county overall.

FYI - we have digitzied every single lot in the county and have over 50% of the zoning maps digitized. So we can calculate build-out parcel by parcel.

I hope the brilliant planners out there can help. Thanks
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,371
Points
28
Sorting out that many sets of rules for commercial development (or re-development) is going to be difficult. And even then, most conventional zoning gives you only a rough guide to what will actually appear on a commercial site: there are just too many combinations of height, bulk, parking, landscaping, etc. requirements. Even in much simpler cases, I find that commercial buildout projections have to be artfully based on what is actually being built, as well as on what is possible within a given set of rules. It isn't perfect, but I would draw a sample of new commercial developments. Look at what they actually built (measured in terms of lot coverage of FAR if you have intensive enough projects) and apply that to the available commercial land base without worrying too much about the exact use requirements of the various jurisdictions. It is important to remember that a buildout study is a "thought experiment," that helps people evaluate present policies in light of future consequences rather than a forecast.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
34
Does intensification/redevelopment figure into your analysis as well? The City of Toronto is virtually built-out, but there is a massive amount of development and redevelopment continuing to occur throughout the City...
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,371
Points
28
To echo Tranplanner, I intended the "new development" from which I would draw a sample to include re-development, re-use projects. It is not easy to deal with severely underutilized commercial space (like contractor's yards along developing highway strips or old railyards), but you can't ignore them or your analysis may seriously undestimate buildout potential.
 

chris2plan

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
Not my decision, but we are not looking at underutilized parcels, yet. If I had my way we definitely would. But I have to first prove that our build-out will be way off if we don't.

Thanks for your input.
 
Top