Following the success of their recent Comprehensive Plan update, the Town sought to revise their Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to help bring the recommendations from the plan to life. In addition to the changes mandated by the state’s recent Chapter 160D legislation, the project also included updating standards, graphics, and tables; bringing forward best practices from other communities in development regulation; reviewing existing procedures and outcomes; converting to a conditional zoning process; and encouraging better coordination between Town departments and outside service providers (e.g. City of Raleigh Public Utilities). A significant public engagement effort also contributed to identifying changes that would increase the quality of life for residents and land development professionals in the area. This UDO update translates some of the aspirational goals from the Comprehensive Plan into a real-world regulatory environment that works for residents, the development community, and the Town.
As lead agency, Stewart was responsible for coordinating all technical UDO language updates; ensuring compliance with Chapter 160D legislation; and presenting to the public, elected and appointed boards, and at adoption hearings. Public meetings and regular coordination with staff and town boards ensured that the process of updating this technical document was transparent and approachable.
Due to the timing of legislative changes from the state, it was necessary to implement the mandated changes from the Chapter 160D legislation prior to the remainder of the subject area changes intended to address the recommendations from the Town’s adopted plans. Stewart worked with the Town to coordinate the adoption such that the Town would at all times be in compliance with the state statutes while also implementing the town’s goals.
The project also overlapped with the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic crisis which necessitated the development of alternative online public engagement efforts. Those efforts resulted in public engagement exceeding that of traditional in-person only development ordinance updates.
Town of Garner
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