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A zoning code should allow for and encourage a variety of sustainable and green development techniques, improving energy efficiency and taking advantage of existing resources •  From large-scale development concepts (TOD) to site-specific elements (solar PV panels, pervious paving) •  Zoning does not address green building techniques but it can require new development lessen its negative impact •  Many older codes do not address this because technology didn’t exist or different planning policy in place

“Green” zoning regulation should: 1.  Reduce barriers 2.  Create incentives 3.  Set standards


Specific areas to focus on: 1.  Accessory structures 2.  Emerging principal uses 3.  Density 4.  Sustainable development standards 5.  Adaptive reuse 6.  Landscaping & stormwater management Examples: •  •  • 

Baltimore, MD New Orleans, LA Winnebago County, IL


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Ensure that code allows various “green” accessory structures

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Can “retrofit” existing codes to accommodate these

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Important to monitor changing technologies

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Need to strike balance with aesthetics (example: historic preservation) Examples of accessory structures:

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  Solar PV panels, solar thermal   Residential wind turbines   Cisterns, rain barrels   Back-up generators   Exterior lighting


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New principal uses emerging for alternative energy Also “retrofit” existing codes to accommodate these

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Important to monitor changing technologies

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Need to strike balance with development policy

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Examples of new principal uses:   Wind farms, solar farms   Recycling facilities   Geothermal plants, clean coal   Urban agriculture, community gardens (temporary & permanent) – farmer’s markets/farmstands   Local food production


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Increased density where services available – mixed-use development to create that environment

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Evaluate densities permitted at all districts to see if they “match” what can be accommodated   Remember parking & height realities   Older development policies implemented through old code may not reflect existing density pattern

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Implement “minimum” densities for new development Density bonuses for incorporating sustainable development

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Example: Transit-oriented development   Implement by overlay or base district   Anticipate where new transit stops are to be built


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Required mixed-use developments, TND Do not limit “large-scale” to residential/mixed-use only

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“Complete streets” New developments – building siting requirements for passive solar access Required open space within large developments, low-impact development

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Use PUD process to negotiate sustainable development techniques   Require public benefits/amenities – include sustainable design as a benefit   Flexibility to ask for LEED/LEED-equivalent buildings


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Impervious surface requirements Allowing the use of pervious materials

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Parking alternatives   Allowed shared parking, cross-access agreements, count on-street spaces   Parking maximums, land-banked parking   Prohibit parking in certain areas   Car-sharing incentives

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Required bike parking/bicyclist facilities


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It is “green” to reuse older buildings Evaluate whether the code encourages teardowns   Nonconformity flexibilities   Permissions for additions to existing structures

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Excessive parking & loading requirements Reduce required variances for older structures to be reused Use flexibilities (allowing the building to be reused for a use different than that constructed)


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Codes should contain landscaping provisions Include comprehensive design standards

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Encourage native landscaping, tree preservation, low water landscaping

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Parking lot landscaping – perimeter & interior Buffer yard requirements – to mitigate impacts Parkway tree requirements

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Tree preservation ordinance


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Stormwater management   Green roofs   Collection and reuse of greywater   Stormwater harvesting   Permeable paving   Bioretention areas & bioswales   Rain gardens   Flow-through planters, filter strips, tree box filters (street trees in urban areas)   Natural detention basin   Soil amendments to provide infiltration capacity


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Important to remove barriers Make adjustments to existing code when overhaul infeasible

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Monitor technologies and studies for change

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Pushback from developers – ex: parking & landscaping

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Pushback from citizens – ex: increased density



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