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Where to start w/new ordinance?

cyowa

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
I've got an ordinance that has had very little done to it since adoption in 1978 -- with the exception of telecommunications and adult businesses. There are so many problems with it, starting from scratch on a rewrite is the best option. The best part is we have '0' dollars to spend so we'll have to do it ourselves instead of hiring it out.

Do I have any sympathizers out there? Anyone have any advice on where to start? Any resources particularly helpful in getting started/guiding a process? How long should we expect this to take?
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
29
I would start with the sections that are causing you the most grief. I would also being doing the definitions section simulataneously / parrallel to make sure you don't miss anything that needs defining.

I would also look at the big picture to see what you want the end product to look like, because signs relate to parking relate to landscaping, relate to uses, relate to transportation and so on...
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
24
Does your City have a Comprehensive Master Plan? Was that more recently updated? I would look at that first and see how you can change the zoning ord. to implement elements of the master plan. This may include creating more restrictive zoning districts, etc. I would also talk to any other departments that use the ordinance and see if they have areas of concern. You should lay out what you would like to accomplish in each area of the City. Kind of work from general to specific.

....and be sure to use your City attorney to his/her fullest extent.

We undergoing a similar process. We basically have 2 business/retail districts that allow just about everything. We came up with a concept for each area and kind of came up with some very general uses allowed in each area. Now that the Plan Commission and Council approved the general conceptual plan, we are now working on the specific uses and site regulations (parking, setbacks, etc) for each new zoning district. with our City attorney.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
I used to do this all the time, and the best place I always found to start was....find and ordinance you like...cut and paste all the basics, etc. Then, take your states enabling legislation and make sure any ammendments/updates to that are incorporated into the ordinance.

As far as districts go, if the comp plan is just as old you're pretty much shooting in the dark. I'd suggest frequent meetings with the community to find out what they would like to see and where.
 

ownzone

Member
Messages
10
Points
1
There's a useful PAS Report you should look into: # 460, Preparing a Conventional Zoning Ordinance (1995) by Charles Lerable. It's not too detailed, but lays out a good process -- identify the problems first, then decide on solutions. I usually do a kind of "diagnosis" memo for the problem-identification phase. You'll also want some kind of review body -- a committee of the PC or a separate task force with broader representation -- so that you're not out there on your own when it becomes public knowledge. Good luck!
 

Vlaude

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
If you are doing it in house and part-time with other work, I would select a few communities with similar attributes that are moving in the direction the community would like to head. Take their ordinances and mold them to fit... Any new language added should be defined...
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
I did it in house part time (as the only planner) a couple of years ago. Took 18 to 24 months with a good citizen committee pushing me. I agree with all the above comments. Study your variance applications: they help identify property owners' problems.
 
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