Decatur Diary | October 3, 2014

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UDO Draft Version 3: Final review and comment opportunities

In mid July, after almost 9 months of increasingly focused public meetings, the UDO process finally arrived at an initial draft — a draft subsequently subjected to 22 hours of open house discussion with residents and 4 exploratory topics for online consideration via Open City Hall. From that, together with additional comments that came in, a second, work-in-progress draft was released and presented for review by the city commission in two September work sessions

Decatur Diary | September 26, 2014

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Commission Work Sessions Clarify Final Steps for the UDO

Consider how far we’ve come: Eleven months and seven public drill-down meetings; pages and pages of resident comments submitted via Decatur Next; 22 hours of open house sessions in which residents came by, explored the draft-in-progress, asked questions of city staff, and provided comments; four Open City Hall exploratory topics; and two evenings of city commission work sessions, in which they reviewed the latest version of the draft…

Decatur Diary | August 22, 2014

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UDO Next: More opportunities to consider and comment

On Monday, July 21, a comprehensive draft of Decatur’s Unified Development Ordinance was released, followed by a full month of public review and comment — a process that kicked off with 22 hours of open house Q&A sessions and continued with a wealth of resident input submitted directly to the city. That input can be reviewed here, with many of the issues raised addressed in our Frequently Asked Questions

Decatur Diary | July 30, 2014

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Questions Posed, Answers Offered

Nine months and seven public meetings in, specifics of the UDO are now getting a good look — not just here online at Decatur Next but through 22 hours of open house sessions in which residents came by, explored the current draft, asked questions of city staff and provided comments on the work-in-progress. These Q&A sessions were a big success. Not just in terms of getting questions answered but in helping the city and the consulting team a) better understand where there’s concern or confusion as to the impact or intent of various UDO provisions; and b) review, scrutinize and proofread what is inarguably a hefty document. So thanks to everyone who’s made the time to come by. Your comments, and those submitted here, have been invaluable…

Decatur Diary | July 21, 2014

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Finally There: First draft of UDO work-in-progress released

Last Fall, meetings were held to establish and affirm how the Unified Development Ordinance should be approached and structured, and to determine any areas of potential regulation requiring further discussion.

This Spring, “Hack the Code” sessions were held to explore the four identified areas: community character, stormwater, green building, and zoning approaches to expand the City’s allowable housing types. Residents also provided comments and direction here, through decaturnext.com.

Beginning in May, we assessed the amassed — and diverse — comments; sought direction, areas of agreement or potential compromise; and began work on the comprehensive draft…

Decatur Diary | July 11, 2014

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UDO Draft Ready for Prime Time: Series of meetings scheduled

Those who’ve followed along and participated in the Unified Development Ordinance process so far know the road we’ve been down. Last fall, in Phase 01, we began by revisiting the Decatur Strategic Plan, considering areas where city goals were not supported by existing ordinances, and identifying areas to focus on. General approaches to addressing those areas were then integrated with the overall clean-up effort and, in a meeting January 8, were affirmed by residents — together with a request that four areas (character, stormwater, sustainability/green building, and new zoning districts) be given further opportunity for community consideration and discussion…

Decatur Diary | April 21, 2014

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The Missing Middle: UDO meeting April 23 explores new zoning categories

The Strategic Plan’s goals for a more diversified housing mix reflect a gap — what we’re calling the missing middle — between our predominantly single-family residential and our downtown. This session explores the idea of transitional districts to accommodate things like live/work units, downtown-friendly townhouses, small-scale apartment buildings, neighborhood-scaled mixed use, cottage courts, and more, and gauges the circumstances under which such solutions might make sense…

Decatur Diary | April 18, 2014

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Greening Up: Meeting explores UDO’s sustainability options

Among the community priorities to emerge during 2010’s Strategic Plan effort was sustainability. Specifically, Principle C of the adopted plan, which states “Serve as good stewards of the environment and community resources” and, beneath that, Task 12B, which instructs city leadership to “update and create a unified land development ordinance that requires sustainable building practices throughout the community…”