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Decatur Diary | January 9, 2014

Residents Affirm UDO Approach: Next step, commission go-ahead

The front-end work of the city’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) effort took another step forward last night as roughly fifty residents gathered to review and affirm the project team’s work-in-progress.

In the weeks since the last UDO meeting, resident and business input has formed the basis for exactly which areas of the code need fine-tuning and, for each, provided a general sense of how to do so.

That general sense comprised the bulk of the introductory presentation delivered by Caleb Racicot of TSW & Associates, the lead consulting firm managing the process.

His presentation, and the recommendations it details, can be reviewed here. (5mb .pdf)

In subsequent Q&A, Racicot made a few points clear:

  1. The recommendations are broad brush and do not contain specific details. Instead, they’re intended to illustrate general policy directions that answer the community’s previously voiced concerns and priorities. Such approaches, he noted, will ultimately require more nuanced community conversations in the months ahead, so those interested should stay tuned.
  2. When the city commission meets February 3, they will not be voting on any new regulations. Instead, they’ll be presented with the ordinance’s proposed Table of Contents, which details the structure of the UDO, as well as the various policy approaches being explored. Their approval will simply “green light” the proposed approach and allow the team to begin work on the specifics.
  3. Those specifics — the actual zoning details and metrics — will be developed in collaboration with the community through subsequent drill-down meetings. The entire process is expected to conclude by September, 2014.

Following the presentation, Racicot directed participants to wall displays featuring the potential policy directions and asked them to submit comments, as well as demonstrate their approval or disapproval with red and green dots. High resolution versions of the displays can be downloaded here (4.2mb .pdf). Attendee reactions are shown below.




Community reactions and contributions were submitted in the form of these Idea Cards.

Further reactions and contributions were submitted in the form of these Idea Cards.

Here’s a collection of photos from the evening. If you were unable to make it, there are still plenty of ways to plug in and get your thoughts on the record. Provide your own ideas and recommendations in the comments section below or submit more general comments and questions directly to the city here.

Check back with us regularly for updates of progress.

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