Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Land Development Ordinance Rewrite

Greensboro is beginning the process of reviewing and rewriting its Land Development Ordinance (LDO), otherwise known as the zoning ordinance. The city has hired a consulting firm for at least part of this work, and they began this week by interviewing "stakeholders" -- that means anybody who has a stake in the rewrite, and I guess that includes anybody who owns property.

I was one of dozens interviewed, but couldn't stay for my whole session. Many of the people in my group were already known to me as activists working in older neighborhoods that face problems like disinvestment, poor propery stewardship, poor development planning, and inappropriate zoning. As a result, it was easy for us to come to a few quick agreements on what we'd like to see in a new zoning ordinance.

I think we probably had the strongest agreement that individual residential property owners and neighborhoods need a stronger voice when facing well-connected developers. The idea of a "meet and consult" provision to the ordinance was very popular. It would require developers to meet with neighborhoods well in advance (90 days?) of going to the zoning board to get approval for rezonings on major developments.

I'd like to hear what kind of consensus was reached in the other stakeholder groups, though. What do the people in Adams Farm think? Sunset Hills? New Irving Park? And what does the developers' stakeholder group think is important in a new LDO?

I'm a member of the citizens' advisory committee that will be giving input throughout the 18-month process, so I guess I'll find out.

And if YOU have any great ideas about what should be in the new LDO, please let me know.

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