Brownsburg UDO Review Process
The Town of Brownsburg is working on updates to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The UDO specifies how projects get built. It contains regulations on structure height and size, landscaping type and quantity, and parking space numbers and size, among other items. Town staff is in the process of revising these regulations to bring them up to date, to remove errors and inconsistencies and to make the document more user friendly.
The Town contracted with HWC Engineering and Civic Blueprint to help prepare and complete the UDO review process. The consultant has been working directly with staff and the working group to determine key issues and regulation details and will conduct stakeholder interviews, open houses for public participation, general public surveys, and work sessions with the Town Council and commissioners.
A working group was established in 2022 to provide an internal review of the UDO from a professional perspective.
- Kick-off Meeting - December 2022
- Steering Committee Meeting 1 - February
- Initial Draft of UDO distributed to Steering Committee and Working Group - March
- Steering Committee Meeting 2 - mid-March
- UDO & Zoning Map draft distributed to Steering Committee and Working Group - April
- Steering Committee Meeting 3 - late April
- Advisory Plan Commission Work Session - July
- Advisory Plan Commission Work Session - September
- Public Open House - Monday, November 6 (6-8 PM), Eaton Hall
- Advisory Plan Commission Public Hearing - January 22
- Town Council First Reading - Late February/Early March
Brownsburg UDO Professional Advisory Working Group
Working Group members include:
Town Council Member
- Matt Simpson
- Matt Simpson
- Brett Scowden
- John Rabold
Multi-Family, Mixed Use Development
- Rick Bolt
- Jim Staton, AES
- Tony Bagato, Lennar
- Mark Susemichel, Browning
- Jeff Banning, Banning Engineering
Working Group and Steering Committee Meeting Highlights
Staff gave a brief review of UDO and asked some basic questions to the group including:
- What is the value of having zoning regulations?
- What do committee members see as the most crucial elements of the UDO that need addressing?
We will use the top issues as the jumping-off point for UDO modifications.
The members were then asked to set a regular day/time to meet. The majority of members present (and those polled afterward) chose Wednesdays at 3 p.m. as the most convenient time.
Staff gave a brief review of the previous meeting and discussed the top issues to ensure the majority of members agreed. The top issues from Meeting 1 were:
- Architectural standards
- Residential standards/districts
Members present added:
After discussion, committee members boiled the list down to the 2 most important:
- Zoning districts (residential, commercial, and industrial)
- Processes and procedures
Committee members spent the majority of the meeting time working on zoning district refinements. There is a desire to simplify and reduce the number of zoning districts (currently 24). We discussed building more flexibility into the districts to perhaps reduce the reliance on planned developments.
A proposal to regulate by density was proposed. Instead of having minimum lot sizes, allow differing densities. For example, ER and R1 could be 1-2 units per acre; R2, 3, and 4 could be up to 6 units per acre and the highest density district(s) could allow up to 12 units per acre (these numbers were taken from the comprehensive plan).
Committee members suggested other communities to take a look at:
Greenwood Carmel Zionsville
Shelby County Whitestown Avon
Plainfield Fishers McCordsville
The next item of business was stakeholder interviews. As mentioned at an earlier meeting, Staff intends to gather as much input into the document as feasible. To that end, we plan to conduct periodic surveys, 1 or 2 open houses for the general public, and stakeholder interviews. Members were asked for names of colleagues to interview and get thoughts on regulations, ease of use, and general feelings on processes.
There was a lot of general discussion during this meeting. Members discussed many peripheral topics such as "what would be the result or impact of doing 'X'". They reiterated the importance of focusing on regulating density to reduce reliance on PUDs and offer increased flexibility for residential and commercial developers.
Staff presented some examples of residential districts and density and provided a preferred format. Avon and Whitestown both use charts showing all the districts as a snapshot with the standards. This will be a more efficient and effective way to present information than having users page through the entire residential and commercial/industrial district to find information.
Members also discussed the need to carefully define density and spoke on some permitted uses. Much of the discussion at this point revolves around residential, but it is important to become comfortable with the format before moving on to details on commercial, industrial, or mixed-use districts.
Staff repeated their request for stakeholder names for the interview sessions. The proposed stakeholder groups are:
- Government (town staff, public safety, schools)
- Residential developers/builders
- Business/industrial developers/builders
- Technical users (engineers, architects, landscape architects)
- What are the most important issues regarding development in Brownsburg?
- What does the UDO do well?
- What specific improvements need to be made to the regulations?
- Are the processes easy to manage?
Finally, staff noted the potential to have occasional evening steering committee meetings to facilitate wider participation. Members present stated their desire to keep with the same schedule and wondered if there could be a call-in option for attendance. We will most likely have every third meeting be an evening one but keep the Wednesday day.
Group members stated they are interested in building flexibility into District standards to reduce reliance on Planned Developments, and to take a close look at existing sign regulations to see where those can be streamlined.