§ 154-14.08  Smart Growth Overlay District (SGO).
   (A)   Purpose.
      (1)   The Smart Growth Overlay (SGO) District is designed to promote compact, pedestrian-friendly development, encourage a compatible mix of uses, encourage more condensed residential subdivisions, provide a choice of housing types and transportation modes, preserve open space and provide a consistent development review process.
      (2)   The SGO District establishes and defines the development pattern, the allowed uses of land and implements standards for the siting and character of improvements and structures through the use and adoption of pattern books or form-based codes as regulatory documents. This approach is intended to allow a broad range of uses and options in order to encourage the development of diverse, attractive neighborhoods.
      (3)   The development plan review process will assure that adjacent uses are compatible and that design is of a high quality. The Zoning Administrator, or his or her designee, shall review all SGO District project plans to ensure proposed development patterns and standards, as depicted in the pattern book or form-based code, comply with the purpose and intent of the district.
      (4)   The purpose will be accomplished by the adoption of site-specific pattern books or form-based codes which evaluate urban design projects from the regional to the architectural scale. pattern books or form-based codes include a plan displaying the pattern of development for allowed uses, lot types and development standards and available architectural styles and design standards. Pattern books or form-based codes will support the SGO District by the following actions:
         (a)   Promoting mixed land uses and mixed-use commercial/residential buildings;
         (b)   Taking advantage of compact design;
         (c)   Fostering distinctive and attractive communities by including parks, pedestrian oriented streets, public art and community facilities;
         (d)   Supporting a variety of transportation choices to enhance the interconnectivity between mixed-use commercial and residential neighborhoods via streets with detached sidewalks, bike paths and walking paths;
         (e)   Increasing the availability of housing by creating a range of housing opportunities in neighborhoods;
         (f)   Establishing flexible development standards;
         (g)   Ensuring high quality architecture and urban design that reflects classic elements, including vernacular, or local, styles; and
         (h)   Clearly defining and activating the public realm by locating buildings to form street edges and corners and locating buildings to activate the street level.
      (5)   To accomplish the purpose, it will be necessary to form a special taxing district such as a community facilities district for maintenance of landscaping and non-necessary public infrastructure, for example, pedestrian oriented streets, public art, water features, bike and walking paths. The developer will enter into a development agreement requiring the developer to post assurances until such time that the taxing district generates sufficient revenues to become self-supporting.
   (B)   Intent.
      (1)   The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) was formed in 1993 to advance the principles of New Urbanism and promote their broad application. The CNU later ratified the Charter of the New Urbanism at its fourth annual Congress. Its goals promote walkable, neighborhood-based development as an alternative to sprawl. In the process of urban design, this is accomplished by identifying and focusing on development patterns within the scale of neighborhoods, districts and corridors with the idea of regulating within clear, identifiable spatial boundaries.
      (2)   The CNU Charter outlines principles for building better communities, from the scale of the region down to the block. The principles are intended to guide public policy, development practice, urban planning and design. It is the intent of the SGO District that development shall recognize and be in harmony with the principles of New Urbanism as summarized below.
         (a)   Civic sites.  Clearly identified and at a prominent location, civic sites should attract residents to that location where they can meet neighbors or have scheduled community events. They also lead to a “sense of place”, which increases pride in one’s community.
         (b)   Walkability.  A modified grid design, with sidewalks, mixed with linear parks and parkways, encourages residents to move around without the use of automobiles. This is particularly important for children and the elderly, as well as reducing fuel consumption on unnecessary vehicle trips.
         (c)   Connectivity.  Plentiful connections between different communities within a development reduces traffic on “connector” routes, by allowing for traffic to flow on a greater number of local streets.
         (d)   Mix of land uses.  Uses in addition to residential within a properly designed development can provide a sense of place. Access to mixed-use centers should be encouraged by both vehicles and non-vehicular means through multiple connections, sidewalks and the like. Mixed-use centers may provide housing and non-housing within the same district, or may provide only nonresidential uses, if well connected to adjacent residential uses. Retail within mixed use must have good visibility from high volume thoroughfares as well as plentiful parking in order to be financially successful. Good design can accommodate both these needs into a mixed-use design.
         (e)   Diverse housing types.  Single-family, townhouses, multi-family apartments and condos can be integrated into one development, as long as the scale and design of adjacent uses is compatible with each other. A mix of housing types ensures that people of various socio-economic classes may live in proximity to one another and share a common pride in the community.
         (f)   High quality architecture and urban design.  Architecture should reflect classic elements, including vernacular or local, styles. However, overly prescriptive architectural standards may raise the cost of housing construction and should be flexible when considering workforce housing.
         (g)   Increased density.  More units on smaller lots allows for preservation of open space, reduces infrastructure and maintenance costs and allows for a more diverse mix of housing stock, which opens communities up to many socio-economic groups.
         (h)   Environmental sensitivity.  Open space areas should also be counted toward, not in addition to, other open space requirements, such as setbacks and park dedication. This mainly applies to suburban locations that have existing natural features on site, but there are opportunities even in more urban settings.
         (i)   Public transportation.  The structure of these communities (good connectivity, walkability and higher density) should make existing and potential public transportation service more accessible and feasible than conventional subdivisions.
   (C)   Applicability.
      (1)   Other overlay districts applicable within project boundaries shall not be subordinate to the SGO District. The SGO District may be applied to all underlying commercial and residential districts in conformance with the City General Plan. The overlay shall be established to promote the purpose and intent of this section by allowing flexibility in development patterns and uses not otherwise permitted in the underlying district and to implement stand-alone development standards through the use of site-specific pattern books or form-based codes.
      (2)   Where the overlay district exists and there is a conflict between the requirements and/or uses specified between the overlay with its supporting documents and the underlying district, the standards of the overlay district shall prevail.
      (3)   A zoning map change establishing any SGO District shall be subject to the same procedures and requirements as any other zoning map change.
   (D)   Permitted principal uses and conditional uses.
      (1)   Proposed uses listed in the adopted supporting documents for the SGO District will be supplemental to those listed in the underlying zoning districts. An example of the supplemental uses would be mixed-use buildings, live/work units and carriage houses. A list of those uses as they apply to the specific underlying zoning district shall be included within the pattern book or form-based code.
      (2)   Proposed uses will be evaluated to ensure they meet the purpose and intent of this section. All uses will be subject to in-house review and approval to ensure development is compatible with adjacent uses, and that identified impacts are mitigated if needed. Final determinations on project status and requirements will be made by the Director of Community Development.
   (E)   Rezoning submittal requirements.
      (1)   All SGO Districts shall have site-specific names. The naming convention shall be as follows:  Smart Growth Overlay (SGO) District - Project Name.
      (2)   The submittal of a rezoning application shall include a site-specific pattern book or form-based code as the regulatory document(s) for the project.
      (3)   Pattern books shall contain at a minimum the following sections: Introduction, Community Patterns and Architectural Patterns. Optional sections may be required including, but not limited to, Landscaping and Infrastructure.
      (4)   Form-based codes shall contain at a minimum the following sections:  Regulating Plan, Public Space Standards, Building Form Standards, Administration and Glossary. Optional sections may be required including, but not limited to, standards regulating Blocks, Building Types, Architecture and Landscaping.
      (5)   Pattern books or form-based codes shall generally include the following information:
         (a)   A master plan and/or regulating plan displaying the pattern of development for allowed uses;
         (b)   List(s) of uses that are supplemental to the permitted uses and conditional uses of the underlying zoning district;
         (c)   Lot types, building types, placement of structures on lots and development standards (i.e., setbacks, lot coverage, building height, landscaping and the like);
         (d)   Building forms and available architectural styles and design standards;
         (e)   Pertinent quantitative data such as the total number of each type of commercial building and dwelling units; parcel sizes; residential densities; total amount of open space in various categories; and parking requirements;
         (f)   Supporting illustrations and standards for streetscapes (local and arterial road connections), lot layouts, building frontages and elevations;
         (g)   Interrelationship of pedestrian and vehicular circulation system and how pedestrian walkways/pathways and bicycle facilities interconnect to adjoining neighborhoods;
         (h)   Supporting illustrations and standards for civic spaces and open space such as parks, squares, linear pathways/parks and plazas; and
         (i)   Any additional information or optional elements to be included with the pattern book or form-based code which may be necessary to properly evaluate the character and impact of the proposed development as determined by the Director of Community Development.
      (6)   The proposed rezoning action with the adoption of the pattern book or form-based code shall be heard by the Planning Commission and shall be forwarded to the City Council with the recommendation of the Planning Commission. Upon approval of the rezoning action and adoption of the pattern book or form-based code by the City Council, the SGO zoning shall be designated on the official zoning map.
   (F)   Minimum requirements; district size.  Forty acres.
   (G)   Development, design and landscaping standards.  Development, design and landscaping standards shall be site-specific, dependent upon the type of proposed project. The standards will be included in the pattern book or form-based code and shall be compliant with the purpose and intent of this overlay district.
   (H)   Density.  Development shall comply with the overall density standards of the underlying General Plan land use designation(s) and zoning district(s).
   (I)   Sign standards.  Sign standards shall be site-specific, dependent upon the type of proposed project. A sign package for the entire development shall be submitted for review and approval.
   (J)   Variations, minor deviations and major deviations.
      (1)   Variations submittal requirements.  Variations in the aforementioned submittal requirements may be permitted which are consistent with the purpose and intent of this section as approved by the Director of Community Development.
      (2)   Minor deviations to the SGO pattern book or form-based code.
         (a)   Proposed deviations to the SGO regulatory documents (pattern book or FBC) that substantially conform to the adopted standards, regulations and guidelines, and are not in conflict with any provisions of the City of Yuma  Municipal Code that may apply to the SGO, may be permitted as “minor deviations”. Minor deviations may include, but are not limited to:
            1.   Allowance of a use not listed in the permitted uses of the SGO regulatory documents, if the use is consistent with or similar to the intent of the General Plan, underlying zoning district and SGO designation for the area in which the use is requested;
            2.   Changes to numbers or letters establishing or referencing text sections or figures, including references to City Code sections;
            3.   Modifications to park and public space designs described in the regulatory documents;
            4.   Modifications to informational material contained in the pattern book or the FBC that does not have regulatory effect; and
            5.   Any other modifications determined by the Director of Community Development to be in accordance with the required findings for a minor deviation.
         (b)   1.   A request for a minor deviation shall be submitted in writing and shall include the specific text, exhibits or other changes proposed for the minor deviation and other material or information requested by the Department of Community Development in order to review the proposal and document all of the findings identified above.
            2.   All approved minor deviations shall be documented in writing and maintained by the city with the SGO case file. A minor deviation is not intended to replace the variance process or approve variances described in the City Municipal Code.
            3.   The Director of Community Development, acting upon any application for a minor deviation that is determined to be complete, shall:
               a.   Approve the request;
               b.   Approve the request with conditions or modifications;
               c.   Deny the request; or
               d.   Refer the request to the Planning Commission or Hearing Officer for consideration.
            4.   In order to approve a minor deviation, the Director must make all of the following findings for the minor deviation:
               a.   The minor deviation substantially conforms to the adopted standards, regulations and guidelines of the SGO;
               b.   The minor deviation is not in conflict with any provisions of the City of Yuma Municipal Code that apply to the SGO;
               c.   The minor deviation will not adversely affect public health, safety or welfare;
               d.   The minor deviation will not adversely affect adjacent property; and
               e.   The minor deviation will not have adverse environmental effects that have not been previously analyzed.
      (3)   Major deviations.  Any proposed deviation to the form-based code or to the pattern book that is not a minor deviation shall be a major deviation. Major deviations to SGO regulatory documents shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for review and approval.
(Ord. O2009-19, passed 3-4-2009; Ord. O2010-32, passed 7-7-2010)