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The Planning, Zoning & Development process: Making Sense Of it all. Cary Council/Staff Retreat, January 18, 2013. Purpose Of This Session. Verify Council’s Goals/Expectations For The Town’s Planning, Zoning & Development Processes

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the planning zoning development process making sense of it all

The Planning, Zoning & Development process: Making Sense Of it all

Cary Council/Staff Retreat, January 18, 2013

purpose of this session
Purpose Of This Session
  • Verify Council’s Goals/Expectations For The Town’s Planning, Zoning & Development Processes
  • Review The Purpose & The Major Steps In Each Process, Including Legal Considerations
  • Assess Each Process Against Goals
  • Evaluate Results Achieved In The Built Environment
  • Refine Process Goals
  • Identify Potential Future Changes to Processes
session agenda
Session Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Preliminary Goals For All Development Processes
  • Process Review & Evaluation
    • Plan Amendments
    • Rezonings
    • Development Plans
session agenda1
Session Agenda
  • Evaluate Development Results “On The Ground”
  • Revised/Refined Process Goals
  • Potential Process Changes, “To Do” List, and Wrap Up
some guidelines for this session
Some Guidelines For This Session
  • NOT Intended To Address Specific Rules, Regulations, Requirements  Will “Park” Those Ideas
  • Existing Virtual Interactive Planner (VIP) Website Will Be Used To Review Processes & Inform Council Of Process Information Already Available To The Public
  • ?
preliminary goals staff distillation
Preliminary Goals: Staff Distillation
  • Meet State Laws
  • Implement Adopted Town Plans, Policies & Ordinances
  • Enable Timely & Effective Decision-making
  • Ensure High Level Of Service To All Customers
  • Include Maximum Level Of Public/Citizen Awareness & Involvement
preliminary goals staff distillation1
Preliminary Goals: Staff Distillation
  • Ensure Easy Access To Information About Specific Proposals/Cases/Processes
  • Provide For Balanced Discussion Of The Merits & Impacts Of Each Development Proposal
  • Allow Decision-Making To Occur At The Appropriate Level (Legislative versus Administrative)
  • Balance Property Owner Rights With Neighborhood Concerns
process review

Process Review

Comprehensive Plan Amendments (CPA’s)

cpa fast facts
CPA “Fast Facts”
  • 29 Total Plan Amendment Cases During Last Three Years (2010-2012)
  • 23 Approved; 4 Cases Withdrawn; Two Still in Review
  • Average Review Time of 181 Days from Submission To Action By Town Council; Longest = 455 Days (Cooke-Futrell property); Shortest = Historic Preservation Master Plan (87 Days)
cpa process criticisms
CPA Process Criticisms
  • Order/Sequence Of Public Hearings? (Council Or P&Z First?)
  • Difficult/Unrealistic To Separate Plan Amendment Aspects From Rezoning Considerations When The Hearings Are Held At The Same Time
  • ?
  • ?
rezoning fast facts
Rezoning “Fast Facts”
  • X Total Rezoning Cases During Last Three Years (2010-2012)
  • One Case “Denied”
  • Seven Cases “Withdrawn”
  • Average Time From Application Submission To Town Council Action = 188 Days
    • Median Time = 165 Days
    • Longest Time = 334 Days
    • Shortest Time = 91 Days
hearing sequence comparison fab 14 jurisdictions
Hearing Sequence Comparison (“Fab 14” Jurisdictions)
  • 10 Of 14: Planning Board Or Commission Hearing 1st  Council Hearing & Vote 2nd
  • 1 Of14: Joint Council/Planning Board Hearing As 1st Step (Charlotte) (Note: Prior Process In Cary Under UDO)
  • 1 Of 14 (Concord) Has Special Legislation Allowing P&Z Board To Render Final Decision If Vote = “Supermajority;” Otherwise, Continues To Council
managing a rezoning case
Managing A Rezoning Case

Summary Of Staff Work Effort

  • 1 TC Public Hearing, 3 PZ Public Hearings, And 2 TC Meetings
  • 8 Sets Of Letters For Property Owners And 400-foot Property Owners
  • 8 Trips To Property To Place And Remove Public Hearing Signs
  • 4 Ads In Cary News
  • 6 Staff Reports (Multiple Staff Involved In Writing, Review, And Placing Ad On Web)
  • 6 PowerPoint Presentations Prepared
  • 3 Sets Of PZ Minutes Prepared By Planning Staff
  • Multiple Calls And Meetings With Applicant Regarding Meetings With Neighbors And Changing Conditions
  • 15 Email Exchanges Representing Multiple Questions From One Adjacent Resident
  • 2 Emails Exchanges And Questions From PZ Members
  • Calls Or Email Exchanges With At Least 3 Other Residents
  • 4 Meetings With Neighbors Or Applicant And Council Members
rezoning process criticisms
Rezoning Process Criticisms
  • Application:
    • Why Is A Traffic Study Not Required For Some Rezoning Cases?
    • Where Is The Detailed Site Or Subdivision Plan?
  • Notices:
    • Letters Sent To Adjacent Property Owners Are Lengthy
    • Timing Of Notice Is Insufficient (Note: State Law)
    • Notices Sent To Owners Too Far From Property/Not Far Enough
rezoning process criticisms1
Rezoning Process Criticisms
  • Public Hearings:
    • Order/Sequence Of Public Hearings (Council Or P&Z First?)
    • Why Do Some Applications Not Have A Public Hearing Before The Planning And Zoning Board?
    • Why Do We Have A Public Hearing With The P&Z Board?
rezoning process criticisms2
Rezoning Process Criticisms
  • Zoning Conditions:
    • Type Of Zoning Conditions (Desire To Specify Value, House Construction, Construction Traffic, Timing Of Road Construction, Etc.)
    • Since The Developer Hasn’t Shown Us A Site Or Subdivision Layout, Don’t Consider Rezoning Until There Are More Specifics (Fix: Consider Attaching The Site Plan As A Condition)
    • Separation Of Development Plan Issues From Rezoning (Why?)
rezoning process criticisms3
Rezoning Process Criticisms
  • Protest Petitions:
    • Why Aren’t Protests Allowed For Initial Zoning? (Note: State Law)
    • Why Does Department Send Protest Petitions To All Properties Within 400 Feet Of Rezoning If Only Properties Within 100 Are Eligible To Protest (Creates False Expectations)
    • Sending A Copy Of The Protest Petition Out To Property Owners Biases The Process Against The Applicant
    • Protest Petitions Do Not Show Up Until Late In The MXD Process, After The Applicant Has Spent Thousands Of Dollars On A Proposed Project
rezoning process criticisms4
Rezoning Process Criticisms
  • P&Z Board:
    • Acts Political Vs. Advisory
    • P&Z Board Should Focus Discussion On Appropriateness Of Proposed Change With Regard To The Land Use Plan.
    • P&Z Board Is Swayed By Protest Petition
  • Staff Role:
    • Staff Recommendation Not Provided
rezoning process criticisms5
Rezoning Process Criticisms
  • Citizen Involvement:
    • Neighbors Have Too Much Power
    • One Or Two Residents Claim To Represent Entire Neighborhoods
    • When Dealing With Citizens, We Need To Be Customer-friendly, But Not Customer-overboard
rezoning process criticisms6
Rezoning Process Criticisms
  • Town Council:
    • Council Delays The Process Rather Than Making A Decision. If The Rezoning Conditions Are Satisfactory To Address Neighborhood Concerns, Then The Council Should Approve The Project. If Not, The Council Should Deny The Project.
    • Council Is Not Willing To Support Land Use Plan If Adjacent Citizens Oppose
    • The Costs Of Development Are Often Ignored
    • Potential “Solution” To A Project Is Often Not Practicable
rezoning process criticisms7
Rezoning Process Criticisms
  • Schedule:
    • The Process Is Too Long And/Or Is Too Confusing
    • Unable To Give A Realistic Schedule For The MXD Process
ideas for rezoning process changes
Ideas For Rezoning Process Changes
  • Make “Regular” Rezonings Match MXD Rezonings Where P&Z Board Conducts First Public Hearing
    • Uniformity (Improves Understanding Of Process)
    • Use P&Z Board To Filter Public Input
    • Adjacent Owners Do Not Have To Rush To File A Protest Petition (And May Never Have To)
    • P&Z Board Not Influenced By Existence Of Protest Petition (Not Filed Until Case Goes To Council Hearing)
    • ?
process review2

Process Review

Development Plans

development plan process criticisms
Development Plan Process Criticisms
  • Notification:
    • Town Notifies Adjacent Property Owners And Creates False Expectations That Citizen Input Can Significantly Change The Outcomes
    • Citizens Provide Comments That Are Not Always Reflected In The Approved Plan (If Administrative Review, Plan Only Needs To Meet Requirements Of LDO And Other Regulations)
    • Notification Of Plan Review Is Sent After Second Submittal (For Some Projects, Only Two Submittals May Be Necessary)
development plan process criticisms1
Development Plan Process Criticisms
  • Schedule:
    • Process Takes Too Long
    • Too Many Regulations; LDO Is Too Complex And/Or Lengthy
  • Changes/Flexibility:
    • More Flexibility Needed When Dealing With Colors And Architecture; Trying To Legislate “Taste”
    • How Much Change Is Allowed To A Development Plan Before It Has To Go Back Through The Rezoning Process?
results on the ground

Results on the ground

Achieving Expected Outcomes

nature of criticisms
Nature Of Criticisms
  • Land Uses
    • Specific Use Proposed Is “Not Needed” Or “Not What We Expected”  Too Many Drugstores, Grocery Stores, Apartments, You Pick The Use
  • Site Design/Layout
    • Difficult To Navigate The Site Or Arrangement Is Considered “Not Safe”
  • Signage
  • Other?
nature of criticisms1
Nature Of Criticisms
  • Building And Landscaping (Design/Aesthetics)
    • Just Plain Ugly
    • Cheap Construction; “Wavy Vinyl Siding” On Buildings
    • Need “Good Architecture” On All Four Sides Of Buildings
    • Drive-through Locations Too Visible
    • View Of Rooftops Or Service/Support Areas
    • High Quality Architecture Is Required…But Then You Also Require Me To Landscape To Hide It And Then Won’t Let Me Trim It
    • How Much Buffering Do We Really Need To Separate Similar Uses??? Especially If Only A Different Subdivision
final goals council direction
Final Goals: Council Direction
  • Meet State Laws
  • Implement Adopted Town Plans, Policies & Ordinances
  • Enable Timely & Effective Decision-making
  • Provide High Level Of Service To All Customers
  • Include Maximum Level Of Public/Citizen Awareness & Involvement
final goals council direction1
Final Goals: Council Direction
  • Ensure Availability Of Information About Processes Themselves
  • Provide Easy Access To Information About Specific Proposals/Cases/Processes
  • Provide For Balanced Discussion Of The Merits & Impacts Of Each Development Proposal
  • Allow Decision-Making To Occur At The Appropriate Level (Legislative versus Administrative)
  • Balance Property Owner Rights With Neighborhood Concerns
wrap up

Wrap Up

The End