How Do UDO?
How do UDO?
We, in the Community Development Department, understand that Zoning and Subdivision Regulations are not things most people spend a lot of time thinking about. These policies and regulations don’t tend to be very exciting or are written in a way that makes you want to read them for entertainment. However, these things significantly shape our neighborhoods, shopping centers and where we work and play.
Because these regulations and planning tools are so important to our community, the City of Manhattan is working on the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) project, which will update and combine these regulations into one document. The purpose of this information series about the UDO is to break this large document of regulations into manageable pieces of information covering new and/or important topics on housing, commercial and industrial developments. Hopefully, we can present the information in a way that is easy to understand, and who knows… you may get excited about community planning and how these regulations shape our City.
The first installment of How do UDO? is to introduce the UDO and talk about the proposed new zoning districts.
What is the Unified Development Ordinance?
The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is a project designed to combine the existing Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulation for the City of Manhattan into an updated ordinance that regulates new development, re-development and the subdivision of land.
Why update our zoning and subdivision regulations?
Common practice is to update a community's Zoning and Subdivision regulations after major Comprehensive Plan Updates, which the City, Riley County, and Pottawatomie County jointly adopted in March 2015. Although the City has updated specific articles and sections of the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations over the years, (e.g. Signage, TNO and M-FRO Districts) as needed to comply with State and Federal Regulations or to keep up with the needs of Manhattan; the last time the Zoning Ordinance was completely reviewed and updated was in 1996 as an in-house project. Think about that. The last time these regulations were completely reviewed, the Nintendo 64 video system was released, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their 4th NBA Championship and Twister was released in movie theaters. Fortunately, it hasn’t been that long since the Subdivision Regulations were last updated, which was in 2003.
It is time for a fresh look at the City's development regulations!
Who is doing the work to update zoning and regulations?
The City hired Kendig Keast Collaborative (KKC) a nationally recognized planning consulting firm to draft the UDO. Kendig Keast Collaborative has partnered with professionals from White and Smith Law Firm, Gateway Planning and Confluence Planning. They use their experience in community planning, commercial, residential and mixed-use development and ordinance drafting to bring the City's development standards into the 21st Century to meet the community's residential, commercial and employment needs.
What is changing?
With upgrades come changes. The City and our partners at KKC are working hard to minimize situations where a large number of legal uses and buildings would somehow become illegal with the adoption of the UDO. Most changes to the new regulations are to modernize the types of residential, commercial and industrial uses that are allowed. This series will highlight a number of these changes in the upcoming months.
One of the most significant changes is combining and renaming of zoning districts throughout the City. Below is a table that shows the conversion of the current zoning districts to the proposed district.
This map provides a comparison between the existing and proposed zoning districts.
The UDO plans to create different development options within residential districts to allow for more compact developments to protect the environment and promote a variety of housing types. These options are:
Standard: A subdivision that uses a typical street and lot layout that is generally seen throughout Manhattan today. These developments typically provide for a single-family home on a lot, with a limited amount of open space in the development for drainage, recreation and protection of the environment. (Insert image from UDO)
Clustered: A development pattern in which single-family homes in the subdivision are clustered closer together in a part of the development. The remaining space in the neighborhood is devoted to open space, recreation areas and the preservation or protection of natural areas. (Insert image from UDO)
Master Planned: This flexible development option allows for a comprehensively planned neighborhood that would allow for it to have a mix of single-family homes, two-family homes, townhomes, apartments, open space and recreational areas and even in some neighborhoods, commercial uses. (Insert image from UDO)
Master Planned Development
The purpose of these new options is to streamline the application process to develop homes, apartments, etc. and still give plenty of information to the neighbors in the area about the proposed development.
Specific regulations for lot size and dimensions, setbacks and other regulations can be found in the draft of Module #1. Please understand that this a working draft of the UDO and sections will most likely change with staff review and public comments.