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Flexible development standards clarified by city planning

SHERIDAN — City of Sheridan staff and the Sheridan Planning Commission have completed revisions to the city’s ordinance governing planned unit developments, which have caused significant confusion in past development in the city.

Planned unit developments utilize flexible and diversified land development standards to create unique developments that may not “fit” within one zoning standard. For example, a PUD may allow higher density housing, but the tradeoff may be more green space and areas that promote community living, according to Orion Planning Group consultant Joanne Garnett.

Current planned unit developments in Sheridan include Holly Ponds near the hospital, Bridge Creek near Kendrick Park, Whitney Plaza off of Broadway and Blue Sky Court on Sheridan Avenue near Sheltered Acres Park.

One of the biggest points of confusion in the old PUD ordinance was the idea of a PUD overlay versus a rezone of land proposed for development. The overlay allowed the underlying zoning to remain while tweaking it to allow for flexible uses. Confusion, particularly in a proposed PUD development at the corner of Brundage Lane and Big Horn Avenue last year, resulted when it was unclear which standards could and would actually be enforced.

With the revised PUD ordinance, a PUD will result in a rezone of the land. The idea of an “overlay” has been removed to clarify the ordinance, City Planning and Development Director Robert Briggs told the Planning Commission at a work session Monday.

To further clarify the ordinance, the idea of a conceptual plan for the PUD has been changed to a PUD master plan to indicate that the plan has been thoroughly vetted and approved by city staff, planning commission members and city councilors. Any changes to the PUD master plan will require an amendment to the plan.

Other revisions include language clarification and simplification where possible.

The revised PUD ordinance, Ordinance 2147, will go before City Council for adoption in coming weeks. It will require three readings to pass.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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