The Planning Commission is set to consider a new open space requirement for residential developments at its Monday meeting.
Under current rules, the Unified Development Code allows developers working with 100 or more lots to request BREC and the school board to consider maintaining a park site in the development. In the past five years, only one developer has done this, says Planning Director Frank Duke.
The new UDC proposal scraps the park site ordinance and instead mandates and establishes the threshold for open space in a residential development to help with stormwater management. The new requirements, if approved, would be applicable to all residential developments with six or more lots, all trailer parks, all apartment and condo development with more than 25 units, and all mixed-use developments with residential components.
The changes are part of ongoing Planning Department efforts to update the UDC, although they were specifically sparked by a 2017 request from the Metro Council. A working group of three representatives from local neighborhoods, the development community and parish departments drafted the changes.
“Do I think everyone is totally satisfied with this? No,” Duke says, adding they may revisit the rules in a year when the Stormwater Master Plan is released by Kansas-based infrastructure consulting firm HNTB. The requirements can increase the cost of future developments and the cost of the lots, costs Duke says will eventually be passed on to the homebuyer.