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Decatur Diary | March 10, 2014

Time to Drill Down: UDO Community Character meeting Wed., March 12

Community Character
Wednesday, March 12 | 7-9pm | Decatur City Hall

On March 3, the city commission approved Phase Two of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) process, clearing the way for our next steps: drilling down on currently unresolved issues; and preparing a comprehensive draft for community review.

As you’ll recall, Phase One involved two goals: establishing how our various regulations could be consolidated into one unified, easy-to-use document; and determining if any particular areas of those regulations required further discussion and consideration by the community.

Four subjects emerged and were affirmed by the community January 8: community character; stormwater; sustainability; and the prospect of new zoning district options to allow for additional housing types.

Now, we drill down. To better discuss the complexity of these subjects, and their potential impacts on competing community goals, we’ll be holding a series of subject-specific, interactive meetings during March and April. The complete schedule of those meetings can be found here.

First up: Community Character. Join us at City Hall, Wednesday, March 12, from 7-9pm, as we explore the look and feel of Decatur’s neighborhoods, and consider what, if anything, we should do to better protect or enhance it.

Participants can expect to:

  1. Discuss how neighborhood character is perceived and how, to them, it’s being impacted by development, renovation, new construction or other related efforts;
  2. Learn how particular issues of concern can be regulated; and
  3. Make recommendations on what issues should be regulated, and how.

If you’ve got ideas or concerns about how our neighborhoods are or should be evolving over time, this is your opportunity to make your own impact. Please make time to join us.

Weigh In | Your Ideas Matter
Join These 2 Contributions
Ground Rules: We encourage respectful community conversation around planning and development issues in the City of Decatur. Participants are asked to login via Facebook, Twitter or Google, or create a user account through Disqus. Profane or abusive contributions may be moderated.


  1. Chris Billingsley says

    For those of you who were too busy working tonight, or helping your kids understand the new IB rubric used in kindergarten class, or just too dang tired to attend the first of several two hour meetings on future land use restrictions, let me give you my “perception” of things to come. There are many more regulations on the way, from “Demolition Delay” to a an expanded use of the historic preservation commission, all designed to allow our government to define the character of a neighborhood. Previous generations believed that our shared beliefs and values shaped the neighborhood. But the presenters at tonight’s meeting want you to believe that the appearance of a house is what defines a neighborhood. There were a number of proposals that raised my blood pressure to the point that I almost left several times, but I managed to stay until the very end, and I’m glad I did. One of the participants sitting at my table was a young woman who described how she and her growing family want to remain in Decatur but the restrictions on building up makes it almost impossible to stay in her small house. The sad truth is that the ideas proposed tonight won’t increase economic, religious, and political diversity, but make Decatur more and more, the playground of the very liberal and very rich. And that makes me very sad.

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