§ 23-442. General standards and regulations.  

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  • The PDP process is intended to promote high quality site design, and its use is encouraged. The process allows flexibility in project layout and relief from standard subdivision grids in order to preserve natural features of the land, maximize common open space and landscaping, and create vital neighborhoods. Creativity in housing types and site layout are encouraged.

    Although the PDP process allows flexibility in regard to the requirements of this chapter, a PDP shall be approved only if the proposed plan demonstrates that the product will be superior to that of a standard subdivision. The PDP process is not intended to circumvent the regulations for residential development, but to allow creativity and variety. Deviation from the provisions of this chapter concerning lot size, setbacks, roadway design, and other requirements will be granted only if the proposed alternative allows for a superior project layout, provides enhanced open space and preservation of natural features, does not subvert the intent of this chapter, and does not compromise public safety.

    a. Density and intensity. PDPs may not exceed the density or intensity limitations established in the Future Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan for the land use classification applicable to the property or the density or intensity limitations of the zoning district in which the property is located.

    b. Land uses. Uses within a PDP are limited to permitted and special exception uses allowed in the zoning district in which the property is located, except that PDPs may include residential uses in areas where mixed use is a designated use under the Future Land Use classification of the property in the Comprehensive Plan. See Table 23-421 for permitted and special exception uses.

    c. Development standards.

    1. All planned developments shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, including land development regulations under article III and dimensional requirements for lots and structures under article IV and V, as applicable, unless specific waivers of requirements are approved under this section. (Note that a waiver of front yard requirements for accessory structures on subdivision lots with frontage on both an exterior and interior streets may be granted pursuant to section 23-522 without PDP approval.

    2. All planned developments shall adhere to the minimum design standards set forth in this section for the type of PDP proposed.

    3. All planned developments shall be consistent with all of the design guidelines set forth in this section for the type of PDP proposed. The "methods for achieving" a design guideline are suggestions; a guideline may be effectively addressed through other design features, not necessarily listed under a guideline.

    d. Waivers. Waivers of specific development standards of this chapter may be granted under the PDP process, except that the provisions for concurrency pursuant to article VII, div. 1, for public facilities impact fees pursuant to article VII, div. 4, and for resource protection pursuant to article VI shall not be waived.

    e. Master Plan. Approval of a master plan of the proposed development, encompassing the entire property, is required prior to or in conjunction with approval of a preliminary plan for the first phase of a residential PDP. (See subsection 23-224.2 b)2 for procedural requirements.) The purpose of the master plan is to establish an overall design for the development. It is a concept plan, showing generalized features of the project, including natural features, connections to surrounding roadways and proposed internal circulation, proposed neighborhoods with acreage and proposed housing types and densities, proposed open space and recreation areas, the concept for connecting with utilities, and proposed phasing. Approval of the master plan does not constitute approval of any phase or the specific number of lots or units to be permitted within any phase.

    The master plan must demonstrate that the site design accomplishes the following:

    a. Preserves and highlights the natural features of the property; incorporates existing trees, wetlands, ponds, natural topographic variation, and proposed storm water retention areas into the site layout and showcases them as design features for common enjoyment;

    b. Proposes a coherent network of streets and bike/pedestrian paths connected to surrounding roadways;

    c. Establishes discrete and identifiable neighborhoods and avoids the monotony of long rows or blocks of units or lots; provides a basis for varied streetscapes;

    d. Provides for an identity and privacy for future residents, but does not create a development that is isolated from the surrounding community.