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Project Purpose

The purpose of the project is to rewrite the Zoning Code for the City of Madison, including a new zoning map. With the adoption of the City’s Comprehensive Plan in 2006, the existence of numerous adopted neighborhood and special area plans, and steady growth, the City recognizes the need to update its Zoning Code. Madison’s current Zoning Code dates from 1966 and does not always reflect best zoning and planning practices. Further, it is not effective in implementing the land use and design recommendations in Madison’s adopted plans. This leads to excessive use of planned unit development zoning and excessive requirements for conditional uses. Large areas of Madison’s older neighborhoods are nonconforming. This has led to frequent variance requests and incremental amendments to the Zoning Code.

Project Objectives

1. Ensure that the new Zoning Code implements the recommendations of the City’s adopted Comprehensive Plan (January 2006) and its detailed neighborhood and special area plans.

2. The City desires a Zoning Code that is integrated with and cross-references other land use related ordinances including the Land Subdivision Regulations, Landmarks Ordinance, the Urban Design Ordinance and Street Graphics Ordinance.

3. The City desires a Zoning Code that includes graphics that illustrate regulations and make the Code easy to use.

4. The City desires a hybrid Zoning Code that incorporates land use-based (Euclidean) and form-based zoning provisions, where appropriate. The provisions shall address the design and land use recommendations of the City’s various codes, ordinances and plans. The Code shall include urban design standards (text and graphics) as deemed necessary by the City.

5. The City desires a Zoning Code that includes mixed-use zoning districts and attendant regulations for both built-up areas of the City as well as lands at the urban edge.

6. The City desires a Zoning Code that includes a traditional neighborhood development zoning district.

7. The City desires a Zoning Code that includes provisions that will help the City achieve high-quality infill and redevelopment projects that are consistent with the context of existing development in the area.

8. The City desires a Zoning Code that includes provisions that link land use and transportation, with an emphasis on promoting transit-oriented development and traditional neighborhood development.

9. The City desires a Zoning Code that promotes and supports transit use, biking, and pedestrians.

10. The City desires a Zoning Code that provides for and promotes a sustainable built and natural environment through the use of the City’s adopted sustainable development framework and strategic planning process (the Natural Step).