01-030-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 50 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE 1959, AS AMENDED, TO CREATE A NEW ARTICLE XXIX TO PROVIDE FOR TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT.

BY COUNCILOR STENBERG:

        The city of Duluth does ordain:

                Section 1.     That Chapter 50 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, is amended to read as follows:

Article XXIX. Traditional Neighborhood District.

Sec. 50-211.     Intent.

The Traditional Neighborhood District is provided for the revitalization or extension of existing neighborhoods, which are structured upon a network of interconnecting pedestrian oriented streets and other public spaces. The intent is to minimize traffic congestion, urban sprawl, infrastructure costs, and environmental degradation. Provisions are to adapt urban conventions which were normal in the United States from colonial times until the 1940's and historically were based on the following design principles; neighborhoods have identifiable centers and edges; edge lots are readily accessible to retail and recreation by nonvehicular means (a distance not greater than 1/4 mile); uses and housing types are mixed and in close proximity to one another; street networks are interconnected and blocks are small. Traditional Neighborhood Districts (TNDs) offer a mixture of housing types and prices, prominently sited civic or community buildings, and stores/ offices/ workplaces to provide a balanced mix of activities. Church and preschool/elementary facilities are encouraged. A TND may be established by zoning ordinance map amendment for a Traditional Neighborhood District with completed TND plan including a detailed development plan to include; a regulating plan; thoroughfare standards and urban standards and other supporting material. A TND is not to be used as a vehicle for speculative zoning.

Sec. 50-212.     Generally.

In order to provide for traditional neighborhood development of integrated design and function, the TND Traditional Neighborhood District is hereby established. The intent of such districts is to establish development according to an approved overall plan in which the quality of individual properties are protected through development standards. Because of varying characteristics of such neighborhoods and adjacent areas, certain standards are intended to be flexible and determined at the time of establishment of individual TNDs. Due to the nature of traditional neighborhood districts, consideration for creation of TNDs may only be considered for areas of the city located within the following census tracts: 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 37 and that portion of Census Tract 36 located between Grand Avenue and the St. Louis River.

Sec. 50-213.     Review and approval of neighborhood plan.

As part of any city council ordinance to establish a TND, the following shall be included, when applicable, after discussion, public hearing and recommendation of the city planning commission:
        (a)     An approved general or master plan including (if applicable):
                (1)     Functional street classifications;
                (2)     Buffers at periphery (if deemed appropriate);
                (3)     General utility plan;
                (4)     Stormwater drainage plan; and
                (5)     General lot configuration;
        (b)     A regulating plan including:
                (1)     Specifications for the contents of the general or master plan;
                (2)     List of permitted uses;
                (3)     List of conditional uses (if applicable):
                        (A)     Standards for conditional uses;
        (c)     A thoroughfare plan:
                (1)     Thoroughfare standards;
        (d)     Building types:
                (1)     Architectural styles;
        (e)     Urban standards building types:
                (1)     Setbacks and building heights;
                (2)     Parking requirements;
        (f)     Architectural standards:
                (1)     Building surface materials allowances or limitations.

Sec. 50-214.     Permitted uses.

A building or premises in the district shall be used only for the purposes as provided for in the master plan and the regulating plan:
        (a)     Accessory buildings or uses incidental and secondary uses shall be addressed. Such accessory building shall be erected at the same time or after the construction of the principal building.

Sec. 50-215.     Approval of plans for individual construction projects.

Before commencing with the construction or alteration of any building, or other structure or improvement on or to any parcel, the applicant shall first submit plans and specifications to the city building inspector for written certification that these regulations have been complied with. If the applicant or inspector are unclear as to the meaning, intent or applicability of the regulations, or if the applicant is aggrieved as to the interpretation of any official, the matter shall be submitted to the planning commission or committee thereof for clarification or determination.
        (a)     A site plan as defined in this Chapter and including utilities serving the site;
        (b)     Building elevation drawings, including notations as to specific building materials;
        (c)     Sign elevation drawings (if applicable);

Sec. 50-216.     Appeals.

        (a)     Appeals from administrative determinations. Any person aggrieved by an order or determination made pursuant to this Section who alleges that there has been an error made by any city administrative official in the enforcement or interpretation of this section may appeal such order or determination to the board of zoning appeals by filing written notice of appeal with the building official within 20 days after receiving notice of such order or determination. The notice of appeal shall recite the alleged error and shall set forth all other grounds for the appeal. If, after the hearing, the board of zoning appeals determines that an error has been made, it shall grant appropriate relief which is not inconsistent with the intent of this Section;
        (b)     Appeal to the city council. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the board of zoning appeals may appeal such decision to the city council by filing written notice of appeal with the city clerk within ten days after such decision is rendered.

Sec. 50-217.     Variances.

Due to the intent, nature and standards adopted within a TND, no variances are permitted.

Sec. 50-218.     Severability.

If any paragraph in these regulations or part thereof shall be invalid, illegal or inoperative for any reason, the remaining part so far as possible and reasonable shall be effective and fully operative.


                Section 2.     That this ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days from and after its passage and publication.



STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance creates the traditional neighborhood district zoning classification for the city of Duluth.

A Traditional Neighborhood District is a tool to supplement the current zoning ordinance to develop the "traditional neighborhood" design. This is an alternative to the typical "euclidian or pyramid zoning" currently in place in the city of Duluth.

The zoning adopted by the city in 1958 provides for "standardized" lot sizes, building setbacks and other dimensional limitations. These standards are not conducive to the traditional neighborhoods of the 1900's through the 1940's.

As compared to a planned unit development (PUD) the TND does not require total or unified ownership of an area to allow for the development of a traditional neighborhood "form". The form of a TND is characterized by narrower than our current typical street standard, with narrower than the typical 50' wide lot with a less than our minimum 25' building setback from the street. Narrow buildings, often 1.5 to 3 stories, with narrow side yards, alleys for rear yard garage access with small but adequate back yards between the house and garage. Often a garage may be 2 stories with a living unit above. The application of such a design overlay district would be very appropriate and comparable with R-2 and R-3 districts and very likely R-1-c zones where the lot sizes are comparable to the design character of the traditional neighborhood design.

When there is opportunity to renew or revitalize a neighborhood which exhibits these characteristics, i.e. areas of West Duluth, Central and East Hillside, the current zoning regulations do not accommodate these design elements without variances or use of a PUD, i.e. recent BZA actions which have been appealed to and overruled by the city council to deal with redevelopment/infill housing projects in the Spirit Valley area.

The creation of a TND zone, with a minimum area of 20 acres, with physically definable boundaries, i.e. parks, streams, highways, etc., will facilitate both the in-fill and redevelopment of portions of the city where "character" is defined by these design elements created by the history of the neighborhood.

The creation and adoption of a Traditional Neighborhood District will be processed in accordance with "Article XXI. Amendment of Chapter", which reads as follows:

Sec. 50-114.     Authority of city council.

Whenever justified or required by the public necessity, convenience, general welfare or good zoning practice and after public hearing, report and recommendations of the city planning commission thereon, the city council may, by ordinance, amend the regulations set forth in this Chapter for the districts established on the zoning district map in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Article. (Ord. No. 7158, 6-9-58, § 26.1.)

Sec. 50-115.     Initiation of amendments.

The city planning commission may, upon its own motion, propose and hear amendments to the district boundaries or to the text of this Chapter. Any person owning real estate may petition the planning commission to amend the district boundaries in which such real estate is located or which such real estate abuts. Such a petition shall be filed with the city clerk who shall immediately refer it to the city planning commission for the hearing, report and recommendations required by this Article. Petitions of property owners shall be made on a form provided by the secretary of the planning commission and shall include a legal description of the property, a map and names and addresses of all property owners within 350 feet of the property, and other such information as determined necessary by the planning commission. After said public hearing, the planning commission shall forward to the city council a report and recommendations. Petitions for amendments from property owners shall be filed at least four weeks in advance of the planning commission meeting at which they are to be heard. (Ord. No. 7158, 6-9-58, § 26.2; Ord. No. 9284, 12-11-95, § 16.)

Sec. 50-116.     Public hearing.

The city planning commission, before submitting its recommendations on a proposed amendment to the city council, shall hold at least one public hearing thereon, notice of which shall be given in a daily newspaper of general circulation at least once each week for three successive weeks prior to such hearing, which notice shall state the time, place and purpose of such hearing. (Ord. No. 7158, 6-9-58, § 26.3.)

Sec. 50-117.     Written consent of property owner required; exception.

Except as otherwise provided by law, amendments to district boundaries shall be made only after there shall be filed in the office of the city clerk a written consent of the owners of 2/3 of the several descriptions of real estate situated within 100 feet of the real estate affected, and after the affirmative vote in favor thereof by a majority of the city council; provided, that whenever the planning commission shall have made a survey of an area of not less than 40 acres and shall have found the number of descriptions of real estate affected by such amendments renders the obtaining of such written consent impractical and shall have affirmed in writing that the proposals are reasonably related to the overall needs of the community to existing land use or to a plan for future land use, the city council, by a 2/3 vote of all its members in favor thereof, may make such amendments without such written consent. (Emphasis added) (Ord. No. 7158, 6-9-58, § 26.4.)

Sec. 50-118.     Report from planning commission.

Before voting on an amendment, supplement or change to the district boundary lines or regulations, the city council shall obtain a report thereon from the city planning commission. Whenever a written protest against such change, duly signed and acknowledged by the owners of 20 percent or more of the land (exclusive of streets and alleys), included in such proposed change and immediately within 185 feet of the district proposed to be changed and not separated therefrom by more than one street or alley shall have been filed with the city clerk or whenever the city planning commission reports against the adoption of the proposed amendment, supplement or change in the district boundary lines or regulations, such ordinance shall lie on the table at least ten days from the time of its introduction to final passage. (Ord. No. 7158, 6-9-58, § 26.5.)

Sec. 50-119.     Procedure before planning commission.

Procedure before the planning commission shall be governed by rules and regulations adopted by the commission. (Ord. No. 7158, 6-9-58, § 26.6.)

Sec. 50-120.     Fees.

Before any action is taken upon any application as provided by this Article, either by the planning commission or the city council, the applicant shall pay through the city clerk into the treasury of the city the following:
        (a)     A filing fee of $225 to help defray the cost of reviewing and hearing such application;
        (b)     A fee of $120 for revisions to C-3 shopping center district approved plans;
        (c)     An additional fee to pay all costs for publications, map changes and public notices. (Ord. No. 7158, 6-9-58, § 26.7; Ord. No. 7742, 11-10-69, § 3; Ord. No. 8551, 11-24-80, § 23; Ord. No. 9118, 1-11-93, § 45.)

The Duluth city planning commission approved of this zoning change following public hearings held May 8 and August 14, 2001, and a public information meeting held June 25, 2001.