Zoning Districts and Building transition comments

Hi -I just finished reviewing the video recording of the city commission's second UDC work session on building transitions and zoning consolidation and would like to add the following comments:

-There are some areas that are not conducive to the highest residential use allowable (under the Future Land Use Map -FLUM) such as land near restricted roads and wildlife corridors like along Bridger Canyon, for example.

- Because of the this, I believe there is a disconnect between the FLUM and what's actually happening on the ground. For example, in Urban Neighborhoods all residential zoning from RS to R5 is allowed and yet density such as in R4 and R5 in a wildlife corridor is not appropriate due to the greater potential of wildlife/human conflicts and the traffic constrictions for high density. Yet I have seen the FLUM act like default zoning simply because of what is listed as allowable. The city commission seems to have no pathway to temper the density in different FLUM zones. Is there some way your team can help keep the FLUM from being de-facto zoning by pointing out a code or methodology for the city commissioners to disallow some higher density in certain transitional or sensitive areas?

-I think zoning is good for predictability which in turn helps to calm the stress of living in a quickly changing city. City commissioners have been known to say that "change is hard". But I disagree and believe that change can be done in a positive way such as with good zoning and building transitions such as step backs and buffer zones.

- I think a variable of Option A for zoning is worth considering such as keeping RMH separate (per commissioner Coburns comments), and grouping RS-R3 together, and keeping R4 separate. However, I think that R5 belongs with the other mixed use categories such as B2M, REMU, R-O. These should be compared and possibly consolidated in some way.

- I really liked the idea of incentives for keeping current structures on lots and would add incentives for mature trees as well ( as per Bozeman's Urban Forest Plan).

- I liked Commissioner Madgic's concerns about maximum house sizes to avoid mansions and fees to address loss of density on infill projects.

- I really like the idea of good step backs and applaud the work that NENA has done. I believe that most of the problems with unhappy citizenry could have been solved with having bigger set back requirements. I agree that the Armory is great example of good step backs and quality change. Across the street from it, the AC Mariott Hotel is an example of undesirable street encroachment and lack of set backs- and has an oppressive feel to it. The Elm also has good step backs along N. 7th Ave.

-You had great slides of excellent set backs. Height transition next to residential neighborhoods should start at the third floor- similar to R3 height levels. It creates a better human scale transition and would go a long way towards supporting the balance between current residents and incoming growth (part of the Bozeman Community Plan).

- 30 foot + blank walls should not be allowed even on alleys. Unfriendly and unsafe feeling.

-I completely support the overhaul of our UDC codes to accommodate height step backs- greater than the 10 x 10 thats currently required.

-I agree with the person who commented about water resources. We need to involve water resources in the UDC codes especially for green field developments. We have no new natural water sources available, and yet the city is encouraging unlimited growth. What requirements can be added to the UDC for water catching systems, rain gardens, permeable surfaces, etc. so that we aren't just cutting the water pie pieces smaller and smaller indefinitely?

-Incentives for "starter homes" as suggested by KevinThane, public commenter, is a great idea. In particular I think eliminating minimum size houses would be good. I would be supportive of eliminating FAR and maximum lot coverages on infill developments as long as parking was strictly provided for on site. My husband and I benefited from buying a starter home here in Bozeman and I would hope others would be able to do the same. But many starter homes are just too big.

- Minimum house size requirements should be made obsolete.

- I also liked CODE's recommendation to foster growth nearer to the historic core instead of the way we are currently going in an effort to be more fiscally sustainable. I think the current approach of multiple island cores is contributing massively to more time in cars to reach the various destinations now spread all over the valley.

- I would like to see alley ways be added to the discussion. They provide excellent access for accessory dwellings and parking.

Thank you for adding my comments to the project. I hope they will be helpful.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link