Annotated Outline Summary 8 28 12 FINAL VERSION 4PB CC by a74QIjce


									  Annotated Outline and Summary of Major Changes for the City
                  of Wilson Unified Development Ordinance


The purpose of this summary is to allow the reader to obtain a basic understanding of what is
included in the proposed Unified Development Ordinance and to summarize some of the major
policy changes from the current code.    For reference, code citations to the current code or
state statute are given so readers may do their own comparisons.      Because of the nature of a
land development ordinance, it would be impractical to summarize every change, so readers
wishing for that level of detail should examine the proposed code and/or schedule a time with
Planning and Development Services staff to address more specific questions.      You can
schedule an appointment by calling 399-2211.

In total, the new ordinance reduces the total pages of regulation from 434 pages in the current
zoning ordinance to 265 pages in the proposed Unified Development Ordinance.        That is a
total reduction of 169 pages or somewhere in the neighborhood of 75,000 to 90,000 words.
Yet, even with the reduction, additional standards for lighting (which were only applied to
certain uses previously or commonly applied during Special Use Permit hearings), tree
protection, certain infrastructure requirements (which existed in other regulatory documents),
parks and open space requirements, and a more robust definitions chapter were added to the
document to put all land development regulations under one cover. The proposed ordinance
also includes many more tables, charts and graphics to aid the reader with their understanding
of the code.

Since the UDO is in the public review and comment process, it is subject to change as we
move toward official consideration by the Wilson Planning Board and City Council.     These
changes will generally be a result of continued staff review and in reaction to comments
received during the public review process. This document will be updated periodically should
major changes be made.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this important process.

       This chapter covers general legal requirements and sets a basic legal framework for the
       development code. There are no significant changes from the existing code to this
       proposed code.

1.1    Title
       Establishes a title (Unified Development Ordinance for the City of Wilson) for a
       shorthand reference.
1.2    Authority
       Describes the authority prescribed for zoning and subdivision provisions as
       established by state law. Replaces/expands upon Z-1 & S-1.2
1.3    Jurisdiction
       Applies to all public and private development within the corporate limits of the
       City of Wilson and the ETJ to the extent permitted by law.    Replaces/revises Z-
       3.2-3 & S-1.3
1.4    Purpose and Intent
       Describes the purpose and intent of the UDO in accordance with the General
       Statutes’ grant of power and references the principles of the 2030 Comprehensive
       Plan. Replaces/expands upon Z-1 & S-1.4
1.5    Consistency with All Adopted Plans
       Requires consistency with all adopted plans in accordance with G.S. 160A-382-
1.6    Required Conformance with this Ordinance
       General statement requiring conformity of all land development to this ordinance.

1.7    Transitional Provisions
       Describes relationship to the previous development ordinances in effect prior to
       the adoption of this revision. One provision worth noting is 1.7.2, which allows
       projects submitted before the effective date to continue through the approval
       process under the existing code so long as that process is completed in one
1.8    Conflict with Other Laws
       Describes procedure for administration of this UDO with respect to other local,
       state, or federal laws or judicial decisions. Revises Section Z-19
1.9    Interpretation
       Outlines how to interpret the standards of this ordinance as the minimum
       necessary and that any greater standards shall govern unless noted. Revises
       Section Z-19 & S-1.4
1.10   Effective Date
       Date the regulations shall become effective (date of adoption). Section Z-27.
       Staff will work with the approving bodies to set an appropriate effective date.

            Our recommendation is to provide an interim period of time where the Unified
            Development Ordinance (UDO) and the existing regulations co-exist. Under this
            scenario, applicants will have the option to choose the ordinance most appropriate
            for their circumstance.

      Chapter 2 and chapter 3, together, replace a significant portion of Chapter 8 in the
      existing code. This chapter contains the table of permitted uses and district
      development standards, such as lot sizes, density, setbacks, etc. The proposed
      ordinance cuts the number of base zoning districts from 28 to 17. Location specific
      districts such as overlays for highway corridors, watersheds and flood protection are
      reduced from 13 to 7. The two areas to draw your attention to are the elimination of
      the Highway Development District and the Residential Conversion Zone. The approach
      was to borrow standards from these zones and apply them more broadly across the city
      through design, signage and landscaping standards. In total, zoning districts are
      reduced from 41 to 24 in the existing and proposed ordinances.

      Another significant change is to the table of permitted uses. The proposed table is far
      more general in nature, vastly reducing the number of use categories.     For example, the
      new code lists “Professional Services” as an office use in the table rather than listing
      each individual type of professional office such as offices for lawyers, accountants,
      architects and engineers, real estate, insurance, and similar uses. In the proposed code,
      the table of permitted uses is four pages long. In the existing code the table is 25
      pages in length.

      The proposed code also reduces the number of conditional and special use permit
      hearings required for a use to be established.   In the existing code, 55 percent of uses
      (155 of 284) required special approval in one or more zoning districts whereas in the
      proposed code only 21 percent of uses (21 of 101) require such additional approval in
      one or more districts. This removes uncertainty while expediting the approval process.

      2.1   Purpose and Intent
            Describes the purpose and intent of the zoning districts established by this
            ordinance generally.
      2.2   Official Zoning Map
            Describes the rules pertaining to the official Zoning Map and the interpretation of
            district boundaries. The Zoning Map and the narrative regulations work in tandem.
            Revises Section Z-2.2-4

  2.3 & Districts Established
  2.4        Organizes and describes the proposed base districts for Rural, Suburban and
             Urban areas of the city. Revises Z-8.1-3 & Z-8.38-40

  The table below shows, in general, how districts will transfer from existing zoning
  districts to the new zoning districts. This is not an exact science, and so deviations
  occur that take into account current land uses and permitted uses in the new districts.
  The proposed zoning map should be examined if you are interested in how a particular
  property will be zoned upon adoption of the UDO.           That map will be available in our
  offices as well as online.

Current          Recommended District          Description/Commentary


Various          Open Space District (OS)      This is a new district without direct

                                               conversion to any existing zone. This

                                               district is intended to be applied to parks,

                                               cemeteries, and permanently protected

                                               open space such as wetland conservation


A1               Rural/Agricultural District   This district maintains existing density

                 (R/A):                        allowances but increases the density
This zone
                 1 Unit/Acre or 3              bonus to 3 units/acre when a project
allows 1
                 Units/Acre when               connects to both public water and sewer.
unit per
acre or 2        connected to public water     To take advantage of this bonus, a

units per        and sewer and 40% open development must preserve significant
acre with        space is preserved.           undisturbed open space.

RA-15 (S),       General Residential-Low       4 units/acre – This district will allow
RA-12 (S),       Density (SR4)                 development of up to 4 units per acre. It
                                               sets a smaller minimum lot size, but to

                 This is a single family       achieve the allowed smaller lots, significant
districts        housing district.             open space has to be preserved. By

Current        Recommended District          Description/Commentary


allow 2.9 to                                 taking this approach, developers have
4 units per                                  choices on how to develop land. They
                                             can either develop with conventionally

                                             sized lots or reduce lot sizes in exchange

                                             of open space preservation.    Infill

                                             requirements in Chapter 4 (4.3.4) protect

                                             existing neighborhoods by ensuring

                                             compatible lots widths, setbacks and


RA-10 S,       General Residential-          6 units/acre - Same concept as outlined
RA-8 (S),      Medium Density (SR6)          above, but allows up to 6 units per acre.
                                             Infill requirements in Chapter 4 (4.3.4)
               This district is              protect existing neighborhoods by ensuring
districts      predominately single          compatible lots widths, setbacks and

allow 4 to     family, but allows two-       yards.
7              family dwellings in a very
               limited fashion (see 3.2.1)

RA-6 (S),      General Residential-          6 units/acre – allows single family
RA-6I,         Medium Density (GR6)          development, townhomes and limited
RA-6, MX-
                                             duplex homes (see 3.2.1). This district
1, PRD-4
                                             also allows multi-family housing as a
and 7
                                             conditional approval that goes to city

These                                        council. RA-6 districts are placed here
districts                                    when developed with single-family, duplex,
allow 6 to
                                             and townhouse style development.

RA-12, RA-     Urban Residential (UR)        9 units/acre – allows all housing types.

Current        Recommended District       Description/Commentary


15, RA-8                                  Duplexes and multi-family units have

                                          special restrictions in Chapter 3.
allow 8 to

RA-8, RA-6, Residential Mixed Use         24 units/acre – allows all housing types.
and O&R        (RMX)                      Like our existing O&R zones, this district
                                          allows several non-residential uses as well
                                          as live-work units that include a residence
zones allow                               above a commercial space.        Non-

15 to 16                                  residential uses have a size limitation of
units/acre                                20,000 sq. ft. Presently, we include no

                                          size limitations to ensure residential


RA-MH,         Mobile Home District       8 units/acre - Limited to mobile home
RA-M(S)        (MHR)                      units. A mobile home park requires a

                                          special use permit. Only existing mobile
                                          home areas are included in the zoning
allows 7 to
9 units/acre                              map with this zone.

O3, O4         Neighborhood Commercial This district is the most limiting of the

               (NC)                       commercial districts and focuses mainly on

                                          office and institutional uses.

B3, B4,        General Commercial         Expanded permitted uses. This district is
B4A, B6        (GC)                       for smaller neighborhood shopping centers

                                          and general commercial uses. Cannot
This will be
                                          exceed 120,000 square feet of building

Current        Recommended District     Description/Commentary


predominant                             space in a development without a
commercial                              conditional plan approval by council.
district in
around the
city like B4
is today.

B4, B5, B6     Highway Commercial (HC) Expanded permitted uses allowed by right.

                                        Shopping centers over 250,000 square feet
This will be
                                        in building area require a conditional plan
applied to
                                        approval by council. This district also
heavier                                 allows more intense commercial type uses

commercial                              over the GC district above.
uses and

B1, B2         Center City Mixed Use    Expanded permitted uses by right. These

               (CCMX)                   are the districts that make up our

                                        downtown area.

B2, B3,        Neighborhood Mixed-Use   Expanded permitted uses by right. This
B4 (A)         (NMX)                    district allows townhomes and multi-family

                                        housing in a mixed-use building only

                                        (ground floor office and retail with

                                        dwellings on the second floor and above).

I-1 / I-2      Industrial (HI, LI)      Most permitted uses are permitted by

                                        right. Residential use are excluded. The

Current          Recommended District          Description/Commentary


                                               definition of the two categories are

                                               included in Chapter 17 which focuses on

                                               the characteristics of each use rather than

                                               a list of each specific use. Essentially, if

                                               you manufacture a product or deal with

                                               hazardous materials, you would fall in the

                                               Heavy Industrial zone.   If you assemble

                                               already manufactured parts into a product,

                                               are a research facility, perform testing, and

                                               similar activities you would fall in the Light

                                               Industrial category.

I-1 / I-2        Industrial Mixed Use          New district designation focused on mixed-
near             (IMX)                         uses and the development of a downtown
                                               arts and culture warehouse district. This
and the
                                               area is mainly intended for the area
Tobacco                                        around our remaining historic tobacco
Warehouse                                      warehouses.

Various          Institutional Campus          New district designation focused on mixed-

                 Development (ICD)             uses and the future development of

                                               Wilson’s major institutions such as the

                                               Wilson Community College, Barton

                                               College, Wilson Medical Center, large

                                               churches, and large public/private schools,


  2.5       District Development Standards
            A table which lists setbacks, density, lot sizes, building heights and other
            development standards.      In general, most standards are less restrictive. Most

      public inquiries the Planning and Development Services office receives are
      answered by the tables in this Chapter and the Land Use Table.. Chapter 4
      includes some protections for existing neighborhoods to maintain established
      development patterns (see 4.3.4). Revises Z-8.3
2.6   Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND)
      This is a new choice available for developers. It is a replacement to our PRD
      and MX districts that are rarely used and ill defined. It is an optional zone to be
      voluntarily chosen by a developer. This section implements the idea in the Wilson
      20/20 Vision Plan and 2030 Comprehensive Plan of allowing the creation of
      mixed use, walkable neighborhoods. It allows various types of housing
      intermingled and close to supporting commercial uses. This option requires an
      approval of a master plan by the Planning Board before development can
2.7   Permitted Uses
      Describes use categories, consolidates the existing uses, and provides tables
      indicating the permitted uses in each zoning district. The permitted use table has
      been reduced from 25 pages to 4 pages for ease of use and to provide flexibility
      in interpretation. Each use is also defined in Chapter 17, unlike the current
      ordinance which includes very few definitions of listed uses. . Explicit definitions
      enhance consistency among everyone involved in the approval process. This
      addresses the challenge of different interpretations of the same regulations.
      Revises Z-8.2
2.8   Overlay Districts
      The section includes overlay districts for the purpose of imposing additional
      design, use, or other standards over requirements in a base zoning district. These
      are areas that are either visually or environmentally sensitive sites that have
      community significance.   Most are the same Overlay Districts we adopted years
      ago such as Historic Districts, Flood Protection Zones, Watershed Protection
      Regulations, Redevelopment Zone, Airport Protection District. a new Shopfront
      Overlay can be employed in pedestrian scaled areas like Five Points from Z-
      8.34-46. The Highway Development District and the Residential Conversion Zone
      are not carried forward in the new ordinance.
2.6   Conditional Districts
      This describes Conditional Districts with conditions voluntarily added by the
      applicant and approved in a legislative procedure by the City Council in
      accordance with G.S. 160A-382. Revises Z-7A,7B and Z-8.6. This replaces the
      more formal quasi-judicial procedure for conditional use district rezoning requests.
      This tool is used during a rezoning process to allow the public, developer and

            approving bodies to have a better understanding of the proposed development
            and attach conditions to mitigate potential negative impacts created by a

      This chapter adds additional protections in addition to those standards included within
      the other UDO chapters. Staff carried many over from the current ordinance but
      reduced the number of these unique land use designations. The current ordinance
      includes 62 pages of special standards whereas the proposed UDO has reduced that to
      39 pages. Some Uses warranting additional standards include Boarding Houses,
      Duplexes, Accessory Dwellings, Home Occupations, Kennels, Adult Establishments,
      Internet Sweepstakes, Bars and Night Clubs, Outdoor Storage, Landfills and Junkyards,
      Temporary Uses and other higher impact uses.

      3.1   Applicability
            Establishes the provisions which shall apply regardless of the underlying zoning
            district provisions.
      3.2   Supplemental Use Standards
            Describes the provisions noted in the use table as having supplemental standards
            organized by major use category (Residential, Lodging, Office/Service,
            Commercial, Entertainment/Recreation, Civic/Institutional, Industrial, Agriculture and
            Infrastructure). Revises Z-8.2.B

            A few highlighted changes include:

            3.2.3 Accessory Dwellings (amends Z-8.2.B.01.10) – The proposed ordinance
            allows these widely, with restrictions outlined in this section.

            3.3.1 Boarding or Rooming Houses (amends Z-8.2.B.14.10) – Many of the same
            standards are carried forward. Additional standards require landscaping
            improvements and restrict parking in the front yard.

            3.4.2 Home Occupations (amends Z-8.2.B.43.10) – The old ordinance contains two
            home occupation types while the proposed has blends these two into one. In
            general, home occupations have more constraints in the proposed ordinance.

            3.4.4 Outdoor Kennels (amends Z-8.2.B.48.10) – The significant change is the
            reduction in required lot size from 5 acres to 2 acres in industrial zones only. A

            500 foot separation standard was added from any animal run area to a
            residential use or zone. The same must be separated 150 feet from and street
            or non-residential property.

            3.5.3 Bar, Tavern, Night Club (amends Z-8.2.B.68.10) – The proposed ordinance
            continues the Special Use Permit requirement for this use in all districts. The
            use is permitted in the GC, HC and CCMX districts under the UDO. The
            proposed standards continue the 500 foot separation requirement from residential
            uses or districts when in the GC or HC districts. There is no separation
            standard in the CCMX district. The approving board may attach restrictions on
            operating hours after considering the location and potential impacts on the
            surrounding area.

            3.6.7 Religious Institutions (amends Z-8.2.B.20.10) – Adds buffering requirements
            between religious institutions and residential uses and zones.

            3.7.6 Schools – Elementary and Secondary (amends Z-8.2.B.78.10) – Adds a
            buffering requirement between a school’s parking and athletic fields and
            residential zones. This section also adds the provision for connections to existing
            neighborhood areas to ensure children in walk zones can safely walk to school.

            3.10.2 Backyard Pens/Coops – This adds new provisions to permit the limited
            raising of animals such as chickens in a backyard. We have had many requests
            for people wanting to have egg laying hens in the city.

      General language used to assist in applying ordinance requirements to issues such as
      oddly shaped lots, measurement of height for signs and buildings, yard and setback
      requirements, and the regulation of accessory structures. Most issues are dealt with in
      a similar way to current practice. Changes were made to accessory structure regulation
      as outlined below.

      4.1   Applicability
            Establishes the provisions which shall apply regardless of the underlying zoning
            district provisions.
      4.2   General Provisions
            Describes the provisions applicable to all development plans subject to this UDO.
      4.3   Basic Lot and Use Standards

            Describes the provisions for lot and use standards including methods for
            interpreting various standards found throughout the UDO. Revises Z-3.5-8 & Z-
      4.4   Measurement of Height
            Establishes a common method for the measurement of height for all dimensions
            found throughout the UDO. Revises Section Z-8.3

      4.5   Accessory Uses and Structures
            Describes accessory structures and their associated uses/general requirements.
            This section also places limits on the number of accessory structures and caps
            sizes of accessory structures on a sliding scale in order to keep the truly
            accessory to the principal residence.   There is also a waiver from the
            requirements for certain structures as outlined in 4.5.4.   Revises Section Z-8.2

      This chapter continues our application of commercial architectural design guidelines as
      adopted in 2009. It adds some basic review of multiple family projects. And lastly, this
      chapter introduces standards for the location of residential garages in exchange for the
      allowance to reduce required lot widths – as written, the garage standards are an
      optional requirement done in exchange for development incentives.

      Chapter 5 also outlines two choices for approval that are available: a staff review or a
      review by the planning board. The following projects require planning board review:
      Civic Buildings (such as convention center), large commercial and multi-family projects,
      multi-tenant shopping centers, and buildings in the CCMX and IMX districts (the
      downtown and tobacco warehouse areas).

      5.1   Purpose and Intent
            Establishes regulations specific to design standards for building types for the City
            of Wilson. The standards in this Chapter are intended to attach a greater level of
            importance to the overall building design in part because of the additional density
            allowed. Revises Section Z-13.A
      5.2   Applicability and Administration
            The provisions outlined in this Chapter shall apply throughout the jurisdiction of
            this Code, regardless of the underlying zoning district provisions. Revises Section
      5.3   Design Standards

            Describes the general site and architectural design requirements that buildings
            shall meet, including but not limited to: frontage requirements, entrances, street
            vistas, and scale and massing of buildings. . Revises Section Z-13.C (City of
            Wilson Architectural Design Guidelines)

      Chapter 6 establishes requirements for the subdivision of land and certain infrastructure
      improvement required for development projects. Specific UDO requirements work in
      tandem with the Manual of Specifications and Standards as applied by Public Services.
      They are intended to address those design issues that routinely surface during land use,
      zoning, subdivision and site planning processes and affect overall layout of development.

      6.1   Purpose and Intent
            The purpose of this Chapter is to provide standards for the site development and
            subdivision of real property.
      6.2   Applicability
            The provisions outlined in this Chapter shall apply to all site and subdivision
            plans. Also included will be references to state subdivision standards and the
            integration of the Manual of Specifications, Standards and Design (MSSD) by
            reference. Revises Section S-2
      6.3   Required Improvements for all Development
            Describes the required improvements associated with all development segregated
            by site plan and subdivision plans, including but not limited to: public water
            supply distribution, fire suppression including hydrants, sewer, public streets and
            rights of way, sidewalks, and underground utilities. .

      6.4   Connectivity
            Standards for street, pedestrian, and bicycle connectivity and block lengths for all
            development. Existing Connectivity requirements are enhanced and continue to
            be based upon the connectivity ratio adopted as an amendment 2 to 3 years
            ago. Revises Section S-5.2.C
      6.5   Transportation Plan Conformity
            Required conformance with the adopted transportation plan in the reservation or
            dedication of rights-of-way and the construction of certain facilities. Expands
            Section Z-10.H
      6.6   City Street Classification and Design
            Establishes required street sections for various development contexts. Revises
            Section S-5.2 and MSSD-Municipal Street Design-Section 2.4

      6.7    Sidewalks and Other Pedestrian Facilities
             Establishes requirements for sidewalks and other pedestrian pathways.
      6.8    Bicycle Facilities
             Establishes requirements for bicycle facilities.
      6.9    Transportation Impact Analysis
             Establishes a requirement for the submittal of a transportation impact analysis
             with certain development plans and requires the upgrade of facilities in
             accordance with an adopted level of service for various roadways and
             intersections. Revises MSSD-Municipal Street Design-Section 2.9
      6.10   Improvement Guarantees
             Defines regulations for improvement guarantees, including surety performance
             bonds, cash/equivalent security, defaults, and releases of guarantee security.

      Chapter 7 enhances our open space requirements and establishes better definitions for
      what is required and where. For example, we presently require dedication and
      improvements for some development types, but the current ordinance does not define
      what that means. Residential development will generally be required to set aside 5% of
      land for parks and 5% for unimproved open space. Because we have gone to a
      density measurement for development, this requirement will not reduce the amount of
      developed lots available for development. We also allow a payment-in-lieu option that
      can be used for the City of Wilson to make park improvements accessible to the
      development should a developer not want to meet the dedication and development
      standards in this chapter.

      7.1    Purpose and Intent
             Defines open space terminology and establishes general intent for open space
             regulations as well as reference to any applicable enabling legislation.
             Specifically, these regulations permit the creation of centrally-located land as
             neighborhood open spaces.
      7.2    Open Space / Park Space Dedication and Reservation
             Residential and mixed-use residential developments are required to dedicate open
             space (except for in Downtown). This section describes in detail how to calculate
             open space dedication through the use of an open space dedication matrix.
             Revises S-5.5. This section also lists exemptions from the requirement and gives
             park credit to development adjacent to existing parks when a connection is made
             to that park.
      7.3    Payment in Lieu of Open Space / Civic Space Dedication

               Establishes regulations for payments in lieu of open space dedication, which may
               be appropriate where dedication is prohibitive or physically challenging. A formula
               for determining fee payment is provided within this section. This option requires
               City Council approval.   Revises S-5.5.B
         7.4   Park Standards
               This section establishes the various acceptable park types and the types of
               improvements expected.

        7.5    Unimproved Open Space Design Standards
               Describes what is expected for the location and preservation of unimproved open
space                 areas.
        7.6    Ownership and Maintenance
               Outlines who can own and who is responsible for maintenance of these areas.

        This chapter continues Wilson’s landscaping requirements for new development. This
        chapter also adds tree preservation requirements and bonuses which will be described
        in more detail below in 8.3 and 8.4.   Within the landscape chapter we have added
        choices for compliance in order to offer flexibility for the project designer. For example,
        each buffer type has 2 to 3 different options for compliance.

        8.1    Purpose
               Establishes the purpose and intent for landscape requirements as well as
               reference to any applicable local enabling legislation. Revises Z-12.A
        8.2    Applicability
               Defines applicability for landscaping regulations based on development type. This
               Chapter also outlines when an expansion of a use         triggers compliance with
               these landscape standards. This section also outlines maintenance requirements
               and allows alternative compliance, approved at a staff level, that meets the intent
               of these standards to avoid the more formal and rigid variance process.
        8.3    Tree Protection on Public Property
               Establishes protection and preservation standards for existing trees and vegetation
               on public property and rights-of-way. It also provides for (within the City and ETJ
               area) including tree save areas and credits for preservation of existing trees It
               also establishes a process and costs to remove a tree on public property when
               required for the placement of driveways and other similar development
               improvements.    Adapts City Code Part III-Chapter 37 and implements the public
               desire for tree protection outlined in the Comprehensive Plan.

8.4   Tree Protection on Private Property
      This section establishes a limited number of required elements for tree
      preservation and an optional incentive bonus provision when important trees are
      preserved. The first requirement (8.4.1) is a minimum baseline requirement for
      tree canopy coverage. This standard can be meet by preserving existing trees or
      planting new trees when the planting requirements in this chapter do not bring a
      site to this threshold requirement. Section 8.4.2 establishes requirements for the
      preservation of specimen trees. These are larger old growth trees or trees that
      have been recognized as “treasure trees” or “landmark trees”. This section gives
      credits for the preservation of these trees towards total tree requirements.      This
      section also allows these trees to be removed, but off-setting plantings are
      required. Finally, to establish an incentive system, we encourage the
      establishment of tree save areas within development projects. This area is
      intended to protect existing trees and allows the reduction in the number of
      plantings required in subsequent sections.
8.5   Street Tree and Building Perimeter Plantings
       This section creates requirements for the planting of trees within the public right-
      of-way between the curb/street pavement and the sidewalk. Amounts are
      differentiated by corridor type and fronting use. This allows some required
      plantings to be placed in the right-of-way to continue to grow an over-arching
      traditional tree canopy like we enjoy in   the center city area. The section also
      allows us flexibility to move these required trees to another location when
      placement in the right-of-way is not practical or desirable. This section also adds
      the requirement for the planting of street trees in residential development.
      Finally, a necessity is established for planting shrubs or trees between the street
      or parking lot and a building. Revises Z-12.C

8.6   Parking Lot Area Landscaping
      Establishes carries over regulations for landscaping the interior and perimeter of
      parking areas, including   screening of parking lots visible from the public right-of-
      way. This section also offers   options in landscape plantings    and reductions in
      parking stall sizes when Low Impact Stormwater elements are placed within a
      parking lot. Shrubs may no longer substitute for trees in parking lots. In addition,
      more canopy sized trees are required for shading purposes rather than         smaller
      trees like crepe myrtles. Revises Z-12.C-E
8.7   Buffers and Screening
       Includes the types of planting yards that shall be required within Wilson’s zoning
      districts for transitioning, screening and/or buffering certain uses. Multiple options

             are given for compliance to accommodate specific site characteristics.      These
             options basically consist of either providing more width and less plantings or less
             width more plantings. For the most intensive buffer, the buffer distance can be
             reduced with the addition of a landscaped berm or a wall. Revises Z-12.F
      8.8    Loading Areas and Dumpster Screening
             Defines requirements for screening dumpsters and mechanical equipment within
             residential, commercial/mixed-use, and industrial areas. This is exactly as the
             recent City Council approved regulations were written.
      8.9    Watercourse Buffer Areas
             Establishes requirements for protection of landscaping parallel to certain protected
             watercourses. These remain the same as is in the existing Code.
      8.10   General Installation and Maintenance Standards
             Establishes planting standards for new plantings, preservation of existing
             vegetation, irrigation, installation time and permitted delays, maintenance,
             penalties. Revises Z-12.I

9.0   PARKING AND LOADING Revises Sections Z-5 & 6
      This section reduces the amount of required parking. It takes a more market-based
      approach, which will allow each developer to determine their needs based on the
      intended use of the building.    Most commercial developments have their own parking
      requirements anyway. The size influences the visual impact of large lots somewhat but
      the location and configuration of the lot on the parcel can have the most effect on
      screening a parking lot. This chapter also introduces parking location requirements to
      strategically place more parking to the side and rear of buildings and limiting parking in
      the front of buildings in some settings. There is less restriction, or no restrictions, in
      suburban commercial and industrial areas and more restrictions in areas in the center
      city. Areas like Raleigh Road Parkway would see little change. Downtown and other
      development in the center city, on the other hand, would have more limited allowable
      parking locations.

      9.1    Purpose and Intent
             Establishes regulations for the construction, expansion and renovation of parking
             lots, loading areas, and similar facilities.
      9.2    Applicability
             Describes when the requirements of the chapter are applied.
      9.3    Permitted Parking Locations
             Provides a matrix and diagrams to show permissible locations for parking based
             on proposed use and zoning district.

       9.4    Off-Street Parking and Loading Requirements
              Defines minimum parking ratios with a Use Type/Required Parking Spaces table.
              The table includes requirements for bicycle parking. This section also establishes
              maximums for the number of parking spaces but allows these limits to be
              exceeded with pervious pavement systems.        Revises Section Z-5.5
       9.5    Vehicle Parking Standards
              Establishes requirements for bicycle parking at multi-family and non-residential
              developments This section also establishes required pedestrian pathways (like was
              done in front of Target) for larger parking lots.   A major change in parking lot
              surfacing requirements are included with    a requirement that non-industrial areas
              may not use gravel or grass areas to meet minimum parking requirements.
              Industrial areas may continue to use gravel and turf parking areas for overflow
              and recreational uses. Parking areas beyond the maximum allowable parking must
              use turf or porous material to reduce stormwater impacts.     Revises Section Z-
       9.6    Bicycle Parking Standards
              Establishes requirements for bicycle parking at multi-family and non-residential
              developments(now only required for multi-family projects of four or more units and
              one for commercial in 50,000 square foot increments). Revises Section Z-5.10
       9.7    Driveway Access
              Itemizes   requirements for driveway cuts and driveway permits.

10.0   LIGHTING Expands Section Z-3.11
       We are adding lighting standards since it routinely is brought up during special use
       permit and conditional use hearings.    This will allow designers to have measurable
       standards to develop their plans to rather than reacting to ad-hoc requirements asked
       for during public hearings.

       10.1   Purpose and Applicability
              Establishes the purpose and intent for lighting regulations within the City of
              Wilson and ETJ as well as reference to any applicable enabling legislation. These
              regulations are intended to control light spillage and glare so as to not adversely
              affect motorists, pedestrians, and land uses of adjacent properties
       10.2   Design Standards
              Establishes standards for maximum permitted illumination measured in average
              foot-candles. Includes an Illuminating Engineering Society chart representing a
              number of exterior lighting uses for general reference.
       10.3   Outdoor Recreational Lighting

              Establishes that the lighting of active recreation areas, such as ball fields and
              tennis courts, are not considered in this chapter due to their unique requirements.
              Illumination shall fall within the primary playing area and no direct light shall be
              directed off site.
       10.4   Street Lighting
              Sets forth street lighting design standards. Regulations specifically define
              minimum average street light spacing, fixture placement, cut-off fixtures, and
              lighting along alleys.
       10.5   Exemptions
              Establishes exemptions from lighting requirements, including lighting of the US
              and NC flags, residential lighting, construction/emergency lighting, holiday
              decoration lighting, and underwater lighting.
       10.6   Prohibitions
              Lists prohibited lighting.
       10.7   Administration
              Defines how light level measurements are to be determined. This section also
              establishes requirements for a lighting plan application which shall be used when
              submitting a site plan or applying for a building, electrical, or sign permit to install
              outdoor lighting fixtures.

11.0   SIGNS Revises Section Z-9
       The sign chapter outlines all regulations related to permanent and temporary signage.
       Sign areas have been reduced, however, we tested these reductions and they work for
       the vast majority of recently-approved development and most of what is visible in
       commercial developments built today. These reductions resulted from the merger of
       different sign standards in the Highway Development District (now deleted in the UDO)
       and areas outside of those special overlays. Billboards are also treated differently, and
       the result will be fewer billboards, and their only permissible location will be on the US
       264/I-795 bypass around Wilson. These changes allow billboards in more zoning
       districts, so it eliminates the need to rezone areas to industrial for their placement on
       small isolated parcels. (Revises Section 11.6.7)

       11.1   General Purpose and Intent
              Establishes the purpose and intent for signage regulations within the City of
              Wilson and ETJ as well as reference to any applicable enabling legislation.
              Revises Section Z-9.1
       11.2   Applicability

              Establishes when a sign permit are required and the procedures appropriate to
              each. This section also adds allowances for historic signs like those painted on
              the sides of downtown buildings. Revises Section Z-9.2
       11.3   Computation of Signage Measurements
              Clearly illustrates how signage area, height and setback are calculated.
       11.4   General Provisions
              Sets forth general provisions for design and administration. Revises Section Z-9.8
       11.5   Signage Standards by Type
              In a clear and concise manner using easy-to-read tables, this section indicates
              what types of signs are permitted in the various districts and provides a pictorial
              dictionary of the various sign types. This table and the allowable area for each
              sign type was developed after an analysis of the extensive inventory of new
              development around Wilson. Sign allowances have been reduced, however, for
              the vast majority of new development that we tested, the signage they installed
              would all be permitted under these revised standards. Revises Section Z-9.10-13
       11.6   Other Permitted Signage Standards
              This is a section which outlines requirements for signs such as drive-thru menus
              pairs, and temporary signs.
       11.7   Signs Not Requiring a Permit
              This section outlines standards which are applicable to signs, but waives the
              permit requirement for such signs. Signs included in this section include non-
              commercial signs in residential areas, political signs, real estate signs, etc. We
              have changed how we regulate political signs and have decided the best way to
              reduce confusion in this area is to match the requirements in state law adopted
              in the last legislative session.
       11.8   Prohibited Signs
              A list of those signs that are not permitted under any circumstance such as signs
              which mimic traffic signs, flashing or animated signs, etc..
       11.9   Sign Illumination
              Lighting requirements for signs.
       11.10 Maintenance and Upkeep of Signs
              Standards and requirements for the maintenance of signs such as partially lit
              lettering and damage repair.
       11.11 Violations
              Describes procedures for sign violations.

       Stormwater Management Ordinance, Z-8. 35 & MSSD-Stormwater Design Manual and

adapts the Model Universal Stormwater Ordinance (MUSO) promulgated by NC DWQ.
This chapter includes environmental regulations that we have very little control over, but
are charged with their enforcement. As such, very little change is occurring between
present requirements and the proposed language in this chapter.       We have attempted to
simplify code language as much as possible and provide flexibility when appropriate.

12.1   Purpose and Intent
       Outlines the purposes and general applicable enabling legislation. SM-46.1-2 and
       MUSO Section 102-104
12.2   Applicability
       Defines when the standards of the Section apply to development application as
       well as provides guidance on interpretation and references to the State Design
       Manual. SM-46.3 and MUSO Section 105-107

12.3   Sedimentation and Erosion Control
       Establishes sedimentation and erosion control regulations for the City and ETJ.
       These are to be in accordance with the North Carolina Sedimentation Pollution
       Control Act of 1973 as amended, and other federal / state law or locally adopted
       Code. Adapts City Code Part III-Chapter 32.5 and MSSD-Stormwater Design
       Manual-Section 1.8
12.4   Flood Damage Prevention
       Outlines the provisions for flood hazard reduction. Z-8.35
12.5   Stormwater Standards
       Defines the standards for all stormwater control measures. SM-46.5-8, and MUSO
       Section 301-308
12.6   Impervious Surface Averaging
       Outlines the provisions for flood hazard reduction. SM-46.10
12.7   Illicit Discharges
       Establishes requirements for the prevention illicit discharges into the stormwater
       system and procedures for mitigating such events. SM-46.31-40 and MUSO
       Section 701
12.8   Maintenance and Inspection
       Establishes requirements for maintenance of stormwater control structures and
       annual inspections. MUSO Section 401-408
12.9   Stormwater Management Utility
       Establishes requirements for maintenance of stormwater control structures and
       annual inspections. SM-46.51-61 and MUSO Section 401-408

13.0   NONCONFORMITIES Revises Section Z-4
This section continues existing policies for non-conformities without significant changes.   One
exception is the elimination of the process for re-establishing a non-conforming use that meets
the definition for discontinuance outlined in this chapter. This is an unusual provision and staff
felt it should be eliminated. Staff believes with the density driven approach that has been taken
in the UDO and the simplified use chart that nonconformities will be minimized.      We will also
evaluate non-conformities as they are brought to our attention and make adjustments to the
code when doing so would further the intent of the Wilson Comprehensive Plan.

       13.1   Purpose and Applicability
              Establishes the purpose of nonconformity regulations. They are intended to
              regulate and limit the continued existence of uses and structures established prior
              to the effective date of this Code. This section includes an applicability matrix for
              required retrofitting of existing development.
       13.2   General Provisions
              This section outlines the appeals and modification request procedures as well as
              standards for discontinuance.
       13.3   Nonconforming Plan
              Defines regulations for nonconforming plans including plans approved prior to the
              adoption of this code and amendments / modifications to previously adopted plans
              and special use permits. Also allows the choice to change plans to conform with
              these regulations if desired.
       13.4   Nonconforming Lots
              Defines regulations for nonconforming lots and specifically addresses
              nonconforming lot development. Revises Section Z-4.2
       13.5   Nonconforming Uses & Structures
              Delineates regulations for nonconforming uses, structures, accessory uses,
              accessory structures, and open uses of land, including expansions, changes to
              conforming use, and abandonment. Revises Section Z- 4.3
       13.6   Nonconforming Manufactured Homes and Mobile Home Parks
              Defines regulations for nonconforming manufactured and mobile homes, and
              mobile home parks for repairs and replacements.

       13.7   Nonconforming Signs
              Institutes regulations for nonconforming signs, including repairs/maintenance,
              replacement, and abandonment. Revises Section Z-9.14


This Chapter defines all of the administrative agencies charged with carrying out the
administration of the Unified Development Ordinance. The next cluster of chapters – 14,
15 and 16 are process related and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of decision
makers in the system.

14.1   The Administrator
       Defines the duties of the Administrator, including general responsibilities and,
       maintenance of all records and files.   The Administrators of the ordinance are the
       Planning and Development Services Director, City Engineer and Public Utilities
       Engineer. They will be responsible for their general areas of responsibility. For
       example, stormwater requirements in Chapter 12 will be administered and
       interpreted by the City Engineer while the landscaping requirements in Chapter 8
       will be administered and interpreted by the Planning and Development Services
14.2   City Council
       Defines responsibilities for the members of City Council related to the
       administration of the UDO.
14.3   Technical Review Committee
       Defines responsibilities and membership for the Technical Review Committee.
       The UDO adds a requirement that rezonings are referred to the TRC to
       comment on public service issues so deficiencies can be identified earlier during
       the review process.
14.4   Planning and Design Review Board
       Establishes authority and defines responsibility, membership, and terms of office
       for members of the Planning Board which will also act in the capacity of Design
       Review Board on an as-needed basis. Revises Section Z-21
14.5   Board of Adjustment
       Establishes authority and defines responsibility, membership, and terms of office
       for members of the Board of Adjustment. Revises Section Z-20
14.6   Historic Preservation Commission
       Establishes authority and defines responsibility, membership, and terms of office
       for members of the Historic Preservation Commission. Revises Section Z-8.42.IV
14.7   Meetings and General Procedures
       Defines that all meetings shall be open to the public and conducted in
       accordance with stated procedures.
14.8   Staff
       Establishes staff responsibilities to Boards, Commissions, and/or Committees.
14.9   Attendance Policy

                     Defines the attendance policy for Board, Commission, and Committee members.

This chapter outlines the procedures for each type of review process required to administer the
Unified Development Ordinance. It continues many of our current practices as those are
dictated by state law. We also took the opportunity to determine places we could streamline
and those have been incorporated here.

          15.1       Purpose and Intent
                     Defines the purpose and intent for establishing a clear, comprehensive, and
                     orderly process for land development within the City and ETJ.
          15.2       General Provisions & Applicability
                     Establishes applicability for the provisions outlined in this Chapter affecting all
                     development within the jurisdiction of the City of Wilson. Additionally, this section
                     defines when a zoning permit is not required for certain uses, as well as when
                     the development review process may be waived. A table for all of the various
                     permit types is placed here for clarity.

   Permit/ Process Type        Section      Permit/       Reviewing       Public       Approving   Appeal      Permit       Permit
                                         Process Type      Agency       Notification    Agency     Process     Period      Extension
       UDO Compliance          15.6.1    Administrative    Admin           None         Admin       BOA       6 months     6 months
    Temporary Use Permit       15.6.2    Administrative    Admin           None         Admin       BOA       See 3.12        n/a
   Certificate of Occupancy    15.6.3    Administrative    Admin           None         Admin       BOA         n/a           n/a
        Modification of        15.6.4    Administrative    Admin           None         Admin       BOA         n/a           n/a
   Dimensional Standards
        Grading Permit         15.7.1    Administrative    Admin           None         Admin       BOA       6 months     Re-submit
   Floodplain Development      15.7.2    Administrative    Admin           None         Admin       BOA        1 year      Re-submit
      Stormwater Permit        15.7.3    Administrative    Admin           None         Admin       BOA        1 year       1 year
   Site Plan/Design Review     15.8.1    Administrative     TRC            None          TRC        BOA        1 year       1 year
   Site Plan/Design Review     15.8.2    Quasi-Judicial     TRC             Yes         P&DRB        SC        1 year       1 year
             (Major)                                                       (1, 2)
   Subdivision Plat (Minor)    15.9.1    Administrative     TRC            None          TRC        BOA      180 days to   180 days
                                                                                                             record Plat
       Subdivision (Major) –   15.9.2    Administrative     TRC            None          TRC        BOA       2 years to    1 year
         Preliminary Plan                                                                                     Final Plat
       Subdivision (Major) –   15.9.3    Administrative     TRC            None          TRC        BOA      180 days to   180 days
            Final Plat                                                                                       record Plat
        Special Use Permit      15.10    Quasi-Judicial    P&DRB            Yes         P&DRB        SC        2 years     6 months
                                                                           (1, 2)
    Designation of Historic    15.11.1    Legislative       HPC             Yes          City        SC          n/a          n/a
     Landmarks/Districts                                                  (1, 2, 3)     Council
        Certificate of         15.11.2   Administrative    Admin           None         Admin       HPC      12 months     Re-submit
   Appropriateness (Minor
        Certificate of         15.11.3   Quasi-Judicial    Admin            Yes          HPC        BOA      12 months     Re-submit
      Appropriateness                                                      (1, 2)
   Appeal of Administrative     15.12    Quasi-Judicial     BOA             Yes          BOA         SC      30 days to       n/a
          Decision                                                         (1, 2)                             Appeal

Permit/ Process Type      Section        Permit/        Reviewing          Public      Approving     Appeal        Permit        Permit
                                      Process Type       Agency         Notification    Agency       Process       Period       Extension
      Variance             15.13      Quasi-Judicial       BOA               Yes          BOA           SC        30 days to        n/a
                                                                            (1, 2)                                 Appeal
  Text Amendment           15.14        Legislative       P&DRB              Yes          City          SC           n/a            n/a
                                                                            (1, 2)       Council
  Map Amendment            15.14        Legislative        TRC,              Yes          City          SC           n/a            n/a
    (Rezoning)                                            P&DRB           (1, 2, 3)      Council
 Conditional District      15.15        Legislative       P&DRB              Yes          City          SC         May be           n/a
                                                                          (1, 2, 3)      Council                  rescinded
                                                                                                                    after 2
    Vested Right           15.16        Legislative       P&DRB                Yes          City        None      2-5 years       Up to 5
                                                                              (1, 2)       Council                               years total
    Admin – Administrator (14.1) | City Council (14.2) | TRC – Technical Review Committee (14.3) | P&DRB – Planning & Design Review Board (14.4)
    | BOA – Board of Adjustment (14.5) | HPC – Historic Preservation Commission (14.6) | SC – Superior Court of North Carolina

    15.3       Public Notification
               Outlines the various public notification requirements including notices in the
               newspaper, to affected property owners, to adjacent property owners, to the full
               community, and standards for neighborhood meetings. We have included what is
               required by North Carolina law to meet our legal obligations. As department
               policy, we intend to continue our current practice of formal and informal
               notification procedures which provide additional notices Revises Section Z-22.C-D
               & Z-20.13
    15.4       Application Requirements
               Outlines the general application and submittal requirements for each application
               type and provides references to the applicable section in this chapter. This
               section also provides a description of each application type. Our Department will
               continue to have detailed forms and handouts that explain the various processes
               for the public.
    15.5       General Requirements for Quasi-Judicial Hearings and Decisions
               Standards and procedures for all quasi-judicial processes, regardless of the
               decision-making body. Revises Section Z-20A
    15.6       Administrative Permits
               Permits for ordinary compliance with the standards of the UDO including those
               permitted uses with supplemental use standards issued by the administrator and
               not requiring any additional board/commission review including Certificates of
               Compliance, Temporary Use Permits, Certificates of Occupancy, and
               Administrative Modification of Standards. Revises Section Z-16, MSSD Plan
               Review, Permitting, Construction, and Acceptance & USMO 202-205
    15.7       Environmental Protection Permits

       Permits for general activities that impact the natural environment including Grading
       Permits, Floodplain Development Permits and Stormwater Permits. This continues
       current practices. Revises Section Z-8.34.6, Z-8.35.4.B & Z-10.F
15.8   Site Plans/Design Review
       Establishes applicability and procedures for site plan submission and approval and
       the approval of building elevations. This section includes a flow chart for the
       review process. Replaces Section Z-10 & Z-13 (City of Wilson Architectural
       Design Guidelines)
15.9   Subdivisions
       Establishes applicability and procedures for subdivision submission and approval.
       This section includes a flow chart for the review process.   Revises S-2 & S-4
15.10 Special Use Permits
       Defines the process for special use permits including the procedures, effect of
       approval, substantial changes, and rescission of special use permits. Revises
       Section Z-7
15.11 Historic Preservation
       Defines the process and standards for the issuance of Certificates of
       Appropriateness in Historic Districts including minor works and regular petitions
       and for the procedures for the designation of historic landmarks and districts.
       Revises Section Z-8.42.IV-X
15.12 Appeals of Administrative Decisions
       Establishes regulations for appeals of administrative decisions. Revises Section Z-
       17 & Z-20.9-11
15.13 Variances
       Establishes regulations for variances.   Revises Section Z-20.11
15.14 Text Amendments and Rezonings (Map Amendments)
       Establishes regulations regarding text amendments and rezonings. Revises
       Section Z-22
15.15 Conditional Districts
       Establishes regarding new legislative procedure called conditional districts, and
       includes general requirements, procedures, substantial changes, and rescission of
       conditional use districts. This replaces the more formal Conditional Use Zoning
       District rezoning process that requires a quasi-judicial procedure be followed.
       Revises Section Z-8.6
15.16 Vested Rights
       Defines vested rights regulations including City Council action, effect of approval
       of vesting, establishment of common law vesting plans, and revocation/expiration
       of a vested right. Revises Section Z-11

16.0   VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES Revises Section Z-26
Chapter 16 outlines procedures used to deal with violations of the requirements in this

       16.1   Complaints Regarding Violations
              Establishes that written complaints may be filed whenever a violation of this Code
              occurs or is alleged to have occurred.

       16.2   Penalties for Violation and Enforcement Mechanisms
              Defines the following remedies and enforcement power which may be used to
              enforce the City’s Code, including: criminal penalties, equitable remedies,
              injunctions, orders of abatement, and civil penalties. Executions of court decisions,
              stop work order/revocation of permits, and provisions for replacement of
              disturbed/damaged vegetation are also defined in this section. Revises Section Z-

The definitions are used to help the user understand what is meant by certain terms and legal
phrases within the Unified Development Ordinance. This chapter consolidates all definitions into
a single chapter – a vast improvement over our existing regulations where it is scattered
throughout the regulations. Chapter 17 is divided into two alphabetical parts. Every use outlined
in the ordinance is defined in the first part of the chapter. Other common terms are also
defined in a separate second part     for ease of use. This chapter is very important to those
using the UDO on a daily basis as it gives direction when interpreting the Code. Readers of
the Code may find it helpful to have this chapter accessible when reading other chapters
especially the Land Use Chart in Chapter 2 and the additional requirements for special land
uses found in Chapter 3.

       17.1   Intent
       17.2   Rules of Construction
              Defines how certain words, concepts, or ideas should be interpreted. Revises
              Section Z-3.1
       17.3   Definitions, Use Type
              Consolidates, updates, and adds to definitions in the UDO. All Definitions are
              included in one location in the document and are free of any specific

             development requirements within the definition itself. . This section focuses on
             uses included in the Use Chart found in Chapter 2.
      17.4   Definitions, Generally
             This section includes terms that are used in the UDO to help in the interpretation
             of their meaning.

      17.3 and 17.4 Revise Sections Z-3.1, Z-4.2-4, Z-8.42.III, Z-9.4, Z-11.B, Z-12.B.6, S-1.9,
MSSD: Earthwork-1.3, Trenching, Backfilling and Compaction of Utilities-1.4, Curb and Gutter,
Driveways, and Sidewalks-1.3, Water Distribution-1.3, Sanitary Sewer-1.3, Storm Drainage-1.4,
Segmental Concrete Retaining Wall System-2.1, Base Course and Paving-1.3, Seeding,
Sodding, and Groundcover-1.3, Segmental Retaining Wall Design-2.2, & USMO-601 et al


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