To kick off the City’s Development Code Task Force, staff distributed a strategic assessment of the existing Development Code prepared by Fairfield and Woods, a law firm hired by the City to help rewrite the Code. The consultants offered a practical critique of the Code with recommendations to improve it. The Code should be simplified and standardized after years of piecemeal additions and revisions.
In particular, the document suggests procedural reforms, with an emphasis on streamlining, simplifying and standardizing development review procedures. For example, infill and corridor development standards should incentivize infill development and redevelopment. The zoning code should include new residential districts that allow a mix of housing types and densities and implement the “complete neighborhoods” policies of the Comprehensive Plan. All in the all, Fairfield and Woods recommend making the code user-friendly for staff and City Council and for developers seeking to build in the City. Assuming the recommendations are implemented, the end result should be a leaner, cleaner Code and that would be a very good thing.