Pattern Books for Rezoning

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GRAPHICS Pattern Books for Rezoning

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    Sara Shirley

    I’m looking for examples of rezoning pattern books….anyone know where I can find them?

    Thank you!

    Leslie B Wagle

    I’ve worked as both an L.A. and a planner and have never run into that term. Do you mean site plan sketches that illustrate how particular parts of a zoning ordinance work? They would appear in the Development Ordinance, furnished by the Planning Department of the jurisdiction where your project documents will be submitted, and some are on line. But evolution of zoning patterns takes on a local character and I don’t know of it being addressed in some universal book, and you wouldn’t be concerned about that as a designer. Future visions of a city are sometimes issued as long-range or specific “area” land use plans, which would give you an idea whether a specific re-zoning proposal is likely to get staff endorsement. Keep in mind, you could just call up the staff and schedule a meeting with them on either level, general re-zoning guidance as well as specifics if the written ordinance gives you trouble.

    Where I worked, general and even conditional use re-zoning cases didn’t require any graphic illustrations but mixed or planned unit developments (special cases) did require graphics, that developers would hire a designer to work up so everybody could better visualize what was being proposed. Those also helped the appointed or elected officials to better grasp the proposal and actually became part of the materials kept on file, that later permit documents had to be measured again. Hope that’s not too far off the mark from what you are asking about. Such things may be available in some searchable planning archives of a well-developed planning website, but again the staff might be willing to print something for you to see and use as a guide if you set up a meeting, since it is public information.

    Sara Shirley

    Thanks, Leslie – but that’s not what I was looking for. I contacted an architect/planner friend of mine, and wanted to reply in case in the future there are any other confused L.A.s out there looking for answers to this question. 

    The firm that coined the term “pattern books”:

    Urban Design Associates

    a specific example that I found most helpful from Lessard Design:

    (the link to Westphalia’s pattern book can be found on that webpage)

    Dave McCorquodale

    With only a cursory look, “pattern books” appear to refer to a proprietary process from a specific firm that results in what looks a lot like a master planned community to me.  The specific methods and process they use is exclusive to their firm and results in what they call a “pattern book”.  Other firms, including the Lessard Design firm listed above, would probably run afoul of UDA if they tried to use the term.  I’m basing that on the little copyright symbol after “UDA pattern book” on UDA’s website.  In short, it looks like a new name for an existing process.  Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not a ubiquitous term that means much to people outside UDA.  

    Leslie B Wagle

    I wondered if maybe they put assorted similar projects together to form a resource book for towns needing some templates to guide writing or revising ordinances or to set out standards for future developments… but I guess I could be way off….There are too many existing fellow governments to get guidance from.  So I suspect it’s more likely a type of package service or a collection of work in a portfolio bundle.

    Tosh K

    Are you looking for those graphic zoning books that were quite popular in the 90s and 00s down in FL? The kind produced for Celebration, Seaside, WaterColor, etc or parts of Charleston?  I know it’s been central to the push for NU developments but often has come under criticism for being a mechanism to enforce ‘taste police’ and a homogeneous appearance to a community (and can be used to influence flow of work from planning to architecture).

    The term comes from clothing pattern books – registering it is strange.

    They usually are graphic heavy to help lay people understand the zoning restrictions (building envelope, setbacks, fence heights, planting restrictions, building forms) and often include a style section going as far as paint/material/plant palettes.  They’re most often found in more ‘exclusive’ neighborhoods.

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