WADSWORTH: Planned unit development regulations are under scrutiny by the city's Planning Commission.
Planned unit developments (PUD) are residential developments that have lot size and yard requirements. Those requirements help to conserve open space and to preserve natural landforms and environmentally sensitive areas. The reserved open spaces are to be set aside and accessible for use by the residents in that development.
Planning Director Jeff Kaiser presented the commission Tuesday with a number of revisions to the regulations under which the city has operated for years.
The main changes to the present regulations revolve around amenities, tighter open space requirements and commercial areas as parts of a PUD development.
Under the proposed regulations, developers of PUDs with fewer than 500 dwelling units will have the option of providing the residents with amenities including swimming pools, tennis courts and playground equipment. The present regulations require certain amenities no matter the size of the development.
Developers of PUDs with more than 500 units under the proposed changes will be required to provide indoor recreational and meeting facilities as part of the project.
Kaiser noted the developments in the city now have far fewer than 250 dwelling units.
The proposals are more specific on the open spaces provided for residents. With the lack of specifics in the present regulations, open spaces have been provided but many times not in a size or location worthwhile to the residents. The proposal is that when a PUD application is submitted, the plan must show the boundaries of the common space, access points to the common space and a visual and written description of the how the open space will be developed.
Plans for the open spaces are to show the areas of natural resources including wetlands, streams, ponds, ravines, steep slopes, outcroppings and trees which will be protected and left in a natural state.
Those plans also are to indicate the areas that will be cleared for passive and active recreational areas and ones to be returned to a natural setting.
Kaiser asked the commissioners to decide if commercial areas as part of a PUD should be required only for those developments of more than 500 units.
Commissioner Walt Gairing questioned if the city wants the recreational activities for a PUD to compete with the city's new recreational center, which opened last year.
Based upon the questions and concerns of the commissioners, the proposal will be tweaked by Kaiser and brought back to a future meeting of the commission.
After the commission has decided on the changes, a public meeting will be held to hear the ideas and concerns on the issue before a decision is made.