A zoning ordinance is the adopted law of a city that regulates land use, growth, and development. It divides the city into different zoning districts and generally governs the location, size, and type of development in each district. A zoning ordinance also establishes the process for reviewing development proposals and includes standards for different aspects of development, like parking, landscaping, lighting, signage, building design, and environmental impacts.
Decatur’s zoning ordinance was published in 1987, and several portions date back to the 1950’s. Large parts of the ordinance are outdated and difficult to use. The ordinance does not reflect recent policy direction found in the City’s plans or make use of many best practices of modern planning and zoning techniques. The purpose of the zoning ordinance revision is to address all these issues, resulting in a set of regulations that are user-friendly, modern, and in-line with the policy direction in the City’s newly-adopted comprehensive plan, One Decatur.
The rewrite process is expected to take approximately 18-20 months to complete and will involve multiple opportunities for the community to provide input and feedback into the draft regulations.
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