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recommendations: adopting zoning for the first time

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Our office is beginning some educational work with a small rural village considering adopting its first zoning code.

I've reviewed some good NY state materials on the subject, but I'd love to hear thoughts from other folks who have done this before: do's and don'ts, other recommended reference materials for us and the subject community, etc.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
My experience has been that in general people agree with the need for land use controls, but no one likes it when it applies to them. One of the issues I find in small jurisdictions is that they don't like to be consistent in enforcement. There's a lot of Hatfield and McCoy (Montague and Cupulet, for you Shakespeare nuts) situations that make fair and equal enforcement politically unsavory. Make sure that they understand this and highlight legal ramifications if they use selective enforcement. If this scares them off, then land use controls would likely be misused anyways.
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
Don't start zoning without a clear vision of what it is supposed to accomplish. Does the town have a decent comp plan, including detailed implementation strategies? If not, start with that.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I've participated in 8 of these diasters.

Here is a partial my list of do's

1) DO make sure the local politicians/approval authority are supportive. Of the 8 I worked on only 2 have been adopted. One has had 9 planners work on it over 15 years, each time having to restart because of political expedience.

2) Like Lee said. DO make sure that the regulaory aspects of the documents (zoning/subdivison control) are based on strong policy and vision documents that the public has reviewed, provided input into and has bought into.

3) DO provide multiple options that lead to the same solution , with clear descriptions and images of what each option really looks like and entails on the ground.


I'll keep adding more as I remember them. This topic is one reason I left my last job.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
Do they have a comprehensive plan yet.??

The Dept. of State has some good stuff. They can come down too and do their dog and pony show.

Didn't the village of Windsor in Broome just adopt zoning laws?? Getting a local example I think is best.

Our Towns and Villages always want to know what their neighbors do.... and not so impressed by what is happening in other states. (sorry other states) NY has the element of very strong home rule.... which can really vary from state to state.

Pace University puts on a good show too.... for those communities stepping out to the world of zoning. Check out the info from John Nolan.

.... so much fun working down here in a county with over 40 codes....
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
tsc said:

The Dept. of State has some good stuff. They can come down too and do their dog and pony show.


On this item, what ever you do, DO NOT appear as if you are from outside the community or even with the government coming to "help the people out". This attitude really screwed us up at meetings and with any sort of credibility in the communities we worked with/for.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
it really depends on the community... sometimes and outsider repeating the same line you have preached helps.

NY has extremely strong home rule laws... a town can screw up their future as much as they want. The DOS really comes down to explain the process of zoning in NYS. In NY...it really is up to the locals as to what they want to do. The state law is just the frame work in which to work in. I think with a real understanding of home rule... it makes the concept of adopting a zoning ordinance not so harsh.
 
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