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Decatur Diary | October 30, 2013

UDO Process Kicks Off Nov. 14: Everyone’s invited

It’s time. On Thursday, November 14, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the City Commission Meeting Room, 509 N. McDonough St., we’ll kick off efforts to craft an all new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which consolidates Decatur’s many existing ordinances into one easy to use, easy to administer document.

“Cities change over time,” said planning director Amanda Thompson, “and regulations get added, subtracted and revised along the way. Eventually, you find yourself with a lot of different pieces that don’t necessarily work all that well together.”

What To Expect at the Meeting

The evening’s agenda — a presentation followed by a public input opportunity — will play out as follows:

  1. Representatives of the consulting team will present a sort of UDO:101 to get us all on the same page — what it is, why it’s important, and how it works.
  2. Attendees will then be given Idea Cards and asked to hack the code by responding to a fundamental question: In what way(s) do you feel our existing development regulations fail to address the intent and/or goals of the Strategic Plan or other adopted policy documents?

iC Graphic

How we regulate trees, for example, is a very topical example of where a disconnect might exist. So much so, in fact, that we’ll be holding a subsequent meeting on that specific issue alone. Another might involve housing options. The Strategic Plan calls for greater choice in housing types to serve a wider range of age and economics but, as of today, we’ve made no amendments to our zoning categories to allow for new models.

“Land development regulations,” continued Thompson, “play a key role in how the Strategic Plan gets implemented, so this is an exciting opportunity to make revisions, incorporate new ideas, and adopt some new regulations that’ll better serve the community’s vision.”

It’s up to you. You may have had experience with our regulations. You (hopefully) participated in or followed 2010’s Strategic Planning effort. And, most importantly, you have your own unique perspective on what’s going on around town.

So where are the disconnects? Please join us November 14 and let’s get the conversation started.

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