Urban Center Code
The Village Center area is envisioned to be developed in a style that promotes a traditional town center form. The 2005 Village Center Strategic Plan recommended a future development pattern, arrangement of land uses, and desired density to occur within the Village Center area. To accomplish this vision, the community has taken deliberate planning and active involvement to create a form-based code to advance the proper development form. This form-based code, called the Urban Center Code, standardizes the community design elements (design of buildings, streets, and public spaces) to create a vibrant and mixed-use district. Careful planning of the standards will promote the district’s revitalization to create an attractive environment for new residents and businesses in the Village Center.
Form-based codes are a modern type of code to provide better guidance for development. Traditional zoning codes focus on specific land uses but not on the character of the place. Form-based codes allow greater predictability and continuity of the built environment.
As of June 16, 2011, New Albany’s Urban Center Code updates the zoning code within the Village Center. Subsequently on July 21, 2011, the zoning designations for all properties except those zoned PUD were rezoned to the new Urban Center District. This new code benefits property owners, developers, and city government by providing increased certainty in allowable building forms, less time required for approvals, and increased assurance that the envisioned Village Center Master Plan will be achieved. Whereas a traditional code is predominately text, a form-based code is predominately visuals and graphics which results in improved clarity and understanding. The code’s improved guidelines allows for more applications to be approved by staff. The code addresses the development of streets, blocks, buildings, open space, and parking and how they relate to their surroundings.
Urban Center Zoning District (UCD) Key Components
- UCD is more picture-oriented and establishes expectations for where development should go rather than where it should not;
- UCD describes the form that buildings should take and where they are situated on the site, with less focus on the use of the building;
- UCD encourages mixed use development and integrated land uses;
- UCD revises the parking requirements in the new urban center zoning code or in an overlay district to provide adequate, but not unnecessary parking; and
- UCD establishes street standards that create the ‘town center’ development pattern and form.
The Urban Center Code was developed after extensive stakeholder input including local businesses, property owners, developers, New Albany City Council, and the Architectural Review Board and Planning Commission. More information may be found in the box to the right including the downloadable Urban Center Code and related code chapters.