May 4, 2014

The Public Review Draft of the Green Code has Been Released

The highly anticipated publicreview draft of the Buffalo Green Code was released yesterday by the Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning.

The UDO is the city’s first comprehensive zoning rewrite since 1953 and codifies the land use policies of the Comprehensive Plan and Buffalo Green Code planning documents. It will combine land use, subdivision, and public realm (e.g.; streets, parks, and sidewalks) standards into a single, user-friendly document. 

The UDO implements the community’s vision for the development of the city. Responding to considerable input from residents and business owners, it will be a “form-based code,” emphasizing neighborhood character as its organizing principle. This approach was chosen because of its unique capacity to help realize the community’s vision for walkable, transit-supportive neighborhoods. It will be a more accessible document, with illustrations, tables, and plain English text, making the ordinance easier to understand and apply.

A quick review of the code reveals it is an impressive document. All told, it may be one the most progressive and forward thinking in the United States, and an example perhaps of Buffalo getting back its planning mojo.

The code is divided into 12 articles, which can be downloaded below:

Article 3. Neighborhood Zones 
Article 4. District Zones
Article 5. Corridor Zones
Article 6. Uses
Article 7. Site Development
Article 8. Access & Parking
Article 9. Signs

You can check out the draft Zoning Map hereThe next step in the adoption process is a review by the public in a series of working group meetings occurring throughout May. Anyone can participate. Here's the link.

After further comment from the public, the City is expected to make refinements to the public review draft and submit the final code to the Common Council as early as July.

Stay tuned. I'll be back with more in-depth posts on each section of the code.

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