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November 27, 2012

As part of the 2010 Strategic Planning process the community expressed the desire to support sustainable development including encouraging alternative transportation, enhancing the commercial tax digest through redevelopment of underutilized properties, providing a variety of housing types and encouraging aging in place. The implementation of these goals requires review and possible revisions to the current zoning ordinance.

The City Commission established an 11 member community-based task force. The task force will study the recommendations of the Strategic Plan related to zoning to identify possible revisions to the existing ordinance, to solicit public opinion on the proposed revisions and build community support for any changes to the city’s zoning ordinance that might be recommended.
The members are:

Mark Burnette, Chair (Planning Commission)
Chris Sciarrone (Decatur Downtown Development Authority)
Kyle Williams (Zoning Board of Appeals)
Lori Leland-Kirk (Historic Preservation Commission)
Tony Leung (Environmental Sustainability Board)
Vacant (Active Living Advisory Board)
Fisher Paty (Commercial Property Owner)
Lain Shakespeare (Downtown Condo Resident)
Scott Kentner (R60 adjacent to Downtown Resident)
Joy Provost (At Large representatives from the Roundtable Process)
Seegar Swanson (At Large representatives from the Roundtable Process)

The task force will study and report back on each of the following tasks from the 2010 Strategic Plan:

Task 1A: Refine Commercial Design Standards
Task 1C: Update the Downtown Decatur Special Pedestrian Area Guidelines & Expand Area
Task 2C: Identify available areas for light manufacturing
Task 3A: Adopt new transitional design standard to integrate commercial, mixed use and residential districts
Task 3D: Study if live/work housing can be implemented in existing neighborhoods without a negative impact on nearby homes
Task 3E: Improve the predictability and efficiency of the process for new development approval by establishing development standards and requirements that are consistent with the goals of the strategic plan
Task 4F: Develop regulations regarding demolition of significant commercial structures that are outside the scope of local historic districts
Task 5F: Adopt universal design guidelines to allow new commercial buildings, businesses and homes to be visitable by those with mobility impairments.
Task 12C: Support expansion of urban gardening opportunities
Task 14H: Update parking standards to allow innovating parking strategies, such as shared or unbundled parking, that create pedestrian friendly, environmentally sustainable and affordable developments
Task 15B: Adopt ordinance changes that allow smaller homes, support accessory dwellings and encourage other creative housing options that provide affordable housing in single family neighborhoods.

The task force has completed an assessment of existing conditions for each of these tasks that can be found here.

Next Steps
The Zoning Task Force (ZTF) will present their recommendations to the Planning Commission on Tuesday, November 27 at 5:30 PM. They will present them to the City Commission on Monday, December 3 at 7:30 PM. Both meeting will be held at Decatur City Hall in the City Commission room.

Click here to view a summary of the ZTF recommendations by Strategic Plan Task

Click here to view a powerpoint presentation summary of the recommendations

Click here to view a comparison chart of the existing and proposed regulations

Click here to view the draft ordinances

Click here to view a summary of the public comment collected between March 2012 and November 2012

Please contact Amanda Thompson, Planning Director at if you have any questions.

Last updated: 11/29/2012 3:13:51 PM