Innovative Zoning Strategies                  Strategies:Adaptive ReuseAngus Jennings AICP   December 3, 2010
Session Outline Summary of challenge Examples of zoning strategies Non-zoning Non zoning strategies to achieve renovations
Summary of Challenge      y           g Existing unused or underutilized buildings with historical and/or architectural/ae...
Financing challenges        g        g Costs of renovation are high Rents and/or sales prices may not support financing ne...
Strategies      g Zoning   Clear allowance for uses, and mixed uses   Predictable permitting (timeline; ideally as of righ...
Examples    p Fitchburg River Street Smart Growth District   40R (as-of-right, design standards)   Incentive for reinvestm...
Fitchburg 40R District        g Multiple, non-contiguous sites           non contiguous Design Standards Identified capita...
Fitchburg zoning elements        g      g As of right As-of-right permitting (with Planning Board review) Defined permitti...
Fitchburg:Streamlined review for permitted projects For lots with special permit                 p      p currently in eff...
Density set by building, not land, area      y      y        g,         , Set allowable density based on building area, no...
Westford Mill Conversion Overlay District Adopted in 2000; amended several times since Several substantive requirements of...
Strategies to make it happen      g                 pp Often, the question is not “what is to be done” but rather “how to ...
Non-zoning strategies         g       g Technical assistance regarding project financing   Tax credits; local revenues sou...
Financing advice to landowners        g
Westford Mill Conversion Overlay District One site “in limbo            in limbo” Conversations with landowners and p p pr...
Infrastructure Industrial area may lack off-site amenities to support successful residential / mixed-use   i d redevelopme...
Fitchburg Design Standards intended tocoordinate infrastructure investments Pedestrian amenities, and connectivity   Gatew...
Key ingredients of successful zoning  y g                              g Flexibility   Avoid being prescriptive on allowed...
Questions and discussion
For more informationAngus Jennings AICPWestford Director of Land Use Management(978) 692 5524      692-5524ajennings@westf...
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Innovative Zoning Strategies Workshop - Adaptive re-use

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Innovative Zoning Strategies Workshop - Adaptive re-use

  1. 1. Innovative Zoning Strategies Strategies:Adaptive ReuseAngus Jennings AICP December 3, 2010
  2. 2. Session Outline Summary of challenge Examples of zoning strategies Non-zoning Non zoning strategies to achieve renovations
  3. 3. Summary of Challenge y g Existing unused or underutilized buildings with historical and/or architectural/aesthetic value. value How to facilitate private investment to bring back b k to productive use? d i ? i.e. in the absence of public investment, or a non-profit developer, how can zoning create a profit motive to induce the private sector to advance this public interest?
  4. 4. Financing challenges g g Costs of renovation are high Rents and/or sales prices may not support financing necessary to pay the costs Gap can be helped by affordable housing grants and loans, historic (and other) tax credits Market support will inform feasibility, and use Municipality can help by offering zoning that is clear, predictable, and flexible Non-zoning Non zoning strategies may also be needed
  5. 5. Strategies g Zoning Clear allowance for uses, and mixed uses Predictable permitting (timeline; ideally as of right) as-of-right) Flexibility (buffering, parking standards etc) Clear, and realistic, design standards/guidelines , , g /g If mitigation expected, be clear up front (in zoning) Public investment Infrastructure (40R funds, CPA funds, capital imp. plans) Brownfields assessment and/or remediation funds /
  6. 6. Examples p Fitchburg River Street Smart Growth District 40R (as-of-right, design standards) Incentive for reinvestment in down market Initiative seeks public, private infrastructure investment Westford Mill Conversion Overlay District Stronger market. Special permit needed. 4 districts. O e renovated; one permitted; one in reuse d s c s. One e ova ed; o e pe ed; o e euse but not renovation; one in limbo Zoning okay; Town recently filed for EPA Brownfields Grant in order to enhance feasibility of reinvestment
  7. 7. Fitchburg 40R District g Multiple, non-contiguous sites non contiguous Design Standards Identified capital needs
  8. 8. Fitchburg zoning elements g g As of right As-of-right permitting (with Planning Board review) Defined permitting timeline Allowance for high densities and building heights No required setbacks Parking P ki requirements i 1.25 for 1-bdrm; 1.75 for 2-bdrm; 2 for 3; 2.5 for 4 Allowance f reduction b waiver All for d i by i All zoning and design standards may be waived as necessary t ensure they don’t “unduly restrict to th d ’t “ d l tit opportunities for development”
  9. 9. Fitchburg:Streamlined review for permitted projects For lots with special permit p p currently in effect, decision deadline reduced from 120 days to 60 days provided development is “substantially similar in unit count and design to the approved [Project]” One project with an MCP special permit was re- p permitted under 40R, bringing , g g benefit of incentive funds, and affordable units Source: MDP Development, LLC
  10. 10. Density set by building, not land, area y y g, , Set allowable density based on building area, not land area, in order to provide incentive for renovation Similar idea, different language, in Brockton 40R
  11. 11. Westford Mill Conversion Overlay District Adopted in 2000; amended several times since Several substantive requirements of zoning (such as buffer, parking ratios) can be waived, without need for variance No prescribed density. Maximum number of dwelling units based on: existing structures; infrastructure capacity; Planning Board review Affordability: 5%/5%/5% low, moderate, median Zoning successful; some non-zoning challenges non zoning
  12. 12. Strategies to make it happen g pp Often, the question is not “what is to be done” but rather “how to do it” … given competing priorities, g p gp , limited budgets, personnel resources etc In many cases, zoning alone is not enough Will take significant personnel resources and political commitment to get zoning in place
  13. 13. Non-zoning strategies g g Technical assistance regarding project financing Tax credits; local revenues sources (i.e. CPA funds); non- profit partner(s) Fitchburg initiative included financing workshop, technical assistance targeted to developers, landowners Brownfields assessment and remediation grants Public investment in infrastructure, including residential / mixed-use amenities Coordinated inter-departmental permitting Disposition of public properties (reduce land costs)
  14. 14. Financing advice to landowners g
  15. 15. Westford Mill Conversion Overlay District One site “in limbo in limbo” Conversations with landowners and p p prospective developers showed that p lack of information re potential environmental contamination was significant barrier to investment Town led effort to pursue EPA brownfields community- wide assessment funds (grant pending) Community development efforts, including securing letters of support f l f from neighbors, business community, hb b and public entities
  16. 16. Infrastructure Industrial area may lack off-site amenities to support successful residential / mixed-use i d redevelopment “Road “R d map” for ”f improvements, with identified funding source (40R)
  17. 17. Fitchburg Design Standards intended tocoordinate infrastructure investments Pedestrian amenities, and connectivity Gateway Parks grant y g Requirement for 12-foot pedestrian easement along Nashua River to facilitate river walk May b M be required to i dt upgrade abutting sidewalks to ensure ADA,, AAB compliance
  18. 18. Key ingredients of successful zoning y g g Flexibility Avoid being prescriptive on allowed uses Allow for relief by waiver, not variance Predictability – minimize developer risk Clear (and streamlined) permitting timeframe Range of allowed uses 40R allows add o a p o ec o from zoning appeals 0 a ows additional protection o o g appea s Zoning that reflects public objectives Community process for zoning adoption can build public support for smooth permitting process
  19. 19. Questions and discussion
  20. 20. For more informationAngus Jennings AICPWestford Director of Land Use Management(978) 692 5524 692-5524ajennings@westfordma.govTed CarmanConcord Square Planning & Development, Inc.(617) 482-1997carman@concordsqdev.com

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