[ Summarizes the changes to the code that make it easier to use and understand. ]
This code requires applicants to submit a complete application prior to scheduling a BMZA hearing for a variance. This ensures that neighbors can get all the information they need to decide whether to comment or attend the hearing.
MORE CONCISE TEXT
The new code clearly delineates the roles and responsibilities of various boards and officials working in code administration. For users, processes are presented more clearly in tables or flow charts, making it easy to determine requirements and next steps.
PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENTS (PUDs)
PUDs currently compensate for an outdated zoning code. A PUD is intended to allow for creative design solutions that may not otherwise be permitted. With a modern code we’ll need fewer PUDs. When one is needed, a revised process ensures design quality and community review.
The new code is shorter, more readable and easier to understand. Simple, easy to read tables, flow charts, illustrations and images are included throughout to help organize and explain various restrictions and requirements within the code.
All terms in the code are now defined in plain language and lists all administrators and officials by title and describes their responsibilities. This will reduce confusion for users and administrators alike.
This code has clear requirements for Site Plan and Design Review. This inter-agency review will ensure code compliance, proper landscaping, safe parking and loading, and accessibility in the most environmentally friendly manner.
Two levels of variances are proposed – Administrative variances can be granted if additions are less than 10% of the lot and building size, unless after posting the property an objection is raised. These and all other variances will be heard by the BMZA in a public hearing.
The draft recommends a predictable, consistent approach to converting a single-family house to multiple units in row house neighborhoods. This will make it easier to add a rental unit in larger row houses on large lots, while making it impossible to convert smaller houses into apartments.
The draft Zoning Code includes only one type of non-conforming use, making it easier to administer. It also encourages eventual changes to uses, so they conform to new provisions within the Code. This section also gives clear guidance for non-conforming lots without buildings and noncomplying-signs.
Each zoning district includes proposed permitted and conditional uses. Conditional uses can only be established after a public hearing before the BMZA, which must determine if certain conditions are met. Conversely, the BMZA will be able to revoke a conditional use, under the new code, if certain conditions are not met.