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Zoning Zoning: does text override graphic or graphic override text?

DVD

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After laughing at the owl I forgot I had a real question...

Zoning code issue - it's already been solved, but I'm interested in everyone's opinion.
It's a PUD so we all love those things.

The text of the code says the setback on this specific street is 20'
There is a graphic demonstrating setbacks in the area with an arrow showing the setback on this street is 10'

The city has interpreted that 10' is okay because that's what was intended and just to make the political mess of this thing move on.
It's being corrected now in an updated PUD so no problem anyway.

The question, does text override graphic or graphic override text?

I've always thought when the text is clear than it rules.

This is not a case where the graphic is clarifying what the text is saying. It is just repeating it.
 

Dan

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tl;dr: text overrides graphics if there's a conflict. Most of the time.

A lot of zoning codes have provisions stating that text overrules graphics, unless the test explicitly references the graphic. I think the courts would say without such a provision, text applies. Graphics might not reflect the law precisely because of scale, proportions, or lack of details.

Here's the provision from the FBC I've been working on:

272-902.1 Conflict
  • If a provision in this code is more restrictive than what another law, regulation, license, or permit also imposes, this code applies.
  • If a provision in this code conflicts with another provision in the Town Code, this code applies.
  • If a provision with a more specific scope conflicts with a provision that has a broader scope, the more specific provision applies.
  • If a provision in this code conflicts with policy or custom, this code applies.
  • If the meaning of text in this code conflicts with a photo or graphic, text applies.
Regardless of what this code allows, the Uniform Code and Energy Conservation Construction Code always apply ...

272.906.5 Photos and graphics

Photos and graphics help explain some of the regulations or concepts in this code. Graphics may not always be to scale, or depict a scene where everything meets this code.
 

Maister

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Depends on the length of text. A picture, after all, is worth a thousand words. So if the text section is, say, 600 words then the picture overrules. If, however, the text has a 1,000 or more words than text overrules.

Who needs all them damned lawyers when ya got some good ol' horse sense, son.

Okay, seriously, text usually trumps illustrations and sometimes even says so in the ordinance.
 

Dan

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To avoid this in the future, where it makes sense, use a variable for a measurement in a graphic, and describe the variable in the text.

3 neighborhood design - thoroughfares - alley cross-section 01.png

4 lots and buildings - architecture - trim 01.png


4 lots and buildings - lot configuration - flag lots 02.png
 

DVD

Cyburbian
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If I were king I would have made them do the text or the graphic, but not both. Either that or put a statement saying the graphic is for reference only, but I'm not king so I shut up and do my job.
 

Doohickie

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If I were king I would have made them do the text or the graphic, but not both. Either that or put a statement saying the graphic is for reference only, but I'm not king so I shut up and do my job.
That's actually the way engineers would do it. Engineering drawings specify things once and only once. Any subsequent mentions of a specification is either labeled For Reference Only or place in parentheses.
 

RandomPlanner

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I've always worked with (and been almost always backed up by actual zoning code that states) any discrepancy in the code is to be interpreted as the stricter code is trump. That being the case, I would argue that the text wins since it's more restrictive.
 

Gedunker

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Indiana only recently permitted graphics in zoning ordinances - previously they were verboten. We have some, but they are not nearly as awesome as Dan's.
 

Dan

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Thanks for the kudos!

Indiana only recently permitted graphics in zoning ordinances - previously they were verboten.
Are you serious? What was the rationale? I've seen graphics in some really old-timey codes. They're primitive by today's standards, but still helpful.

old_timey_zoning_illustration.png

Some of these old graphics have been copied and pasted in so many other codes over time, they've taken on the look of faxlore.

For what its worth, our existing zoning code has almost no graphics or illustrations. Graphics in the code I've been working on pretty much double its length.
 

Gedunker

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Thanks for the kudos!



Are you serious? What was the rationale? I've seen graphics in some really old-timey codes. They're primitive by today's standards, but still helpful.

View attachment 48548

Some of these old graphics have been copied and pasted in so many other codes over time, they've taken on the look of faxlore.

For what its worth, our existing zoning code has almost no graphics or illustrations. Graphics in the code I've been working on pretty much double its length.
I'm guessing that they were trying to avoid this very question. If there are no graphics and only text, then text must prevail.
 

RandomPlanner

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...Some of these old graphics have been copied and pasted in so many other codes over time, they've taken on the look of faxlore.
I've never heard the term "faxlore" but I am now in love with it and not only plan to use it in everyday conversation, but also plan to find some good faxlore and pass it along to several key colleagues!

Thanks, Dan, for teaching me something new today!
 
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Suburb Repairman

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michaelskis

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We have a provision that indicates that when there is a conflict, the stricter of the regulations applies.
 
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