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Planned Unit Development – Looking back

Planned Unit Development – Looking back

By: Joni Marsh, AICP

Prospect was approved over 15 years ago and is Longmont’s first and only award winning New Urbanist development. The development consists 656 units ranging from studio lofts and apartments to single family homes on an 80- acre site. PUD’s have been utilized for a variety of residential and commercial projects in Longmont for the past 15 years but Prospect stands out for meeting the goals set for the use of a PUD process to support a mix of uses while providing an distinct, creative and enhanced urban design aesthetic.

Today, Prospect continues to build out its commercial core area along with ongoing residential construction. The project utilizes the original Urban Regulations defined within the PUD, which are distinctly designed and unique to this project. The Urban Regulations include six lot type categories; a DR (detached residential) type and an AW (Attached Workplace) lot type are just two examples. These lot type categories are assigned to each and every lot in the development and the corresponding regulations detail everything from allowable building coverage, setbacks, use restrictions, and height limitations. The specificity of the regulations by lot type classification has helped ensure consistent application of the PUD by both the City and Prospect review board. The flexibility built into the urban regulations has also allowed staff an opportunity to step beyond the traditional zoning mindset and look at community building in a new light, up close and hands on. 
 
Limited changes have been made to the Urban Regulations over the course of four separate filings. The development has remained true to its original vision, in no small part due to the diligence of the developer of Prospect. The idea of a completely separate set of zoning rules and design standards may sound like a significant amount of administrative work, but in practice it has proven to be similar to other PUD’s. A detailed PUD process can work well and deliver as expected which suggests that a successful PUD may in fact require pushing beyond traditional municipal zoning barriers in order to achieve a truly unique and one of a kind project. It is easy to imagine how complex this may have seemed at the onset, but today, we would welcome another opportunity like this in our community knowing that this experience has been successful. 


 
 

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