Pedestrian Neighborhood Zoning

A Template to Get Started

The purpose of this proposed regulation is to promote higher density, energy-conscious, people-centered developments within the existing framework of predominantly automobile-centered zoning. This “pedestrian neighborhood zone” (PNZ) is designed as a “floating zone” to be overlaid onto parcels within existing zones in urban, sub-urban and rural contexts, and potentially serve as a guideline for developing PUD’s and other types of “planned development areas”. It has been written to be applicable to subdivisions as small as 4 houses, but also as large as a village. The PNZ is meant to be a “surgical insertion” where higher or focused density is deemed appropriate by a municipality, or as a model for new development. Presented here will be core principles, key definitions and standards for a PNZ. Also included will be a description of variations based on the context in which the subdivision is sited.

A pedestrian zone is built around the spatial scale of the human, not around the spatial needs of the automobile. As such, all pedestrian zones will have a similar scale internally, regardless of context. The context (urban, sub-urban or rural) will determine primarily how the subdivision relates to the outside world, and will have only minimal effect on the rules governing its internal organization. Variations between contexts will include parking requirements, setbacks to neighboring properties, buffer requirements, and the like.

Download Draft Pedestrian Neighborhood Zoning Regulation