Monday, May 14, 2012

Infill Compatibility Standards

One of the great benefits of the DLA is being kept up to date on all the development activity. With so much going on all the time, and each project requiring so much reading and and in-depth review, one person simply can't do it all.  

Big thanks to Phil Poe who has spearheaded the UDO project. Specifically related to downtown and the immediate surrounding downtown neighborhoods, there is a section of the UDO that talks about infill and how it should be handled.  I recently received this email from Phil with a link to a petition. Take some time to read through this, as it will impact how our neighborhoods will look in the future. 
Before the economic downturn in 2008, many neighborhoods saw an extraordinary number of teardowns replaced with homes that were out of character with the rest of the neighborhood. Some additions to existing homes produced similar results.

The intent of the proposed UDO residential infill compatibility standards is to put rules in place that “accommodate and encourage compatible development in existing residential neighborhoods, while reinforcing the established character of the neighborhood and mitigating adverse impacts on adjacent homes.” The UDO draft document includes specific rules for street setbacks and the height and length of the sides of buildings. The details are available in Chapter 2: Residential Districts, pages 10 – 11.

To receive comparable protection today, neighborhoods are required to go through the laborious process of creating a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District (NCOD) or, if the neighborhood qualifies, a Historic Overlay District (HOD).

If you are concerned about preserving the character of your neighborhood and support more predictability in the City’s development regulations, it’s important that you engage yourself in this conversation. You can do this by attending Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting May 15 or by sending an e-mail to the Planning Commission. If it’s easier for you, you can send your comments to Christine Darges, She will ensure your comments get delivered to the Planning Commission.
There is also an online petition that you can sign.

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