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Administrative Alternate Changes (TC-19-19)

Administrative Alternate Changes (TC-19-19)

This text change proposes converting the existing Administrative Alternate for Design (AAD) process to a new Design Alternate (DA) process with updated standards. In addition, the text change will institute new objective criteria for many of the City’s development regulations and revise multiple sections of the UDO to improve its usability. Read the full TC-19-19 draft ordinance.

Background Information:

The UDO contains objective development standards that are applied administratively during subdivision and site plan review. City staff has recognized the need for more flexible regulations and a more predictable process for achieving compliance when strict adherence to the code may not be desirable. This ordinance is part of a series of recent text changes aimed at creating a streamlined design alternate process whereby applicants can request relief from the City’s development rules based upon a set of subjective criteria.

Current Rules: 

Under the current regulations, an applicant may request to deviate from certain development standards through an Administrative Alternate for Design filed in conjunction with a development plan. The Planning Director reviews the AAD before referring it to the Appearance Commission for their review and recommendation based upon the relevant set of criteria outlined in the UDO. The Planning Director then chooses to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the request based on the Appearance Commission’s review and recommendation. Any appeal of the Planning Director’s decision is heard by the Board of Adjustment.

Proposed Text Change: 

The proposed text change will convert the existing Administrative Alternate for Design process to a new Design Alternate process wherein the Planning Commission, or Appearance Commission performing the quasi-judicial duties of the Planning Commission (as designated by the City Council), will have final decision-making authority. The following code sections will now be eligible for a Design Alternate:

  • Sec. 1.5.6.D (Build-To)
  • Sec. 1.5.8.C. (Pedestrian Access)
  • Sec. 1.5.9.C. (Transparency)
  • Sec. 1.5.10. (Blank Wall)
  • Sec. 1.5.12.C. (Garage)
  • Sec. 3.3.3.C. (Building Massing)
  • Sec. 7.1.7.I. (Vehicle Parking Lot)
  • Sec. 7.2.3. (Landscaping and Screening)

As part of this transition, new objective standards will be added to the code and existing criteria will be updated accordingly. Other highlights of the text change include: the creation of a new 30 story building height designation for mixed-use districts along with more flexible building massing standards, the elimination of build-to for apartment and townhouse building types outside of urban frontages, and the renaming of the parking administrative alternate to parking alternate means of compliance.

Public Meeting Schedule: 

This text change is scheduled for the Planning Commission meeting on February 23. The Commission may act on that date or refer to their Text Change Committee for further discussion. We will be collecting comments here through March 10. Comments after this date should be submitted directly to Keegan McDonald via email

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