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A. Purpose:
The PD Planned Development Overlay District is intended:

  • to provide flexibility in the design of planned projects
  • to encourage innovation in project design that incorporates open space and other amenities
  • to ensure compatibility of developments with the surrounding urban environment

The PD Planned Unit Development District is intended to promote developments which will be advantageous to Douglas County and its urban form by permitting project design that will surpass the quality of development resulting from application of the regulations of conventional zoning districts. 

While the PD District may appear to deviate from a literal interpretation of the land development regulations, it is not intended to encourage deviations from the County's comprehensive plan or overall development objectives. The District shall not be used to secure approval for projects that do not conform to the County's comprehensive plan.

B. PD-1 and PD-2 Districts:
In order to permit maximum applicability of the PD District, PD-1 and PD-2 Districts are hereby created.

  1. The PD-1 (General PD) district is intended to accommodate large, comprehensively planned developments which are likely to develop over a relatively long period of time. The PD-1 creates special guidelines and regulations to ensure that development over time conforms to an established master plan. The PD-1 also may establish the preliminary plat for those projects which require platting. Completion of single or multiple PD-2 districts must be completed with each PD-1.
  2. The PD-2 (Specific PD) District is intended to accommodate projects for which the specific design of individual buildings and elements may be determined. Several PD-2 Districts may be incorporated into a single larger PD-1 District, provided that such projects are consistent with the overall design and development standards of the PD-1 District. The PD-2 may also establish the final plat for those projects which require platting. Completion of a PD-1 is not required to submit a PD-2.

C. Criteria for Use:
The PD Planned Development District is generally intended for use in the following urban contexts.

  1. Vacant Land. Areas of substantial open space where the structure of conventional zoning may artificially limit or constrain good urban design, may restrict the achievement of the County's development objectives, or may not be appropriate to changes in technology or demand consistent with the best interests of Douglas County.
  2. Neighborhood Contexts. Areas in which sensitive project design is critical to maintain and protect the value of surrounding residential neighborhoods and other sensitive or vulnerable urban settings.
  3. Large Projects. Projects which have substantial effects on their urban and rural surroundings because of their size and scale.
  4. Large areas that may be zoned prior to development by the Planning Commission and County Board consistent with the Comprehensive Development Plan, but that require individual project approval as development occurs.

D. Permitted Land Uses:
Planned Development may include residential, office, commercial, industrial, or public land uses, subject to finding of conformance with the comprehensive plan.

E. The PD-1 (General PD) District: Application Procedures

F. Planning Commission or County Board Initiated PD-1 Districts:
In some situations, the Planning Commission and/or County Board may initiate or approve a rezoning of an area to a PD-1 District without submission of a detailed development plan. This action establishes the land uses permitted in an area consistent with the Comprehensive Development Plan, but requires subsequent approval of specific projects through the normal PD-1 or PD-2 submission or approval procedures.

An application for creation of such a PD-1 District shall contain the following:

  1. A statement describing the special characteristics of the district and the reason for its creation.
  2. A map indicating the boundaries of the proposed district.
  3. A generalized area development plan for the proposed district, including:

    1. A land use component, identifying proposed uses and the extent and location of each use.
    2. A transportation element, identifying any relevant vehicular, pedestrian, or bicycle transportation improvements necessary to ultimate development of the area.
    3. A utility service statement, identifying any necessary utility or infrastructure improvements necessary to the ultimate development of the area.
    4. An urban design element, if applicable, describing design frameworks, building scale and relationships, siting, landscape design, and other guidelines relating to the specific physical or urban environment of the proposed district.
    5. Any amendment not conforming to these provisions shall be considered equivalent to a new application and shall be submitted to the Planning Commission and County Board according to the procedures for new applications established in this section.

G. The PD-2 (Specific PD) District: Application Procedures

H. In their respective reviews of the PD-2 application, the Planning Commission and County Board shall base decisions on findings of fact as set forth in the criteria presented in Table 8.2.

I. Upon approval by the County Board, the Development Plan and Agreement shall become a part of the Regulation creating or amending the PD-2 District. All approved plans shall be filed with the County Clerk.

J. Issuance of Building Permits:
The County shall not issue a building permit, certificate of occupancy, or other permit for a building, structure, or use within a PD-2 District unless it is in compliance with the approved Development Plan or any approved amendments.

K. Changes or Modifications to Development Plans in the PD-2 District.
The Zoning Coordinator is authorized at his/her discretion to approve amendments to an approved development plan, provided that:

  1. Changes in the alignment and location of structures do not exceed 20 feet in any direction.
  2. The floor area of any single building is not changed by more than 5%.
  3. All changes are within the allowable floor area ratios established by the project, are consistent with the adopted PD plan, and have been approved in writing by any applicable property owners association established within the boundaries of the project.
  4. Any amendment not conforming to these provisions shall be considered equivalent to a new application and shall be submitted to the Planning Commission and County Board according to the procedures for new applications established in this section.

L. Termination of PD-2 District:
If no substantial development has taken place in a Planned Development District for three years following approval of the District, the Planning Commission may reconsider the zoning of the property and may, on its own motion, initiate an application for rezoning the property.

Table 8.1 - PUD (Planned Unit Development) District Application Requirements
Table 8.2 - Review Criteria and Standards for Findings of Fact


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