ORDINANCE NO. __________



The city of Duluth does ordain:

Section 1. That Section 50 of the Duluth City Code, as amended, is amended to add a new Section 50-37 to read as follows:

Sec. 50-37. Designated area development--purpose.

The designated area development special use is established to encourage the innovative arrangement within one or more districts of a variety of uses which may include housing, commercial, educational and recreational facilities conveniently located. It is intended to encourage more efficient land use as part of economic development, to preserve the natural and scenic features of open areas, and to promote the most appropriate use of land with relation to surrounding uses while maintaining the integrity of established adjacent residential areas. Because of the wide range of allowable uses, the designated area development will generally assume a character different from that of its adjacent or surrounding neighborhood, and the inclusion of an appropriate transition area at the periphery of the development is, therefore, imperative.

Sec. 50-37.1. Same--Eligibility.

(a) Districts eligible. Applications for designated area developments may be made for land located in any zoning district(s) except the M-1 Manufacturing District, the M-2 Manufacturing District and the IP Industrial Park District;
(b) Minimum tract size. Only tracts of land seven acres or greater in size are eligible for development as a designated area development;
(c) Permitted uses for tracts between seven and 15 acres. Permitted uses of land or buildings in tracts of land comprising an area of not less than seven acres and not more than 15 acres shall be restricted to uses permitted in the R-2 two-family residential district, multiple dwellings less than 36 feet in height, one grocery store having no more than 2,000 square feet of floor area, one drug store having no more than 800 square feet of floor area, one barber shop, one hairdresser shop and one laundromat. Exterior signs for commercial establishments shall be attached to the exterior walls of the buildings in which said establishments are located, shall not have flashing illumination and the total area of all such signs shall not exceed 32 square feet per building;
(d) Permitted uses for tracts greater than 15 acres. Permitted uses of land or buildings in tracts of land comprising an area of 15 acres or greater shall be restricted to any use permitted in the R-4 Apartment Residential District and the C-3 Shopping Center District;
(e) Contiguous and integrated. Each designated area development shall, and must, be planned, permitted and built upon a single tract of land. The tract may be composed of one or more parcels, but each parcel must be contiguous with one or more of the other parcels in the tract, and integrated with the entire tract, by way of the designated area development plan and special use permit, so that the use of the entire tract as part of the designated area development is not interrupted by other uses, such as roads, railroads, storage, government use. The entire tract must be owned by a single owner at the time of permitting and development.

Sec. 50-37.2. Same--Standards and requirements.

A designated area development, which shall supersede any inconsistent standards and requirements set forth elsewhere in this Chapter, shall meet the following standards and requirements:
(a) Residential lot areas. The average lot area per family contained in the site, exclusive of the area occupied by C-3 shopping center uses and by streets, shall not be less than 80 percent of the lot area per family required in the district which the development is located. Further, no more than 50 percent of the gross area of the project located in a single-family zoning district shall be devoted to multiple dwellings, including the yards and parking areas of said multiple dwellings;
(b) Shopping center uses. The proposed development of any C-3 shopping center uses included in this part of the plan shall comply with the regulations set forth in Article XVI of this Chapter. Further, no more than 25 percent of the gross area of the project shall be devoted to C-3 shopping center districts;
(c) Frontage, yards, building height. Subject to other provisions in this Section, the frontage, yards, building heights and configurations and lot configurations for each designated area development shall be as approved by the city council;
(d) Access to buildings. Each building shall be provided with vehicular access for emergency purposes. Each building shall be provided with a minimum lot frontage of 25 feet on a street;
(e) Useable open space. Adequate provisions shall be made for the permanent preservation and maintenance of useable open space for the mutual use of all residents within the designated area development. Useable open space shall not be less than 20 percent of the gross area of the project, exclusive of streets, except that when the city council determines that publicly owned useable open space exists in close proximity to the proposed development, a lesser percentage may be approved. Useable open space shall be reasonably accessible from all dwelling units with minimal or no conflict with vehicular traffic. The development of such useable open space shall be limited to uses approved in the designated area development;
(f) Recreational and educational facilities. If the council determines that existing or planned recreational and/or educational facilities will not accommodate the needs of the designated area development residents, sufficient land shall be reserved and recreational facilities developed to meet such needs;
(g) Natural features. Protected natural features such as wetlands, ponds, flood plains, and shorelands shall be preserved by the designated area development;
(h) Stormwater discharge. Improvements shall be provided where necessary to control additional stormwater discharge resulting from development so that improvement of the land does not increase the peak flows from the site above predevelopment levels, based upon a storm of 100 year frequency and 24 hour duration;
(i) Grading. Grading shall be kept at a minimum in all areas containing slopes of 20 percent or greater;
(j) Soil erosion control. Soil erosion and sedimentation control measures and techniques shall be so designed and constructed so that during the construction phase and into the postconstruction phase of the project, sedimentation and siltation of existing surface water bodies will be kept to a minimum;
(k) Transition area at periphery. The area of the designated area development shall be bounded by major streets, railroads, topographic features or major tree stands. Buildings and parking areas shall be set back at least 100 feet from the community unit boundary line except when the planning commission determines that for reasons such as topography, vegetation or scale of development a lesser setback is appropriate. Such setbacks shall be appropriately screened so that buildings normally not allowed in a zoning district are readily observable from single-family districts;
(l) Landscaping. Landscaping shall be provided within all building setback areas and useable open spaces and whenever practical healthy trees within such areas shall be saved. Further, visual screening with either wood, brick or stone fences or walls shall be provided to obstruct views of:
(1) Areas for loading or unloading of service vehicles;
(2) Storage areas for refuse;
(3) Commercial uses within the designated area development area which produce distracting lights or noises.
Shade trees having a minimum trunk diameter of two inches at the time of placement shall be placed along all sides of parking areas with a maximum average spacing of 12 feet and adjacent to all streets and driveways with a maximum average spacing of 30 feet, except when the planning commission determines that because of topography or existing vegetation, lesser requirements are appropriate. Views of garages shall be minimized through placement, or through the provision of vegetation on sodded earth berms;
(m) Off street parking requirements. For each two dwelling units a minimum of three off street parking spaces shall be provided, at least 1/4 of which shall be located within a garage, except when the planning commission determines that because of the type of residents that will be occupying the dwelling units, lesser requirements are appropriate.
Each garage shall be similar in design character and materials to the dwelling to which it is appurtenant within the designated area development. Each detached garage shall be designed and used for the storage of not more than 16 vehicles. Parking areas containing more than 20 adjacent parking spaces shall be separated by curbed landscaped islands which have a minimum width of eight feet and contain a minimum of two shade trees which have a minimum trunk diameter of two inches at the time of placement, except when the planning commission determines that because of topography or existing vegetation, lesser requirements are appropriate;
(n) Arrangement of buildings. The location of all buildings shall be harmonious with significant natural features and shall maximize views of scenic resources from dwelling units;
(o) Building and structure design. All buildings and other structures larger than those in the surrounding area shall be designed to minimize the visual impact of their scale and massing on the existing development in the area;
(p) Sewage disposal. On site sewage disposal systems shall not be permitted;
(q) Streets. Interior streets shall not be connected to streets outside the designated area development in such a way as to encourage their use by through traffic. Public and private street construction specifications shall comply with the standards of the city engineer;
(r) Walkways. Walkways shall form a safe and convenient system for pedestrian travel throughout the designated area development and shall connect to major pedestrian off site destinations. They shall be so located or physically protected where necessary so as to minimize pedestrian contacts with vehicular traffic and shall connect dwelling units with parking and open space areas;
(s) Platting of land. In order to ensure the orderly, economic and safe development of streets and utility easements in coordination with the existing streets and utilities of the neighborhood, and to ensure the provision of adequate access to individual properties, a plat for the area to be developed as a designated area development shall be approved prior to approval of the designated area development, provided that the planning commission shall have the ability to waive this requirement where it finds that failure to plat will not interfere with the purpose of the Subdivision regulations.

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 provides for standards and a process by which a designated area can be permitted for an integrated, planned, land use that incorporates more varied uses than zoning alone might allow. It is based on the old Section 50-37 (community unit plan) with minimal changes warranted by past experience. It will facilitate planned unit development while a more comprehensive change is being evaluated, filling the regulatory vacuum created when the old Section 50-37 was repealed.