Planned Unit Developments (PUDS)
What is a PUD?
A Planned Unit Development or PUD is a type of zoning which is accompanied by a master plan or schematic plan, which is what differentiates a PUD from a traditional zone. A standard zoning district could be built with several different uses or site layouts depending on the requirements of the specific zone. PUDs allow for increased flexibility in design standards, typically pertaining to building heights, setbacks, density, parking, and land uses. In exchange for design flexibility, requirements that align with the City’s and County’s needs as a whole are addressed, such as;
- A variety of housing options for residents;
- A mixture of uses;
- Increased open space;
- Preservation of natural areas;
- Landscape screening;
- Various amenities;
- Transportation improvements.
The purpose of the Planned Unit Development District is to provide the framework for creating more desirable living environments. This is accomplished by applying, through a professionally prepared comprehensive development plan, flexible and diverse standards to land development. The intent of the planned unit development district is to encourage new and improved techniques which will result in superior living arrangements with lasting value. It is further intended that such a concept will promote economic development and maintenance of land and street and utility networks, while utilizing building groupings that provide for privacy, usable and attractive open spaces, safe circulation of vehicles and pedestrians, and the general well-being of inhabitants.
Types of PUDS
There are many different types of PUDs that vary from City to City. In Clarksville and Montgomery County there are two types of PUDs, a regular Planned Unit Development or PUD (mostly residential but allows for some accessory commercial uses), and a Mixed Use Planned Unit Development or MXU-PUD. A PUD is allowed in the City only, whereas an MXU-PUD is allowed in the City limits and within the County’s Urban Growth boundary. A map of the Growth Plan boundaries can be viewed here: Growth Plan Map
PUD (City Only)
The Planned Unit Development is primarily residential with some opportunity for other compatible commercial uses. The purpose of the PUD is to encourage a variety of housing types and to use land efficiently through a professionally prepared master planned community.
MXU-PUD (City and County)
The purpose of the Mixed-Use PUD is to create pedestrian oriented neighborhoods that encourage a variety of housing choices, with retail, office, restaurants, and public facilities or institutions, that are less automobile dependent. The MXU-PUD is intended to promote flexibility in design standards and diversification of complimentary land uses. This is accomplished by applying a professionally prepared development plan, and to promote the efficient use of land, facilitating a more economic arrangement of buildings, circulation systems, land uses, and utilities. The MXU-PUD is allowed currently in the City and County but is limited to the Urban Growth Areas.
PUD and MXU-PUD Design
The Design Standards provide the parameters for PUD and MXU-PUD design and are a part of the ordinance. The design standards address design elements such as the height and massing of buildings, landscaping, open space, parking, and circulation. A summary of the design standards in a checklist format has been provided below. This will be used by the RPC for reviews through-out the PUD process and is encouraged to be used by design teams to ensure alignment with the ordinance.
Design Best Practices
The examples provided in these best practices guide are a visual catalogue of design that is encouraged for PUDs and MXU-PUDs.
Step 1: Pre-application Meeting
The purpose of the mandatory pre-application meeting is to coordinate the elements of the PUD with City or County Departments and to prepare a Preliminary PUD Plan for Planning Commission. Departments must attend the pre-application meeting or submit comments in writing. Feedback from each of the following Departments is required prior to submitting a preliminary application.
- Street or County Highway Department
- Building and Codes
- Gas and Water
- Fire/Emergency Management
- CDE or CEMC
- Police Department
Pre-application meetings should be scheduled at a minimum four weeks in advance of the desired re-zoning submittal deadline due to varying departmental workloads. This is to allow the design team sufficient time to incorporate departmental feedback into the Preliminary Plan. While only one pre-application meeting is required, the design team may request informal reviews and meetings with the RPC at anytime during the process. On larger projects, more coordination is encouraged between the design team and City or County Staff. Concepts to be discussed at the pre-application meeting must be submitted three days prior. A pre-application checklist is provided below.
Step 2: Preliminary Plan
The main purpose of the preliminary PUD or MXU-PUD is to
- assess whether the location for the proposed development is appropriate;
- confirm that the proposed PUD or MXU-PUD meets the intent of the ordinance and RPC Plans
- to define the zoning parameters for the project (densities, buildings heights, setbacks, etc.), and general layout;
- to assess any needed transportation improvements.
The Preliminary PUD or MXU-PUD Plan shall be submitted with a re-zoning application on or before the re-zoning deadline. All departmental comments from the pre-application meeting shall be addressed in the Preliminary Plan at the time of submittal. A Transportation Impact Assessment or Study, when required, shall also be submitted with the application on the re-zoning application deadline.
Incomplete applications will not be accepted. The checklist provided below should be used to inform the items needed for the Preliminary Plan Submittal.
Step 3: Final Plan
The Final PUD/MXU-PUD plan shall largely conform with the approved Preliminary Plan. Minor adjustments to interior streets, building layouts, and uses not exceeding the prescribed density of the preliminary PUD may be reviewed at staff level so long as the intent of the PUD continues to be met. Significant changes to any publicly dedicated street, changes in the exterior or interior district boundaries, changes in gross densities of greater than 10%, or major alterations of the layout will be viewed as a major modification to the PUD and will need to go through the preliminary application process in order to make an amendment to the PUD.
In addition to the Preliminary Plan, A Final Plan shall include, the Utility Plan, Landscape Plan, and Transportation Plan showing any Right of Way or infrastructure improvements specifications and surveyed drawings. A Preliminary Plat for all or a portion of the PUD MXU-PUD shall also accompany the Final Plan in instances where land is to be subdivided or Rights of Way dedicated. For a detailed checklist of Final Plan submittal requirements please click the link below. Upon RPC approval of a Final PUD Plan, all approved plats and plans must be recorded by the register of deeds and filed with the RPC before building permits may be sought.