Revision of the land development regulations has been going on for a long time. The original timeline prepared in 2006 by ACP Planning and Visioning had December 2007 as the target date for adopting new regulations. Back when ACP started work on the Comprehensive Plan the land development regulations were to be revised simultaneously thus ensuring a tight fit between the Comp Plan and the regulations. Nothing has happened according to plan and when a draft of new regulations arrived in 2009, the document was a clumsy cut-and-paste job with internal inconsistencies, missing references, and just plain nonsense almost completely unrelated to the Comprehensive Plan.
2009 saw city boards and commissions, as well as the Land Use Advisory Group (made up of developers, architects, board/commission members), another developers group, the Chamber of Commerce and the NDDC comment on the draft and the Planning Commission has been working hard to put it all together into something which really will carry out the goals of the Comp Plan as well as be easy to administer. The Planning Commission deserves a huge amount of credit for their persistence, diligence, research, and effort.
2010 has seen the Planning Commission really take charge of their process for revising and rewriting. The first portion of their revised draft – regulations for the built residential areas of the city – comes to the Council at our work session this week.
I’ve wanted new land development regulations since 2001 when I was on the Planning Commission and the previous Comp Plan was adopted. I’ve started quite a few blog posts about the post-2008 Comp Plan revision process, but trashed them all because I have not been able to remain calm enough to write through the delays, obstructions, and lack of progress. I finally feel somewhat optimistic as the Planning Commission has made great progress with both their process and the product.