THE DETRIMENTAL IMPACTS OF PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT
REGULATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION
ON THE PRODUCTION OF HOUSING
Thomas A. Drake
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Planning and Community Development
College of Design and Planning
Drake, Thomas A., (M.A., Planning and Community Development)
The Detrimental Impacts of Planned Unit Development Regulations and
Administration on the Production of Housing
Thesis directed by Professor Herbert H. Smith
As we approach the Twenty-First Century, land use controls have
become more refined and sophisticated and are becoming aligned with desired
land use planning goals and objectives. The Planned Unit Development Zone
is an expression of this type of sophistication providing land use design
flexibility, encouraging a variety of housing types in a community, clustering
of units to provide more open space, and allowing for more efficient use
of land. In the 1980's, as the PUD Zone has evolved from standard land
use controls, the zone is primarily described as a successful one in
accommodating changing development and housing standards. However,
certain elements of PUD regulation and administration can have detrimental
impacts on the production and development of housing. First, various studies
suggest that through its administrative review process, PUD regulations
contribute to increases in housing costs. Second, the PUD Zone is complex
and often misinterpreted by local officials, city staff, citizens, and
developers. Third, the negotiation process is often a frustrating experience,
particularly if a city is unsure of what it wants to accomplish through the
Suggested recommendations are divided into two parts: First, short-
term policy recommendations are discussed including the creation of a small-
lot, conventional, single-family zone, the development of PUD design
guidelines, and streamlining the PUD process. Second, long-range policy
recommendations are discussed including an increasing State role in land
use development and reform, innovative variations on PUD regulations used
by some local governments, and, finally, a recommendation for a
Comprehensive PUD Overlay Zone in Colorado Springs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF EXHIBITS iii
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS v
I. INTRODUCTION 1
II. FORCES SHAPING THE FUTURE OF
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT 3
Increasing Costs Associated with Housing
Increasing Government Control of the Land
Increased De-tail, Sophistication of
Changing Housing Standards
Changing Development Standards
III. HISTORY, EVOLUTION OF PLANNED
UNIT DEVELOPMENTS 14
PUD Content and Definition
Comparison to PUD of the 80's
Advantages of the PUD
Other Cities and PUDs
IV. COLORADO SPRINGS HOUSING 26
Cost of Living
Cost of Housing
V. COMMUNITY GOALS AND PUD REGULATIONS 36
The PUD and Public Policy
Colorado Springs Comprehensive Plan
Goals and Policies
VI. THE COLORADO SPRINGS PUD PROCESS 41
Final Development Plan
VII. PUD REGULATIONS AND HOUSING PRODUCTION 46
Cost of Delay
VIII. CASE STUDIES 55
Relationship to PUD Zone
Fairfax at Briargate
IX. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 67
LIST OF EXHIBITS
Decade Census and Projected Age Structure
of the Population of the United States:
1980, 1990, 2000
Household Size Shifts: 1930 to 1980
(Persons per Household)
Household Projections: 1990
Government Regulations Affecting the Cost
PUD Features Derived from the Existing Land
Annual Net Corporate Profits Available to the
Developer using the same. Tract of Land as a
Standard Subdivision or as a Planned Unit
Estimated Population Growth, City of
Colorado Springs and El Paso County
Colorado Springs Median Household Income,
1980-1985, % change
Per Capita Personal Income, Colorado Springs
Cost of Living Index for Colorado Springs, 1984
Median Home Sales Price, Colorado Springs, 1984
Cost of Representative House in Colorado:
Median Family Income: 1950 to 1980
Median Sales Prices of New One-Family Houses Sold:
United States and Regions: 1963 to 1980
Unnecessary Costs of Regulations, Center for
Urban Policy Research, 1976
Government Regulations that Affect Housing Cost
17. Cost of Delay: Land Holdings 48
18. Development Requirements Under Planned Unit
Development Compared with Standard Zoning and
19. Cost Components of Similar Single-Family New Homes
in Village Seven, Colorado Springs, 1969 and 1975 53
20. Development and Performance Standards,
Sacramento County, California 80
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
1. Developed Land Year 2000, City of Colorado
Springs Planning Department 30
2. Printers Park Senior Citizen Housing,
Colorado Springs, Colorado 56
3. Printers Park 17.7 ac. PUD Sketch Plan,
Colorado Springs, Colorado 60
4. Fairfax III and IV at Briargate,
Colorado Springs, Colorado 63
5. Time-Line: City Review Process in Colorado Springs 74
In the 1980's, one of the most widely used types of land use
regulation related to the production of housing is the Planned Unit
Development. The Planned Unit Development Zone differs from standard land
use zones by providing for flexibility of design, encouraging a variety of
housing types in a community, clustering of units to provide more open space,
and more efficient use of streets and utilities. The PUD has primarily been
heralded as a successful land use regulation, particularly in response to ever-
changing economic conditions. However, certain elements of PUD regulation
and administration can have a detrimental impact on the production and
development of housing. The purpose of this treatise is two-fold. First, it
is designed to exercise several basic planning principles as they relate to
Planned unit Development and the production of housing. Secondly, the paper
is organized so that the negative impacts of Planned Unit Development
Regulations may be exposed, leading to some specific policy recommendations.
Chapter II is devoted to the forces shaping the future of housing
development, and begins to develop the relationship between these forces
and local PUD land use regulations. In Chapter III, an historical perspective
on the evolution of PUDs is provided, and is then compared to PUDs of today.
Chapter IV involved a brief discussion of the history of Colorado Springs
and then continues by providing an overview of housing and development
pressures in the region. Chapter V looks at community goals and PUD
regulations by analyzing the relationship between the goals and policies of
the Colorado Springs Comprehensive Plan and PUD regulations.
Chapter VI provides an overview of the Colorado Springs PUD process.
Chapter VII discusses the impacts of PUD regulations in relation to the
production of housing. Chapter VIII explores two case studies in Colorado
Springs, the Printers Park Senior Citizens Housing project, and Fairfax at
Briargate. The final chapter is devoted to a series of policy recommendations.
Discussion in this chapter is divided into short-term and long-term
recommendations regarding PUD regulations.
FORCES SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
The future of housing development in the United States is being
shaped by several imposing forces. These forces include national demographic
trends, increasing costs associated with the development of single-family
housing, and increasing government control of the land development process.
One of the most important determinants regarding the future of housing
development is the effect of demographic trends.
There are currently several demographic trends which will
dramatically impact the production of housing units. In the publication
Demographic Trends and Economic Realities, changes in age structure in
the United States are summarized and general demographic trends are
analyzed. Several important trends are exposed concerning the Nation's
age structure. According to the authors, major declines in the numbers of
Americans between the ages of 5 and 14 characterized the 1970's; and
these will shift to the 15 to 24 years of age sector in the 1980's. Between
1970 and 1980, elementary school enrollment in the United States declined
by over 6 million pupils. This trend is expected to extend to all educational
institutions in the 1980's.^
1. George Sternlieb, James W. Hughes and Connie O. Hughes, Demographic
Trends and Economic Realities: Planning and Markets in the '80s. (Center
for Urban Policy Research, New Jersey, 1982), p. 19,20.
The demographic study points out that the Nation's median age is
beginning to increase and that the dominant age-growth section in the future
will be the maturing baby-boom generation. Moreover, the study states
that the population group between the ages of 25 and 44 may significantly
expand during the 1980's and may represent important market targets.^
(See Exhibit 3.)
Decade Census and Projected Age Structure of the Population of the United States:
1980, 1990, 2000
(Numbers in Thousands)
1980 to 1990 1990** 1990 to 2000 2000**
\;e 1980* Series II Series II Series II Series II
Total 226.505 17.008 243.513 16,865 260.378
Under 5 16,344 3.093 19.437 -1.585 17.852
5-14 34.938 820 35.758 3,395 39.153
15-24 42,474 -7,744 34.730 1,895 36.625
25-34 37,076 4.010 41.086 -6.636 34.450
35-44 25.631 10.961 36.592 4.752 41.344
45-54 22.797 2.514 25.31 I 10.564 35.875
55-64 21.700 -924 20.776 2.481 23.257
65 and over 25.544 4.280 29.824 1.998 31.822
Median Age 30.0 32.8 35.5
Notes: *As of April 1, 1980 from 1980 Census counts.
**As of July I of respective years.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of the Census. Current Population Reports. Series P-20. No. 363. Population Profile of the United States: 1980,
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington. D.C.. 1981; and U.S. Bureau of the Census. Current Population Reports. Series
P-25. No. 704. Projections of the Population of the United States: 1977 to 2050. U.S. Government Printing Office. Washington,
Another important factor in regard to demographic trends is the
change in household composition. Since 1950, reductions have occurred with
2. ibid., p. 20.
the average household size declining from 3.37 persons to 2.75 persons.^
(See Exhibit 5.)
Household-Size Shifts: 1950 to 1980
(Persons Per Household)
Sources: U.S Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1980
(101st edition), Washington, D.C., 1980; and U.S. Bureau of the Census,
Current Population Reports, Series P-20, No. 363, Population Profile of the
United States: 1980, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.,
In addition to the previously-described demographic trends, another
change has occurred in household types. According to Sternlieb & Hughes,
two-parent families accounted for three-quarters of America's households
in 1960. By 1980, their share declined to below three-fifths. However,
female family heads have increased 5.3 percent since 1970. In addition to
this, non-family households have increased remarkably in the past 20 years,
accounting for 26.1% of all households in 1980. In 1980, 86% of non-family
households were composed of a single person, while households containing
two or more unrelated persons increased by 16.2 percent between 1970 and
3. ibid., p. 36.
1980. Finally, the study explains that childless, unmarried couples have
tripled in the past 10 years.^ (See Exhibit 7.)
Household Projections: 1990
(Numbers in Thousands)
Change: 1970-1980 Change: 1980-1990
1970 1980 Number Percent 1990 Number Percent
Total 63.401 79,108 15,707 24.8% 96,653 17,545 22.2%
Family Households 51.456 58,426 6.970 13.5 68,488 10.062 17.2
Married Couple Family 44.728 48,180 3.452 7.7 54,731 6.551 13.6
Male Householder2 1,228 1.706 478 38.9 2.185 479 28.1
Female Householder2 5,500 8.540 3.040 55.3 11.572 3,032 35.5
Non-family Households 11,945 20,682 8.737 73.1 28.166 7.484 36.2
Notes: 'Series B Projection; numbers may not add due to rounding.
2No spouse present.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Current Population Reports. Series P-25. No. 805. Projections of the
Number of Households and Families.- 1979 to 1995. U.S. Government Printing Office. Washington. D.C.. 1979.
To summarize, probably the most important factor in regard to the
relationship between demographic trends and the market for housing will
be the maturing of the baby boom generation. As this occurs, the demand
for housing in the short-term future will increase, and this demand will be
primarily for single-family suburban type units.
Increasing Costs Associated with Housing
In the 1980's, according to Sternlieb & Hughes, the house-buying
power of Americans is declining. In the 1970's, unparalleled growth in the
housing industry emerged with a net increase of 20 million housing units.
This is due primarily to the inflation-driven, house-buying phenomenon which
occurred in the late 1970's, leading to record rates of home ownership.
However, as the 1980's began, prices of single-family homes began to lag
4. ibid., p. 27.
as new financing structures emerged. According to Sternlieb & Hughes,
long-term, fixed rate mortgages at rates below inflation will be permanently
fixed in history in the 1980's.5
Increasing Government Control of The Land Development Process
According to Murray Weidenbaum, an important factor contributing
to the rapidly rising land and improvement costs, is the number of government
regulations facing land developers, home builders, and financial institutions.
Weidenbaum proposes the theory that when public policy focuses only on
the benefits of regulation, the inevitable result is that government over-
regulates until costs exceed the benefits.^
According to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) Task Force, government regulations contribute to increasing housing
costs through both substantive reguirements and processing delays.^ The
following exhibit shows the long list of government regulations which may
impact housing production. (See Exhibit 11).8
5. ibid., p. 100.
6. Robert G. Johnston and Seymour I. Schwartz, The Effect of Local
Development Regulations on the Cost of Producing Single-Family Housing
(University of California, Davis. April, 1984.) p. 6.
7. ibid., p. 6.
8. Steven R. Seidel, Housing Costs and Government Regulations: Confronting
the Regulatory Maze (Transaction Books, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1978)
Government Regulations affecting The Cost Of Housing
Housing Cost Component affected
Land Structural and
Unimproved Land Development Materials Construction Settlement
Level, Type of Regulation Lot Development Financing and Labor Financing Costs
Ciean Air Act X
Coastal Zone Management Act Consumer Product Safety Act X X X X X
Federal Noise Control Act Federal Water Pollution Control Act X X X X
FHA and VA Mortgage Programs X X X
National Flood Insurance Programs X X X X X
Occupational Health and Safety Act X X
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act State Government X X X
Building Codes Coastal Zone Management X X X X X
Critical Areas Restrictions X X X
Land Development Acts X X X
Sewer Moratoria Local Government X X X
Bonding Requirements Building Codes X X X
Energy Codes X X
Engineering Inspection X 'X X
Environmental Impact Review Mechanical Codes X X X X X
Plat Review X X
Sewer Connection Approval and Fee X X
Shade Tree Permits X X
Site Plan Review X X
Soil Disturbance Testing X X
Utility Connection Fees X X
Water Connection Approval and Fee X X
Zoning X X X
Increased Detail, Sophistication of Planning Process
The evolution of zoning has undergone substantial change. Zoning
is now more detailed, refined, and sophisticated and is oriented toward
planning objectives, rather than just a separation of uses. However, in
conjunction with this, zoning has also become increasingly restrictive. The
administration of zoning ordinances is increasingly becoming more
sophisticated and discretionary.
It is in the site plan review process in which flexibility, negotiation,
and discretionary application of standards come into play.
Local governments and public officials must not just respond to
the changing housing market, they must attempt to anticipate altering forces
and accommodate them. As demographic trends indicate, a maturing baby-
boom generation is currently and will in the near future be entering the
market in search of housing. The Planned Unit Development Zone is an
appropriate vehicle by which local governments can assist the private market
in the production of housing.
The private market has responded to higher costs associated with
housing and to the complexity of government regulations by creatively
adapting housing standards to respond to market forces.
Changing Housing Standards
Several new kinds of developments have evolved related to the
production of single-family housing.
1. Zero-Lot Line. Housing units are not setback from property
2. No-frills housing. These housing units have no amenities. This
form of housing has not proven popular. Instead, small houses
with increased amenities and at moderate prices have proven
to be more successful in the market.
3. Nationally, both detached and attached housing has begun to
shrink in size. This is in response to: a) the need to reduce
the price of housing; and, b) to shrinking household size.
4. Units are stacked vertically. As examples, piggyback
townhomes, and guadriplexes.
3. Increased Infill Development. Infill development is proving
very popular because existing city services may be utilized.
6. The production of manufactured housing is increasing. Very
popular among manufactured housing are modular homes, which
are 90% finished in the factory, and then moved to the site.^
A variety of factors influence comprehensive development in a
community and the production of housing units. Consumer preferences, size
and configuration of households, and economic factors certainly play a major
role in the production of housing. Zoning ordinances and land use controls,
originally designed to regulate development in dense, urban areas of the
1900's, have been increasingly criticized by planners and developers.10
Traditional land use controls have been only moderately successful in solving
problems associated with rapid growth and increasing housing costs.
Conseguently, local governments are beginning to alter unrealistic regulatory
systems to fit new perceptions of the market place and of the development
9. Rolf Goetz, Changing Housing Standards, (Public Technology, Inc.,
Washington, D.C., 1983) p. 26.
10. James H. Carr and Edward E. Duensing, Land Use Issues of the 1980's,
(Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University, New Jersey, 1983),
11. Urban Land Institute, Development Review and Outlook, 1984-1983,
(Urban Land, November, 1984), p. 26.
Changing Development Standards
As land use regulations have become increasingly complex,
development standards have also changed, creating different housing
products. Many changes in development have occurred nationally. Out of
171 communities surveyed by the American Planning Association, 127
communities had changed their density standards, and 62% of these
communities had relaxed their density standards. According to the APA,
the most common change which occurred, along with the increase in density
or reductions in lot sizes, was a reduction in side yard and setback
reguirements. Following these were reductions in frontage reguirements
and increases in allowable lot coverage. According to the survey, most
communities have PUD Ordinances, with over 50% offering cluster, zero-lot
line and mixed-use provisions.^2 Substantial savings are involved with
reductions in street pavement widths. The following graphics from Site
Development Standards illustrate how increased density, along with reductions
in lot sizes and roadway widths, can provide substantial savings to the
community, the developer, and the home buyer.-^
12. American Planning Association, Changing Development Standards for
Affordable Housing, Report Number 371, October, 1982, p. 8.
13. National Association of Home Builders, Cost Effective Site Planning,
Single Family Development, (NAHB, 1976), p. 24.
;* DU AC GROSS
DIJ. AC NET
W DWELT. ING UNITS
2 DU. AC GROSS
i U mG NET
i:? dv.Filling units
w ; .vn.ufjG uni rs
DENSITY The number of dwelling units per
acre is the primary development standard ttiat
effects the life style, the economics and the
environmental considerations of residential
development. It is important that the communities,
the builder/developers, and the buyers under-
stand the implications of the three examples
illustrated on this page. These plans indicate
how twelve dwelling units can be developed at
three different net densities, while maintaining
an overall gross density of two dwelling units
The charts point out the differences between
the three illustrations.
The obvious conclusions of these comparisons
1. As net density increases, lot sizes and roads
2. Greater opportunities exist to preserve
natural site features when the lot sizes are
decreased and houses are clustered.
3. Greater savings to the community, the
builder/developer, and the home buyer can
The keys to achieving cost savings and land
conservation in the illustration are:
1. Reduce lot size criteria for areas zoned at
low densities (1-4 du/ac.)
2. Provide the opportunity for attached single-
family development and/or zero lot line
development in lower density zone areas.
3. Utilize realistic" roadway and storm water
4. Maintain undeveloped area as natural open
The changes in development standards have, for the most part, been
initiated by local governments through Planned Unit Development Regulations.
To completely grasp the concept of Planned Unit Development, it is useful
to analyze the history of the PUD and its evolution in the land use system.
HISTORY, EVOLUTION OF PUDs
To understand the evolution of the planned unit development, it is
helpful to look back at the augmentation of zoning. Zoning is generally said
to have originated in 1916 when merchants in New York City helped establish
zoning restrictions as a method of separating manufacturing and retail
districts. A comprehensive zoning ordinance was soon after created in New
In the 1920's, state-enabling legislation was passed, giving the power
to create separate zoning districts. In 1926, in Euclid V. Ambler Realty,
the constitutionality of zoning was established as the court held that the
separation of incompatible uses was a legitimate means of promoting health,
safety, and the general welfare.^
Zoning originally consisted of land use regulation on a lot-by-lot
basis. Each zone contained a set of pre-determined regulations. Zoning
gave landowners the knowledge in advance of what they could or could not
do with their land, while also giving local governments measurable power
over land development. However, there were several problems associated
1. Seidel, "Housing Costs and Government Regulations: Confronting the
Regulatory Maze", p. 160.
2. ibid., p. 164.
with land use which zoning did not adequately address. These included the
problems of predicting when and where development should occur, the rigidness
of zoning districts, and the problem of use-to-use transition.^
Following World War II, the production of single-family homes increased
dramatically as developers attempted to respond to increased demand.
Subdivision controls, combined with zoning regulations, created boring and
monotonous subdivisions. Most of these subdivisions were in suburbs far
away from the central core of the city where land was relatively inexpensive.
This resulted in leap-frogging and the creation of subdivision sprawl.^
The cluster approach and density transfer were used in some
developments in the late 1950's. Radburn, a project in New Jersey, is
considered to be one of the first projects to cluster development with 780
units clustered on 149 acres, leaving 23 acres for open space and recreational
facilities. The project also included a Homeowners' Association. In 1931,
clustering of units was also used in Conantum, a project in Concord,
Massachusetts. The project included 102 one-acre lots clustered on a 195-
acre site, preserving approximately 60 acres of woodlands and meadows. ^
Evolution of PUD's
The PUD is an evolutionary extension of the existing land use
system, and attempts to determine the shape and timing of the city scape
by moving away from rigid subdivision control, and by focusing on the
3. Colleen Grogan Moore, PUDs in Practice, (Washington, D.C., Urban Land
Institute, 1985), p.3.
4. ibid., p. 4.
5. ibid., cl
municipal/developer bargaining process. As a result, the developer gains a
more streamlined platting process, and potentially larger profits. The PUD
was a rejection of standard land use controls and an intention to provide
for creativity of design, efficiency in land utilization, and unified development
The following exhibit from Burchell portrays the PUD features derived
from the existing land use system:^
6. Robert W. Burchell, Planned Unit Development, New Communities American
5ytie, (Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, 1973), p. 22.
7. ibid., p. 25.
PUD FEATURES DERIVED FROM THE EXISTING LAND USE SYSTEM
Elements of the Land Use System PUD's Improvements in Its Emergence
Known Criticisms of Popular Existing System Elements Potential Improvement via the PUD Mechanism
Long Range Plan (1) Mid-Range Program
Not Adopted and In- (2) Adopted and Followed by
Master Plan frequently Observed by Local Legislative Body
\ Local Legislative Body
X Dealt with Irrelevant, (3) Deals v;ith Pertinent
Unmanageable Problems Problems Seeking
Seeking Unrealizable Realizable Objectives
Segregation of Uses (4) Mixture of Uses
Emphasizing Disharmony Emphasizing Compatibility
Single Lot Focus - (5) Unified Control -
Zon ing <^~ Incremental Development Unit Development
Preset Regulations - (6) Administrative Discretion -
Disparate Municipal A single Municipal Land
Administration Use Body
Automatic Disposal - (7) Necessary Site Plan Review -
X Limited Design Control Extensive Design Control
Fractional and Useless (8) Significant Open Space
Subdivision Open Space Contributions Maintained by Residents for
Control \. Deeded to Municipality Private Use Special Usable
\ for Public Use Sites Dedicated for Public Use
Formal One Shot, Platting (9) Staged Platting Producing
Procedure, Extensive Self-Contained Units;
Expense via Utility Limited E
Commitments by Developer Developer
Source: Supra, Chapter 1
PUD Content and Definition
In the book, Planned Unit Development, New Communities
Style, Robert W. Burchell defines Planned Unit Development as "a
land regulation which promotes large-scale, unified land development via mid-
range, realizable programs in pursuit of physically-curable social and economic
deficiencies in peripheral land and city scapes. Where appropriate, this
development control advocates: (1) A mixture of both land uses and dwelling
types, one or more of the non-residential land uses being regional in nature.
(2) The clustering of residential land uses providing public and common open
space, the latter to be maintained for and by the residents of the development.
(3) Increased administrative discretion to a local professional planning staff
while setting aside present land use regulations and rigid plat approval
processes, and finally, (4) The enhancement of the bargaining process between
developer and municipality thereby strengthening function and control over
tempo and seguence of development in return for potentially increased profits
available to the developer as a result of land efficiency, the employment of
multiple land uses, and increased residential densities". The original concept
of a PUD as generally described in the preceding definition is significantly
different from present PUD concepts.
Comparison to PUD of the 80's
The most significant differences between old and new PUD regulations
are related to size and intent. Regarding size, PUDs were originally intended
for large, cohesive developments. However, in recent years, PUDs can be
found on sites as small as .25 acres, creating problems when attempting to
review land use development proposals based on the PUD criteria. First, it
is difficult to apply unified planning concepts when dealing with such a small
parcel. Second, it would be extremely difficult to phase development on a
8. ibid., p. 37,38.
small parcel of land. Finally, most local planning staffs do not have adequate
resources or time to engage in discretionary negotiation on small parcels.^
The second major difference between the original PUD concept and
existing PUD practice is related to common open space and ownership. In
the 1980's, many PUDs include only single-family, detached development. In
this type of development, there is no common ownership of open space and
no recreational amenities to be maintained by a homeowners' association.
In looking at the production of housing and different land use
regulations, the PUD offers distinct advantages over conventional single-
family development zones which are explored in the next section.
Advantages of the PUD
According to Tomioka, the author of Planned Unit Developments,
Design and Regional Impact, the PUD offers increased flexibility in site
development, housing design, and open space preservation, while also
contributing a mixture of land use and dwelling types. The PUD intends to
divide large developments into small, neighborhood-oriented units. In addition,
the PUD design contributes to substantial savings on land and capital costs
over conventional development. In theory, this saving is created in the cost 9
9. ibid., p. 39.
of land per unit. Tomioka points out that as land values continue to rise,
one way to provide affordable housing is to increase densities. Moreover,
the capital costs of water, sewer, roads, other utilities and their maintenance
often are reduced dramatically by PUDs.-*-^
The following two tables compare the cost structure of the PUD
with that of single-family residential development.
ANNUAL NET CORPORATE PROFITS AVAILABLE TO THE DEVELOPER USING THE SAME TRACT
OF LAND AS A STANDARD SUBDIVISION OR AS A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT
Net Corporate Profit 8ased Upon Total Permissable Development
Twin Rivers Tract Gross Acreage Total Acreage Total Permissable Development Net Corporate Annual Corporate Profit Over Profit Applying Sell-Out Span Sinking Fund Formula-^
As a single family home subdivision 719 3^0 1,000 S.F. Homes @$37,990/D.U. $ 4,940,000 $1,553.0004 (3 years)
As a mixed use planned unit development 719 520 168 S.F. Homes S37.990/D.U. 1680 Town Houses $15,700,0002 $2,785,000 (5 years)
Notes: 1. Assuming 13% Profit 2. Assuming 11% Profit 3. R = S i (1+i)n-1 )* @ $31,000/D.U. 234 High Rise Apartments @ 8 x Gross Rent Roll 900 Garden Apartment/Condominiums @ 7 x Gross Rent Roll 43 Town Center Apartments @6x Gross Rent Roll 450.000 Ft2 Commercial @ $26.00/Ft2 2.200.000 Industrial @$23.00/Ft2 *R = End of Period Payment S = Sum of Money at end of n Periods i = Interest Rate Per Annum
0.31411 (3 year subdivision)
4. At 6% i______ =* 0.17740 (5 year PUD)
5. Includes 1,100,000 Ft2 of residual industry which may antedate 5 year sell-out span. 10
Source: Planned Unit Development Study, Spring 1971 (Assistance from Mr. Gerry Finn, Pres., Village II, New Hope, Pa.)
As the preceding exhibit shows, the Planned Unit Development is financially
a much more attractive alternative than the standard subdivision, and in
10. Seishiro Tomioka and Ellen Miller Tomioka, Planned United Developments,
Design and Regional Impact, (John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1984), p. 172.
addition the primary cost saving characteristic of the PUD is the saving
involved in land.
Another important advantage of the PUD is related to the cost of
municipal services. A PUD development will bring increased receipts and
property tax revenues. Through a well-planned PUD, a city may control
timing of local development, while maintaining or increasing the tax base.
In summary, advantages of the PUD include innovative design with increased
variety, provision of a variety of housing in a community, clustering of units
to provide more open space, and more efficient use of streets and utilities. 12
Other Cities and PUDs
Several other cities have initiated PUD ordinances which provide
excellent examples of standards which other cities may apply.
San Diego offers a creative way of dealing with PUDs and increased
density. One of the most frequent problems increasingly associated with
PUDs is density. Neighboring landowners are often worried that a PUD's
sometimes increased density will affect adjacent properties by increasing
traffic and lowering property values. However, the San Diego PUD Ordinance
offers a unique method of determining density. Development criteria includes
"In a planned residential development, there shall be no
minimum area requirement for individual lots or building
sites. The number of dwelling units allowable shall not 11 12
11. Burchell, "Planned Unit Development, New Communities American Sytle",
12. ibid., p. 41.
exceed that set forth below. (Square feet of land area in
the following ratios refer to the total land area within the
boundaries of the proposed development, exclusive of any
land within rights of way of State or Federal highways and
of collectors, major or prime arterial roads as defined in
Article III, classification types of streets of the 'San Diego
County Standards,' Ordinance No. 1809 (New) Series J, or
on the "circulation element of the San Diego County General
Zone Maximum Dwelling Units Allowed-^
R-l (15) 15,000
The City of New York also includes some unique aspects in their
"In R-2, R2, R3 or R4 districts, for any large-scale
residential development, the commission, by special permit
after public notice and hearing and subject to Board of
Estimate action, may authorize the open space ratio,
otherwise required for development as a whole and for
individual zoning lots therein to be reduced by not more
than 10% and the required lot area per room and lot area
per dwelling unit by not more than 5%. It may also authorize
the permitted floor area ratio to be increased by not more
than 7.5%, if the commission finds that throughout the
development, the site plan provides a significantly better
arrangement of the buildings, in relation to one another 13 14
13. Tomioka and Tomioka, "Planned Unit Development, Design and Regional
Impact", p. 156.
14. ibid., p. 157.
and to their sites from the standpoint of privacy, access
of light, organization of private open spaces, and
preservation of important natural features than would be
possible or practical for a development comprised of similar
types, built in strict compliance with the application district
In addition, Warrenburg, Missouri offers some excellent provisions
in their PUD Ordinance. Some important provisions stated in the closing
1. "Protective clauses that specify the binding nature of
the final approval."
2. "Clear specification of the only minor changes
permitted in the development plan without additional
3. "Specific provisions for revoking PUD authorization if
the developer fails to proceed with due speed."16
All of the above are clearly stated and serve to protect the public
interest. The section dealing with the Ordinance Intent is particularly
"The Planned Unit Development is designed to allow
comprehensively planned projects which would provide
innovative and imaginative approaches to urban design and
The PUD is a process of developer-planner negotiation rather
than a set of minimum requirements that would result in a
standard land use product. It permits a flexibility of
established land regulations as contained in the zoning
districts and plat and subdivision regulations. When an
area is developed under this article (PUD), Plat and
Subdivision and Zoning district requirements that pertain
to area, height, and spacing may be waived and various
land use mixtures may be permitted with appropriate
screening, landscape buffers, and setback restrictions. In
essence, developers, with the review of a professional
planning team and the approval of the commission, may
15. ibid., p. 158.
16. ibid, p. 159.
write their own rules for land development of a Planned
Unit. In no case, however, shall the purpose of zoning and
platting nor the interests of the district regulations be
The design standards of the PUD Ordinance are also exemplary:
"Planned Unit Development (PUDs) shall be planned as
integral units and may be residential, commercial, industrial,
or a combination of land uses. When land uses are mixed,
the PUD shall be designed to be compatible with adjacent
areas. PUDs shall meet all zoning district reguirements
unless specifically addressed in the approved development
plan, but in no case shall a PUD be less than two (2) acres
in size or violate the intent or density of the zoning district
in which it is located."
1. "Environmental Design. Existing trees, groves,
waterways, scenic points, historic spots and other
natural assets and landmarks shall be preserved
whenever possible. The location of trees must be
considered when designing open space and planning the
location of buildings, underground services, walks,
paved areas, playgrounds, parking areas, and finished
grade levels. Excessive site clearing of topsoil, trees,
and natural features will be discouraged. 'A general
landscaping plan shall be reguired for all PUDs."
2. "Open Space. Common open space shall constitute at
least 25% of the gross area of the PUD to be used for
recreational, park, or environmental amenity for
collective enjoyment by occupants of the development
but shall not include public or private streets,
driveways, buildings, parking lots, or loading areas,
provided, however, that (1/2) of the reguired open
space on privately-owned properties dedicated by
easements to ensure that the open space will be
Every city which employs a PUD zone will adopt different land use
reguirements according to particular needs of the community. The stated
purpose of PUD zones is usually closely related to the policies and goals of
a community. Colorado Springs, Colorado, is presently encountering significant
development pressures. The next ghapter provides an overview of housing
17. ibid., p. 159.
and development forces in the community, while subsequent chapters
demonstrate the relationship between the goals of a community and PUD
COLORADO SPRINGS HOUSING
Colorado Springs began in 1871 as a tourist attraction for the
wealthy. However, in the 1890's, more than the area's beautiful scenery
was the attraction as gold was discovered in Cripple Creek and Colorado
Springs expanded into a front-range service center. In 1942, Fort Carson
was established south of Colorado Springs. The city continued to attract
the military for the next 40 years as other military installations began to
locate in Colorado Springs including the United States Air Force Academy,
Peterson Air Force Base, the North American Air Defense Command in
Cheyenne Mountain, the USAF Space Command, the Falcon Air Station and
CSOC, the Consolidated Space Operations Center.
While tourism still plays an important role in the economy of Colorado
Springs, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 5 workers in the city is
either in the military or is a federal civil service worker. In the 1970's,
the city, because of its guality of life, availability of labor, inexpensive
electric rates and low cost of living, began to compete for and attract large
technology companies. From the 1970's into the 1980's, Colorado Springs
began to diversify its economic base into high technology and aerospace
industries. According to the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce,
currently one out of every 10 workers is employed in the high tech sector. Colo
rado Springs population shows stable growth and a rising per capita income
(EST.) (FCST.) (FCST.)
1950 1960 1970 1980 1985 1990 2000
Colorado Springs City 45,472 70,194 135,501 215,150 268,340 334,620 440,820
El Paso County 74,523 143,742 235,972 309,424 363,650 421,430 540,490
Source: Figures for 1950-1980 are from the Bureau of the Census. Figures for 1985 are from The Research and
Consulting Group, Inc.
Per Capita Personal Income 1980 1984 Percent Change
Colorado Springs SMSA 8,562 10,493 22.6
Colorado 10,042 12,202 21.5
USA 9.494 11,658 22.7
Source: U S. Department of Commerce.
Median Household Income 18,430 25,200
Median Disposable Income 15,573 21,445
Source: Research and Consulting Group, Inc.
Cost of Living
According to the Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Springs enjoys a
low cost of living index. In addition, local housing prices are affordable
when compared to West Coast prices.2
1. Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Committee
Report, (Chamber of Commerce, 1985), p. 7.
2. ibid., p. G-l.
City_____________ Cost ot Living Index
Colorado Springs 96.9
Oklahoma City 98 8
U S. Average 100 0
Salt Lake City 100.7
Rockford, IL 101.2
Des Moines 102.1
Fort Worth 102.1
Houston 107 6
Wichita 108 5
Boulder 109 5
San Diego 113.4
San Jose 113.5
New York, NY 134.4
San Francisco 145.9
Source: American Chamber of Commerce Researcher's Association
Inter-City Cost of Living Index, Fourth Quarter 1984
l he l luhti' Ai.-f /\t .-A < .1iiii I-
Median Home Sales Price Metro Area
1984 Average Residential Sale New $85,628
1983 Average Residential Sale Resale 62,800
1984 Average Residential Multi-family Rents:
One Bedroom 358
Two Bedroom 425
Three Bedroom 464
Source: Research and Consulting Group
Colorado Springs' moderate temperatures, spectacular mountain views
and clean air encourage open construction styles. Most of the new housing
growth is occurring in planned communities in northeast Colorado Springs
with single-family, detached housing dominating the market. A single-family
home in Colorado Springs generally costs between $80,000 and $90,000.1
It is evident that Colorado Springs is facing severe housing
development pressures resulting from the influx of military installations, high
technology and aerospace industries. According to the Colorado Springs
Community Profile of 1981, a Colorado Springs Planning Department document,
low density or single-family residential is the most pervasive zoning category
containing nearly two-thirds of the total zoned acreage in the City of
Colorado Springs. The multi-family residential zone, which would include
some PUD zones, accounted for 6,254 acres in 1981 (75% of this total was
vacant.)^ (See Exhibit.)
1. ibid., p. C-2.
2. City of Colorado Springs, Planning Department, Community Profile,
Comprehensive Planning Report Number Two, (City of Colorado Springs
Planning Department, 1981), p. 153.
DEVELOPED IAND-YEAR 2000
The future of land development in Colorado Springs will be based
upon a variety of factors including population projections, economic conditions,
and the land use policies of the local government. According to the Colorado
Springs Community Profile, total projected developed land in the year 2000
is expected to be 96,910 acres for the region, creating a 133% increase in
developed land since 1973. In 1983, there was an estimated 27,852 acres
of vacant land in the City. Based on the year 2000 projection, approximately
37,210 acres will be developed. It would actually be possible for the city
to absorb most of the projected development by building on vacant land
within the city limits. The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments estimated
that approximately 45% of the housing units will be multi-family in the year
2000. In fact, unless the proportion of multi-family housing units increases
to 45%, the land absorption would be much greater as more land is needed
for single-family development.-*
The significance of the many development pressures in Colorado
Springs focuses greater attention on public policy and resulting land use
decisions. Local government takes on a leadership role in helping to determine
an appropriate pattern in urban development. There are a variety of local
government regulations affecting housing production and urban form. The
Planned Unit Development is probably the most significant land use regulation
affecting the production of housing and the resulting urban form. However,
the problem of rising costs of housing cannot singularly be solved by local
governments. As the next section shows, a variety of factors have contributed
to rising housing costs.
1. ibid., p. 152.
Cost of Housing
To understand what factors are contributing to the rising cost of
housing, it is helpful to dissect the cost components of houing. According
to Affordable Housing, a document by the Urban Land Institute, there are
several cost components:
1. The Cost of Raw Land. The cost of raw land ranges from 8-
25% of the cost of a new unit.
2. Site Improvement Costs. These costs include such things as
clearing, grading, streets, utilities, and all site work. These
costs, according to Affordable Housing, contribute roughly 10%
of the cost of a new single-family house. Site improvement
standards include drainage reguirements, street constuction
standards, pavement widths, dul-de-sacs, sidewalks, sewer, water
lines, parking landscaping reguirements and park land dedication.
Design reguirements would include street widths, utilities, cost
of extension of utility services and dedication of land.
3. Construction Costs. According to Affordable Housing,
construction costs contribute from 40-55 percent toward the
cost of a new home. Fees are one of the fastest growing cost
components of housing.2 The following exhibit shows increases
in respective costs for a representative house in Colorado Springs
2. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Affordable Housing,
(Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1981), p. 8.
Cost Of Representative House In Colorado: 1970-75
Cost Component 1970 1975 Dollar Increase Percent Increase
Site Development $ 3,450 $ 6,350 $2,900 84%
Site Carrying Costs 660 1,540 880 133
House Construction 13,189 19,754 6,565 50
Construction Financing 1,011 2,756 1,745 173
$18,310 $30,400 $12,090 66%
SOURCE: Beckert, Browne, Coddington & Associates, Inc., An Analysis of the
Impact of State and Local Government Intervention on the Home
Building Process in Colorado 1970-75, Colorado Association for
Housing and Building, 1976, p. 14.
In the late 1970's and early 1980's, there has been a non-availability
of housing for people of low and moderate incomes. According to current
population reports of the U.S. Bureau of Census, the gain in real income
from 1970 to 1980 was 0.4%. This is in contrast to a gain of 37.6% from
1930 to I960.4
3. Burchell, "Housing Costs and Government Regulations", p. 16.
4. Sternleib, Hughes and Hughes, "Demographic Trends and Economic Realities:
Planning and Markets in the '80s", p. 67.
Median Family Income: 1950 to 1980
Median Family Income
Actual Dollars Constant 1980 Dollars
1950 $ 3,319 SI 1,361
I960 5,620 15.637
1970 9.867 20.939
1971 10.285 20.926
1972 1 l.l 16 21,895
1973 12.051 22.346
1974 12,902 21.559
1975 13,719 21,004
1976 14,958 21.652
1977 16,009 21.769
1978 17,640 22.280
1979' 19,661 22,320
1980' 21,023 21,023
Gains in Real Income
(Constant 1980 Dollars)
1950 to I960 $ 4.276 37.6%
I960 to 1970 5,302 33.9
1970 to 1980 84 0.4
1970 to 1975 65 0.3
1975 to 1980 19 0.1
Notes: 'Based on Householder Concept.
Source: U.S Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Scries P-60, No.
127, Money Income and Poverty Status of Families ami Personsin the U.S.:
1980 (Advance Data from the March 1981 Current Population Survey), U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D C., 1981.
In addition to the small percentage of change in real income, median
sales prices of new homes have increased dramatically.^ 5
5. ibid., p. 94
Median Sales Prices of New One Family Houses Sold:
United States and Regions: 1963 to 1980
Year United States Northeast Central South West
1963 $18,000 $20,300 $17,900 $16,100 $18,800
1964 18,900 20,300 19,400 16,700 20.400
1965 20.000 21,500 21,600 17.500 21.600
1966 21.400 23,500 23,200 18.200 23.200
1967 22,700 25,400 25,100 19,400 24.100
1968 24,700 27,700 27,400 21,500 25,100
1969 25,600 31,600 27,600 22.800 25.300
1970 23,400 30,300 24,400 20.300 24,000
1971 25,200 30,600 27,200 22,500 25.500
1972 27,600 31.400 29,300 25,800 27.500
1973 32,500 37,100 32.900 80,900 32,400
1974 35,900 40,100 36,100 34,500 35,800
1975 39,300 44,000 39.600 37,300 40,600
1976 44.200 47,300 44,800 40.500 47.200
1977 48,800 51,600 51,500 44,100 53,500
1978 55.700 58,100 59,200 50,300 61,300
1979 62,900 65.500 63.900 57,300 69,600
1980 64,500 69,300 63,300 59.700 72,300
1963 to 1970 1970 to 1980 30.0% 175.6 Percent Change 49.3% 36.3% 128.7 159.4 26.1% 194.0 27.7% 201.3
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Construction
Reports. New One-Family Houses Sold and For Sale," Series C25
(Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, Monthly).
Many of the economic factors which contribute to the high cost of
housing cannot be influenced by local policies. However, cities may strive
for housing and development goals which can help ameliorate these conditions.
COMMUNITY GOALS AND PUD REGULATIONS
As it becomes increasingly difficult for communities to provide
affordable housing, several important ideas must be looked at regarding the
development of communities.
According to a ULI report, several changes must be initiated to
realize the goal. The first recommendation of the report is compact
development. In addition to housing costs, single-family lot prices have
increased dramatically in recent years. Compact development, including
clustering and attached housing helps alleviate the sky rocketing cost of
housing. Several PUD studies have also supported the contention that the
cost of public services is lower for medium density development. 1
The second major change the ULI report discusses is infill and
revitalization of communities. Many communities have vast amounts of under-
utilized vacant land within their boundaries, and utilization of this vacant
land for housing and other types of development is an efficient way for
cities to develop. In addition, many cities have existing housing stock which
can be revitalized, or existing structures which can be re-used for other
1. Urban Land Institute, The Affordable Community, (Urban Land Institute,
Washington, D.C., 1982).
The third major change the report mentions regarding development
is mixed land use. This is analogous to the urban village concept wherein
development occurs as a cohesive system where people can live, work, and
shop in a distinct area. Regarding the production of housing itself, the
report states that communities must increase their diversity of housing types.
Directly related to this occurring are communities development regulations
for lots, house sizes, density, and housing standards.^
The final element of change the study notes is the creation of urban
villages which is similar to the recommendation for mixed land use. In
essence, an urban village involves creating a self-sufficient community within
the larger community.^
The City of Colorado Springs incorporates several of these
development ideas within the context of their Comprehensive Plan. The
development ideas are also recounted in the PUD Ordinance, demonstrating
how the planning process can be closely tied to the goals of a community.
The regulations and ordinances of a city, particularly the PUD, can be a
barometer indicating the desires of a city. The next section examines the
Colorado Springs Comprehensive Plan extracting the goals of the Plan which
are reproduced in PUD Land Use Regulation.
The PUD and Public Policy
Colorado Springs' Comprehensive Plan
The following themes noted in the Comprehensive Plan form a direct
and indirect relationship with Planned Unit Development.
Compatibility: "The Plan's emphasis on compatibility between the
uses of land represents a concern for the collective interests and rights of
individuals to live, work and play in an urban environment where the physical
components are in harmony with each other.
The PUD is the most appropriate zone to achieve land use
compatibility and, in fact, a stated purpose of Colorado Springs' PUD Zone
is "to achieve a compatible land use relationship with the surrounding area."
Efficiency: Policies and recommendations are based upon improving
efficiency and reducing costs in the land development process.
3.1.R2 "The city should continue to review and revise its land
development ordinances and standards to reduce unnecessary costs
and achieve maximum resource efficiency.
The PUD Zone attempts to achieve this goal by stating that the
PUD's purpose is "To promote affordable housing by means of cost-effective
User Pay: The Comprehensive Plan displays a "user pay" concept
throughout the document. According to the Plan, government costs can be
reduced by passing them on to the actual user of city services. The concept
of user pay is reflected in utilities extensions in the Plan. 4 6 7 8
3. Colorado Springs, Colorado, Comprehensive Plan, (November, 1983), p. 6.
6. City of Colorado Springs, Zoning Ordinance, (Section 14-3-101, September,
1985), p. 22.
7. City of Colorado Springs, Comprehensive Plan, p. 55.
8. City of Colorado Springs, Zoning Ordinance, p. 22.
13.1.3. "The users in a development area shall, in general, pay for
the water and wastewater facilities necessary to provide service to
Several statements in the PUD Zone are directly and indirectly
related to the user pay concept. These policy statements include "facilitating
efficient provision of streets, utilities, and municipal services, encouraging
a high guality of design in new development, and promoting affordable housing
by means of cost-effective site planning."^
Goals and Policies of the Comprehensive Plan
1. Growth: "Plan and guide the development and annexation of
the city's enclaves and fringe areas in order to achieve an
efficient urban growth pattern consistent with city standards
and policies. The purpose consistent with this goal in the PUD
Ordinance is "To facilitate efficient provision of streets,
utilities, and municipal services."!!
2. Development Regulations; "Assure that the city's land
development regulations provide for efficiency, compatibility,
compliance, variety, flexibility, and innovation."12 The PUD
zoning regulations are consistent with this goal in providing 9 10 11 12
9. City of Colorado Springs, Comprehensive Plan, p. 45.
10. City of Colorado Springs, Zoning Ordinance, p. 22.
11. City of Colorado Springs, Zoning Ordinance, p. 22.
12. City of Colorado Springs, Comprehensive Plan, p. 29.
efficiency, compatibility, variety, flexibility and innovation as
objectives of the ordinance.^
3. Housing; "Encourage a diversity of housing types, densities,
and locations in order to provide a sufficient supply and choice
of housing at varied price and rent levels to meet the needs
of the entire community, including low and moderate income
families."!^ The PUD zone helps in realizing this goal by its
stated purpose of "promoting affordable housing by means of
cost-effective site planning."15
4. Environment; "Preserve, enhance, and promote the significant
features of the city's natural environment."16 According to
the Comprehensive Plan, "significant natural features include
those ridgelines, bluffs, rock outcroppings, view corridors,
foothills, mountain backdrop, unigue vegetation, floodplains,
streams, surface water, natural drainage ways and wildlife
habitats which contribute to the attractiveness of the
community."17 The PUD zone is consistent with this goal by
stating that a purpose of the zone is "to preserve the unigue,
natural, scenic, historical, and cultural features of a site."18 13
13. City of Colorado Springs, Zoning Ordinance, p. 22.
14. City of Colorado Springs, Comprehensive Plan, p. 31.
13. City of Colorado Springs, Zoning Ordinance, p. 22.
16. City of Colorado Springs, Comprehensive Plan, p. 37.
17. ibid., p. 22.
18. City of Colorado Springs, Zoning Ordinance, p. 22.
THE COLORADO SPRINGS PUD PROCESS
The PUD process from conception to final approval involves a long
and complicated process. Final approval of a PUD development involves
review by several entities and public hearings by the Planning Commission
and City Council. The process essentially involves two phases explained in
the following section.
Phase 1: Sketch Plan
Before submitting a PUD proposal, the applicant is encouraged to
meet with the Planning Department through a pre-application conference.
At the pre-application meeting, important elements of the PUD proposal are
discussed including the location and size of the project, density, compatibility
with surrounding areas, and design parameters. According to the PUD
Ordinance, "a planned unit development zone may be established upon any
tract of land held under single ownership or under unified control, provided
a land use proposal is submitted for the tract in compliance with the
Sketch Plan Submittal
At the submittal stage, the applicant makes written application to
the Planning Commission. The written application is accompanied by a sketch
plan which establishes maximum density, type of dwelling and a maximum
1. ibid., p.22.
Maximum densities are determined as part of the sketch plan
approval, and are determined based on the following:
1. Master Planned Areas. Density is established on an approved
Master Plan considering the maximum allowed density.2
2. Where there is not an approved Master Plan, density is
established "in accordance with the character of the surrounding area and
land usage, the ability of existing off-site improvements to handle the proposed
density, and the extent to which the PUD contains unigue features or
incorporates special site conditions into its design in order to mitigate the
impact of the proposed density on adjacent areas."^
The application and Sketch Plan is reviewed by the City Planning
Department and by the Land Development Technical Committee (LDTC), which
consists of representatives from each City Department. The Sketch Plan is
reviewed based on the following criteria:
1. Compatibility to surrounding area. "Does the design reflect an
effort by the developer to blend the project harmoniously into
the surrounding area by means of appropriate density,
landscaping, building types, bulk and placement access and other
2. "Does the density relate to the topography and other natural
features of the site? Does the design minimize destruction of
2. ibid., p. 23
3. ibid., p. 23
4. ibid., p. 26
desirable natural features and utilize these elements in the
design of the project?"^
3. "The provision of adequate private, outdoor space shall be
required to provide adequate light, air and privacy, to provide
relief from density, to buffer adjacent properties, to provide
active and passive recreation opportunities to preserve the
unique features of the site. Are units or lots clustered around
open space with convenient access? Is linear open space wide
enough to function as such?"
4. "Are structures adequately separated and arranged to provide
visual and aural privacy, functional open space, visual relief
from density, and to protect solar access?"?
5. "Is adequate and convenient parking provided which is separated
and screened from living areas? Does the amount of parking
reflect the type of unit, family size, age, and income level of
6. "Are vehicular facilities designed to maximize safety and
convenience for the residents and minimize the intrusion of
adverse sights and sounds? Do the facilities discourage large
volumes of traffic within the project and lessen the impact
generated by the project upon public streets and surrounding
5. ibid., p. 26,
6. ibid., p. 26
7. ibid., p. 26
8. ibid., p. 26
areas? Are mid- or high-density projects convenient to
7. "Are the buildings and units oriented to take advantage of
views, provide for privacy for residents and conserve energy?"!^
8. "Is provision made for pedestrian travel to common open space
and/or public parks?"H
The Sketch Plan is reviewed by the Planning Division and other City
Departments based upon the above criteria. The Planning Commission then
reviews the PUD Zone reguest and reguest for density based on the Sketch
Phase II: Final Development Plan
"A Final Development Plan which is in substantial conformance with
the approved Sketch Plan may be approved by the Planning Department. The
Plan may be referred to the Planning Commission by the Planning Department
or the decision of the Planning Department may be appealed by the applicant
or other affected party."12
"The staff shall review the final development plan and inform the
applicant of its findings within fifteen (15) working days of a complete
submittal."^ The review of a Development Plan is based upon essentially
9. ibid., p. 26.
10. ibid., p. 26
11. ibid., p. 26
12. ibid., p. 24
13. ibid., p. 24,
the same criteria as the Sketch Plan. A detailed Landscape Plan must be
submitted in conjunction with the final Development Plan.
Total Review Time
The complete PUD process, from zoning to obtaining a building
permit, reguires approximately 6-7 months.
PUD REGULATIONS AND HOUSING PRODUCTION
According to a publication by HUD, there are signs that local
regulations could be contributing to the problem of increasing housing prices.
Two factors which support this are: 1) an increase in the time it takes to
process requests in a community; and, 2) council and planning commission
dockets are backlogged.-*-
The following exhibit demonstrates the significant increase in
unnecessary costs associated with particular regulations:
Unnecessary Costs Of Regulations
Unnecessary Cost of Regulations*
Type of Regulation. No Increase (less than 1 %) Significant Increase (1-5%) Significant Increase (more than 5%) Total
Building Codes 26.7% 39.8% 33.6% 100.0%
Coastal Zone Regulations 76.0 8.1 16.0 100.0
Energy Codes 50.2 31.0 18.9 100.0
Environmental Impact Statements 38.3 26.0 35.7 100.0
Floodplain Protection 54.5 20.5 25.0 100.0
Mortgage Finance Requirements 30.1 40.4 29.5 100.0
State Land Development Laws 44.2 23.2 32.6 100.0
Settlement Costs 36.8 34.3 28.8 100.0
Subdivision Requirements 7.6 20.3 72.1 100.0
Zoning 39.7 24.1 36.3 100.0
*May not add to 100.0 due to rounding.
SOURCE: Survey of the Home Builder Industry, Center for Urban Policy
Research, Summer 1976.
1. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Streamlining Land
Use Regulation, _A Guidebook for Local Governments (Office of Policy
Development and Research, Washington, D.C., November, 1980), p. 3.
Among the myriad of government regulations which affect the cost
of housing are zoning ordinances, subdivision requirements and environmental
controls. These regulations affect the housing cost at different stages of
the process. (See Exhibit.)^
Government Regulations that Affect Housing Cost
Development Stage Construction Stage Occupancy Stage
Zoning Ordinances (restrictions Zoning Ordinances Financing and
on use of land; minimum lot (minimum building Settlement
size/frontage) size) Regulations
Environmental Controls Energy Conser- vation Requirements
Growth Controls Subdivision Requirements Building Codes
The concept of over-regulation in regard to land development is,
indeed, nebulous. In his book, Housing Costs and Government Regulations,
Seidel attempts to define over-regulation as "those forms or variations of
governmentally-imposed controls which exceed minimum health, safety, and
welfare considerations in the provision of housing." Seidel defines municipal
delay as "the number of months above an average amount of time normally
required for approval.
In his study on the Costs of Housing, Seidel extrapolates those
subdivision requirements which are the most important determinants of cost.
They are road pavement width for interior streets, the percentage of land
2. Seidel, "Housing Costs and Government Regulations, Confronting the
Regulatory Maze", p. 20.
3. ibid., p. 317.
dedicated to streets, street curbing, sidewalk width, and sewage disposal.
Development fees would include zoning fees; fees for preliminary plats, final
plats, and development plans.^ Special purpose permit fees would include
building permits, occupancy permits, plumbing permits, electric permits and
inspection fee, sewer tap charge, sewer inspection fee, water charge, and
water inspection fee. Nationally, according to Seidel, the average length of
time to obtain a rezoning is four months. ^
Another equally important aspect to consider regarding costs
associated with delay are holding costs. These include interest on mortgage,
property taxes, and the opportunity cost involved.^ (See Exhibit.)
Costs of Delay: Land Holding
1/4 Acre Lot Size 1/2 Acre 1 Acre
Interest on Mortgage $26/month $52/month S103/month
Property Taxes 8/month 17/month 33/month
Opportunity cost 4/month 8/month 15/month
Total Cost of Delay $38/month $77/month $151/month
4. ibid., p. 130
5. ibid., p. 320
6. ibid., p. 321.
Seidel offers the following summary of the excess cost of government
Example: $50,000 Single-family Home
19.7% of purchase price of a new house.
Source: Municipal EC.
Cost of Delay Planned Unit Developments
The administrative delay associated with PUDs is particularly time-
consuming. According to a survey of municipalities, 47.9% stated that it took
a longer period of time to gain PUD approval compared to that of a subdivision
of egual size. 56.3% of those municipalities surveyed stated that the PUD
approval time is significantly longer.^
Development Requirements Under Planned Unit development
Compared With Standard Zoning And Subdivision
Characteristic of PUD Ordinance Number of Municipalities Percent1
Encourages clustering 38 79.2
Does not allow greater gross density Requires same or higher level of 28 58.3
public improvements 33 67.3
Requires longer approval time 27 56.3
1. Will not add to 100.0 percent due to multiplicity of responses.
SOURCE: Survey of Municipalities, Center for Urban Policy Research,
Many feel the processing time reguired for PUDs is excessive.
Considering the high cost of interest and the critical relationship of timing
to costs, in the end, this all adds up to higher costs being passed on to the
7. ibid., p. 185.
A variety of studies have been completed linking excessive costs to
unnecessary regulations. According to a survey of the National Association
of Home Builders by Seidel, the majority of the respondents state that over
five percent of the final selling price could be attributed to unnecessary
A study completed by the Construction Industry Research Board
looked at the cost of delay prior to construction. This study concluded that
one month's delay on a $70,000 house costs the developer $1,027.^ An Urban
Land Institute Study concluded that a two months' delay during the
environment review process in San Diego costs the developer $89 per unit.
In continuing the review of other studies, the Rice Center examined the
land development process in Houston. This study, through a survey of local
developers, measured the average development times from 1967 to 1977.
According to the study, the increase in builders' costs due to delay was
between $390 and $590 per unit. The increase in the price of a house was
$560 to $840 (for a 1976 median price of $53,600.) The study estimated
the cost of all regulatory actions (including delay, to be between $2,360 and
$5,400 between 5 and 10 percent of the total cost.)!
8. Robert A. Johnston and Seymour I. Schwartz, The Effect of Local
Development Regulations on the Cost of Producing 5ingle-Family Housing, 9 10
(University of California, Davis, April, 1984), p. 8.
9. ibid., p. 8.
10. ibid., p. 10.
According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders,
government controls contributed from 10-15 percent of the purchase price of
a new single-family home.H It is important to note that this study relied
on Seidel and the opinions of home builders.
According to Johnston and Schwartz, authors of The Effect of Local
Development Regulations on the Cost of Producing Single-Family Housing,
the preceding studies are plagued by the following problems:
1. Reliance on opinion surveys of builders.
2. The studies rely on generalized cost estimates rather than
3. The studies rely on overly aggregated data.
4. No criteria is included for non-essential costs.12
In 1978, a study examining th? impact of local government regulations
on the cost of housing was complete'd by the City of Colorado Springs'
Planning Department. The study states that in order to satisfy housing
demand, one of the most important factors is the effective operation of the
private housing market through new construction so that the filtering process
is possible.^ As previously cited, this study also states that locally and
statewide, a major problem consists in delays in the approval process. The
study notes that typical processing time for residential development has
increased by four months since 1970. The Colorado Springs study included 11 12 13
11. ibid., p. 10.
12. ibid., p. 11.
13. City of Colorado Springs, Report on Housing Costs and Government
Regulations, (Colorado Springs City Planning Department, March, 1978), p. 6.
a case study which compared cost components of two representative homes
in Village Seven, a subdivision in northeastern Colorado Springs. One home,
built in 1969, cost $28,990 to construct. The home constructed in 1975 cost
$51,555.14 (See Exhibit Below)14 15
COST COMPONENTS OF SIMILAR SINGLE FAMILY NEW HOMES
IN VILLAGE SEVEN, COLORADO SPRINGS, 1969 and 1975
Lot cost $ 3,560.00
Lumber and millwork 5,170.74
Sales commission 1,680.00
Footings and foundation 505.14
Concrete flatvork 927.84
Interest on construction loan 189.46
Water and sewer permit 471.05
Closing costs 25.00
Trim and stain 483.42
Linoleum and tile 764.22
Plaster and stucco 390.00
Garage door 146.50
Call back 100.00
Gutter and flashing
1975 $ Change % Change
? 9,500.00 $ 5,940.00 166.8
5,854.55 683.81 13.2
3,869.11 2,189.11 130.3
2,209.00 889.00 67.3
2,188.00 608.00 38.5
2,081.00 252.15 13.8
1,931.95 1,426.81 232.4
1,751.44 536.16 44.1
1,746.28 818.44 88.2
1,700.51 403.37 31.1
1,633.36 397.17 32.1
1,534.54 1,345.08 710.0
1,393.00 921.95 195.7
1,393.00 1,368.00 5,472.0
1,328.55 845.13 174.8
1,249.09 336.09 36.8
1,200.00 400.00 50.0
1,070.29 306.07 40.0
914.40 414.40 82.9
884.00 599.00 210.0
854.17 153.67 21.9
833.40 443.40 113.7
817.78 346.10 73.4
487.00 312.00 178.3
447.04 169.54 61.1
245.28 -85.22 -25.8
218.50 72.00 49.1
210.00 -160.64 -43.3
200.00 100.00 100.0
159.75 60.75 61.3
14. ibid., p. 20.
15. ibid., p. 21.
ComDonent 1969 1975 $ Change % Change
Title Insurance 88.50 138.34 50.34 56.9
Ornamental iron 141.60 113.73 -27.87 -19.7
Utilities used in construction 9.23 105.51 96.28 1,043.1
Home owners warranty 104.00 104.00
Glass and glazing 81.37 96.91 15.54 19.1
Plans and specifications 247.63 90.99 -156.64 -63.2
Building permit 45.00 86.00 41.00 91.1
Cleaning 60.00 80.00 20.00 33.1
Survey 35.00 53.50 23.50 67.1
Fees (FHA,VA,HBA) 44.63 52.00 7.37 16.f
Waterproofing 10.00 33.00 23.00 230.C
Fire insurance 10.19 32.00 21.81 214.(
Sills 20.00 31.34 11.34 56.;
Finished grade 27.00 30.00 3.00 11.1
Mineral rights 25.00 25.00
Tax proration 6.14 5.00 -1.14 -18. (
Construction loan fee 350.00 -350.00
$28,989.94 $51,554.56 $22,564.62 17 A
According to the study, inflation was estimated to account for 88
percent of the $22,565 increase in cost. The case study concludes that
regulation, codes, and fees are responsible for the remaining increase of over
$2,600. Permit costs equaled $1,318 of the total increase. A gas permit,
not required in 1969, costs $432.00. Water and sewer permits increased
$845, or 175 percent. The cost of obtaining a building permit doubled from
$45 to $86. The remaining cost component increases were due to increased
governmental standards designed to make homes more energy efficient, and
could pay for themselves later, according to the study. 1
The preceding studies provide documentation that land use controls
and PUD regulations can have a detrimental impact on the production of
housing in the form of higher costs.
The next chapter will focus on two case studies; the first providing
an example of how the PUD intent is met, and the second exposing some of
the problems with PUDs.
1. ibid., p. 20.
PRINTERS PARK SENIOR CITIZEN HOUSING PROJECT
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
The Printers Park Master Plan was approved in 1978 by the City
of Colorado Springs and was celebrated for being a major infill development.
The Master Plan encompassed 177 acres of vacant land located close to the
central business district of Colorado Springs.
The Printers Park Senior Citizens Center is located on 17.7 acres
in the Printers Park Master Plan area. The project is a planned unit
development containing apartments for senior citizens. The project proposes
360 units and has a density of 20.33 du/ac. The buildings will be two and
three stories containing one-bedroom units. 78% of the project contains
open space. (See Exhibit.)-*-
The most significant design parameter regarding the project was the
clustering of units to preserve usable open space to achieve compatibility
with adjacent areas, and to provide a high quality of design for elderly
housing. The second most influential design parameter was the provision of
the golf course, an active recreational amenity.
1. Plan developed by George Zajacek & Associates, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
%A *\ jV
Recreational amenities include a clubhouse, pool, two community
buildings, and a nine-hole executive golf course.
The Project and Its Relationship to the PUD Zone
The purpose of the PUD zone is met in regard to this project. The
PUD zone is appropriate because it allows flexibility in design, because units
can be clustered to preserve usable open space, because compatibility can
be achieved with adjacent areas, and, finally, because the project achieves
a high quality of design.
Colorado Springs' PUD Zone
The proposed project conforms to the review criteria of the Colorado
Springs PUD Sketch Plan criteria. Adequate buffering from adjacent
properties is provided by setbacks, landscaping and open space. Appropriate
landscaping is provided to give visual relief from access and parking areas.
Pedestrian facilities are provided giving access to the open space (golf course)
and to the recreation buildings. A variety of landscaping species are provided
lending privacy and relief from density. The golf course provides an active
recreational opportunity while also buffering adjacent properties.
PROJECT COMPARISON TO PREVIOUS PLAN
Total Acres: 17.7 Acres
1983 Plan 1985 Plan
Gross Density 263 20.33
No. of Units 381 360
Building Coverage Parking and Drive 20% 11%
Coverage 25% 9%
Qpen Space (% of) 55% 80%
Recreational Clubhouse, Clubhouse,
Amenities Pool, Two Tennis Courts Pool, Two Community Centers, Nine-hole executive golf course
The 1983 Plan
A Development Plan was previously approved for this site in 1983.
(See Exhibit.) This Plan was also a Planned Unit Development containing 381
garden level apartments. The approved project had a density of 21.5 du/ac.
55% of the project was in open space. The City Planning Department review
of the proposed plan is contained in the following paragraphs:^
PLANNING DEPARTMENT ANALYSIS:
This 21.5 acre parcel is located along the eastern boundary of the Printers
Park Master Plan area. A narrow, long portion of the parcel extends west
to intersect with Printers Parkway. The request proposes a PUD zone for
the development of an apartment complex. Any PUD request must meet the
1. Compatibility with surrounding land use.
2. Meets intent and purpose of PUD zone.
3. Meets design criteria for a sketch plan.
1. This area is designated for multi-family residential (12 du/ac) on the
Printers Park Master Plan. Consideration of a change to higher density
residential (21.5 du/ac) is to be heard before this item. A multi-family
residential use is an appropriate use for this location because it will
provide a transition in intensity from single-family to offices and research
and development. The actual level of compatibility must be determined
by the sketch plan proposal. Only a fence, parking and landscaping,
will exist in the first 40-70' of the east portion of the project. The
buildings are a minimum of 40' away from the single-family units and
only 28' high. This will preserve portions of views for the residents of
the houses. Proposed buildings are as close as 20' to International Circle
with some decks as close as 10' to the ROW line. This is too close to
allow privacy and noise abatement for the future inhabitants.
The western part of the parcel is approximately 900' x 200'. Two rows
of buildings separated by the parking and driveway are proposed. The
design for this strip is crowded and awkward. The multi-family use here
does not provide a transitional use, but, instead, it creates an incongruous
break from commercial office on the south to office on the north. This
area does not provide compatibility and it should not be developed with
1. Excerpt is from Colorado Springs Panning Commission agenda of October,
PRINTERS PARK 177 AC P.U.D,
- ! If
PARCEL SIZE: 17.7 Ac.
PARKING: 930 REQUIRED
BUILDING COVERAGE: 20%
PARKING A DRIVE COVERAGE: 2S%
MAXIMUM BUILDING HEIGHT: 28
* Indicates building* with garden level units
(lor a total of 3 level*}. All other biilldlng*
are 2 level*.
notc: ummm setbacks from ROADS: *o to wildings,
16* TO OCCKS.
A LANOSCAPMQ STRIP USING at RMS AMO OCNSK VEGETATION
WILL PROVIDE A VISUAL SUFFER TO STREET FACINO DECK
NOTE: OENSITT NOT TO EXCEED 11.6 O.U./AC. OR 361
THE SCHUCK CORPORATION
105 EAST KIOWA
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80903
noian e. schriner, inc.
911 south eighth street
Colorado springs, Colorado 80906
AC VIM* OCTOMR It, INI
Revise* OmiMat 1, IMS
residential units. An office use designed to complement future
adjacent uses to the north, south and west should be considered.
2. The purpose of the PUD zone is listed in Section 14-3-101 of the
Zoning Ordinance. The zone should be used for flexibility, clustering
of units to preserve usable open space, achieve compatibility with
adjacent areas, and achieve a high quality of design.
The second plan which was submitted better addresses access
throughout the development, creation of some usable open spaces
and provision of parking; however, many of the units seem to be
clustered around parking areas instead of open space and the amount
of on-site recreational facilities has been reduced. The long, narrow
western portion of the site proposes narrow spaces between buildings
and roads, and it is generally reminiscent of a line of very crowded
single-family homes which have no usable rear yards. This area
specifically should be deleted from the project. For conformance
with the purpose of the PUD zone, more clustering of units around
open space, larger setbacks for units from streets, and property
lines which border commercial areas, and great landscape buffering
should be required.
3. This proposal meets the following sketch plan criteria:
A. Many of the buildings have been located to create some usable
common open area. The buildings are located with varied
setbacks and angles. The buildings are all at least 40'-70' from
the adjacent single-family area and are to be no higher than
28' (less than the
R-l 6000 zone).
B. Units in the southern area are clustered around a recreation-
clubhouse facility. All units in this area have convenient access
to the facilities.
C. The minimum number of parking spaces plus 3% have been
provided for this project. All units are adjacent to some parking.
This proposal could be improved to meet the following sketch plan criteria:
A. Relocate some of the parking areas to allow more clustering
of units for conglomeration of small areas of open space.
B. Possibly provide some parking and landscape strip between
International Circle and units. This could help achieve A.
C. Remove parking lot from central area in northern section and
provide recreational facilities. Inhabitants of this area will
have poor access to the facilities in the south.
D. Provide larger setbacks from buildings to roads and south
E. Remove western strip as it meets no criteria of the PUD or
This proposal meets some criteria and the purpose of the PUD zone. Some
improvements to meet all the criteria could be made.
FAIRFAX AT BRIARGATE
The Briargate Mast Plan was approved in 1982 by the City of
Colorado Springs. The Master Plan area is a totally planned
community encompassing approximately 10,000 acres of land in
northeast Colorado Springs.
Fairfax 4 is a proposed single-family PUD located on 22,37 acres
of land. The proposed request is typical of many of the subdivisions, both
existing and proposed in Briargate. The proposal is a request to develop
137 single-family residential lots. Lot sizes will vary from 4,800 to 10,025
square feet. Unit sizes will vary from 1,150 to 1,900 square feet with a
thirty foot (30') maximum height (2-story). (See Sketch Plan.)
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BRIARGATE DEV ELOPMENT GROUP
77 !0 NOR TH UNION BOULEVARD
COLORADO SPRINGS. COLORADO 00916
rtoian e. sc7vuit, me.
911 souin eighth street
Colorado springs. Colorado 80906
Number of units:
Type of resident:
1,150-1,900 sguare feet.
2-story, 30 feet maximum height.
Maximize views to southwest.
Open space provided by Fairfax Park, a City park.
Building setbacks will be 18-25 feet for the front yard. Side yard
setbacks are proposed to be a minimum of 1'6", and rear yard setbacks will be
a minimum of 10 feet. Maximum percentage of building coverage per lot is
36%, while maximum percentage of open space is 54%.
Most of the new housing growth is occurring in planned communities
in northeast Colorado Springs with single-family, detached housing dominating
The proposal is in response to the following market forces:
a. The rising cost of housing.
b. Demographic changes, particularly the entrance of the baby-boom
generation into the housing market.
c. Trends toward smaller households.
d. Increasing utility costs.
e. The desire for single-family homeownership.
Fairfax 4 is an attempt to provide housing for entry-level home
buyers. The small-lot subdivision essentially provides homeowners with
affordable single-family housing.
Standard Subdivision Small-Lot Subdivision
Lot Size 70 x 120' 8,400 sq. ft. 50 x 90' 4,500 sq. ft.
Unit Size 1,800 sq. ft. 1,100 sq. ft.
Housing Cost $85-95,000 $50-73,000
The Project and Its Relationship to the PUD Zone
The PUD Zone is not appropriate for small-lot developments for
1. The description of the PUD district does not relate to the
development of small-lot, single-family subdivisions. The
District, as decribed in the Ordinance "is intended to provide
the means through which land may be developed through an
overall unified approach rather than the traditional lot-by-lot
approach."-*- The small-lot subidivisions are developed on a
traditional lot-by-lot approach.
2. Development Plan review: A development plan cannot be
provided for the project because there is no way to know which
unit will ultimately be selected by home buyers.
1. Robert Wolcott, "Departmental Memo", City of Colorado Springs Planning
Department, January, 1985.
3. Common open space: Common open space, required by the PUD
zone, is not always appropriate in single-famiy developments
because private open space is provided in yards.
4. City Planning review process: The review of individual plot
plans, when used as an alternative to the final development
plan, is time-consuming.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The PUD as it exists in the 1980's is still in its evolutionary stages
and is constantly adapting to changing conditions. The PUD exemplifies
zoning which is now much more sophisticated and refined. Local governments
must not only respond to a changing housing market, they must attempt to
anticipate altering forces and accommodate them. Demographic trends,
increasing housing costs, and changing housing standards are forces shaping
the future of housing development. The PUD is the most appropriate land
use control in accommodating changing market conditions. The PUD zone
has been regarded as very successful by providing for flexibility of design,
encouraging a variety of housing types in a community, clustering of units
to provide more open space, and for its efficient use of streets and utilities.
However, administrative and review process exhibits several problems which
can negatively impact the development of housing. First, various studies
suggest that through its administrative review process, PUD regulations
contribute to increases in housing costs. Second, the PUD zone is complex
and often misinterpreted by local officials, city staff, citizens, and developers.
Third, the negotiation process is often frustrating. The city may be unclear
about what type of PUD development they would like in their community.
The following section providing recommendations is divided into two
parts: First, short-term policy recommendations are discussed including the
creation of a small-lot conventional single-family zone, the development of
PUD design guidelines, and streamlining of the PUD process. The second
part describes long-range policy decisions including an increasing state role
in land use development and reform, innovative variations on PUD regulations
used by some local governments, and, finally, a recommendation for a PUD
overlay zone in Colorado Springs.
Short-Term Policy Recommendations Colorado Springs
Short-term policy recommendations could include the creation of
conventional small-lot, single-family zone, the establishment of a PUD design
manual and guidelines, and a comprehensive streamlining of the PUD submittal
and review process.
1. Convention small-lot, single-family zone. As noted in the Fairfax
at Briargate Case Study, significant problems are encountered when applying
standard PUD criteria for small-lot subdivisions. The Colorado Springs
Planning Department is aware of the problem and recommended that a R-l
4000 single-family residential zone be created. According to a Planning
Department report, the zone would be established as a conventional, non-
discretionary zone, with established permitted uses and development standards.
A development plan would not be reguired. Common open space would not
be required in the zone. Staggered setbacks would be advised, but not
The report states that "as a guideline, the zone should not be used
to comprise more than 25% of the residential zones in any community, village,
or master plan area of the city. Zero-lot line developments should also be
allowed in the zone.-*-
As a short-term policy recommendation, the creation of a small-lot
conventional zone would help to alleviate problems experienced by both
developers and local officials. The zone would help satisfy the demand for
single-family, detached units on lots smaller than 6,000 feet. Government's
response to the above-mentioned problems has been slow.. In essence, plans
for small-lot, single-family subdivisions are being reviewed under criteria
which is not applicable. The submittal of development plans for review in
the PUD zone cost both the developer and the city an excessive amount of
time and resources.
The Planning Department Report cites the Comprehensive Plan,
Policy Number 6.1.1., which states that "the land development regulations
affecting housing shall accommodate the need for a sufficient supply and
choice of housing at varied price and rent levels while maintaining public
The Comprehensive Plan, a document adopted by elected officials,
definitely has established policy related to the provision of a sufficient supply
of housing. The problem of implementation evidently lies with interested
parties and the planning staff.
1. Robert Wolcott, Report on Proposed Modifications to Residential
Development Regulations, City of Colorado Springs Planning Department,
March 1, 1985, p. 4.
2. ibid., p. 2.
Looking to the future, it would be appropriate to study the
relationship between Planned Unit Development Regulations and small-lot,
single-family subdivisions. If appropriate criteria can be applied, the creation
of a small-lot PUD zone should be encouraged.
The Printers Park Case Study illustrates how two completely
different proposals for a PUD district. Plans were approved for the site,
yet, one was completely superior as it relates to PUD criteria. The City
of Colorado Springs can encourage innovative developments like the Printers
Park Senior Citizens Center project by creating a PUD design manual which
would provide information and guidelines for PUD projects.
PUD Design Manual/Guidelines
The development of these guidelines would accomplish the following:
a. Provide a clearer understanding of the PUD process for
developers, city staff, citizens, and elected officials.
b. The creation of the manual would help alleviate problems
associated in the bargaining process. The negotiation process,
which allows design flexibility in the zone, can also lead to
frustration and delay. The review criteria can be easily
misinterpreted by all parties. The manual, by clearly providing
the rationale behind the criteria, would help the city and clearly
define goals and policies related to PUDs. The developer would
also have a reference by which proposals could be justified.
In Streamlining Land Use Regulation, a document published by HUD,
several communities were contacted and listed the following justifications
for streamlining the land development process:
To stay within local budgets.
To control one of the factors that increases the price of new
To save time for public officials.
To encourage the kind of development the community wants.
To establish better working relationships between applicants and
To make the regulatory system more accountable.
To assure fairness and due process.^
Complicated review procedures can mean delay and frustration for
the developer. The additional cost is usually passed on to the consumer in
the form of higher priced housing units. There are several stages of review
and much can be done to streamline the process, including the PUD review.^
3. John Vranicar, Wellford Sanders, and David Mosena, Streamlining Land
Use Regulation, _A Guidebook for Local Governments, (American Planning
Association, Chicago, Illinois, November, 1980), p. 3.
4. ibid., p. 3.
1. Pre-Application Stage
a. The PUD report recommends that the pre-application stage
be simplified, with all written materials kept up to date,
without frequent changes.
b. A central permit area is recommended to consolidate several
2. Staff Review Stage
According to the HUD Report, several factors are important in
ensuring that the staff review process is adequately performed. First, the
reviewing entity must have a qualified, readily-accessible staff. Second, the
proper assistance and advice must be offered to applicants. Third, the review
must be performed as quickly as possible within an appropriate time frame,
and the applicant must be notified immediately of any problems. Fourth,
clear lines of authority must be established to allow for appeals, and adequate
accountability. Common problems encountered by applicants include
conflicting requirements, stalling, and backlogs. The staff review process
can be simplified by:
1. Joint Review Committees.
2. Fast Tracking.
3. Simultaneous docketing of Planning Commission and City
4. Mandatory time frames for review.^
3. ibid., p. 8. i
6. ibid., pp. 17-19.
The following illustration of the Colorado Springs
suggests some methods of streamlining the PUD process.^
7. John Maynard,Time-Line: City Review Process, (N.E.S.
Springs, Colorado, September, 1985.)
1 Zone Change Submittal fra*
2 Planning Commision Hearing
Council Hearing (1st) fr* o
Council Hearing (2nd) ** ND
Development Plan Approval (3*6 weeks) N* CO
Submit Plat to MLSC tc o
3 Submit for Building Permit 1C fra*
MLSC Hearing ro tc
Council Hearing on Plat to cn
Record Plat IC
4 Building Permit ro aj
TIME LINE: CITY REVIEW PROCESS
The time-line demonstrates that it takes approximately seven (7)
months from the initial zoning submittal to the attainment of a building
permit. Recommended streamlining procedures include:-*-
1. Joint Public Hearing of Planning Commission and Council with
second Council hearing to follow. This suggestion would save
approximately three (3) weeks.
2. Combine Zoning, Development Plan, and Platting into one review,
if proposed development is in conformance with an approved
Master Plan. This method would save approximately 10-12
3. Permit staff to review and approve all plats administratively
without hearings. This action would save approximately 6-7
4. Reduce review times in all review phases by assigning to special
review group, or increasing staff, or changing internal review
procedures. For example, a special review group could be
appointed to review all PUD proposals.2
Long-Range Policy Decisions
I. State Role
The primary emphasis on regulatory reform noted in Americas
Housing, Prospects and Problems, is for the states to tighten their enabling
framework and administrative procedure.^ According to Sternlieb and Hughes,
inadeguate local zoning administration can increase development costs by
delaying public hearings, and by requiring developers to make similar
presentations before different government entities. The uncertainty and
frustration with the entire process is a further problem that discourages
entry by potential buyers.^
The New Jersey Land Use Law of 1975 is an example of how some
states have attempted to systemize and rationalize land use procedures. The
New Jersey Law sets forth "uniform and regular requirements for
administrative procedures that may be followed locally. These procedural
sections cover for meetings of municipal agencies, hearings, notice of
hearings...appeals to the governing body, as well as several other technical
matters of procedure.The New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law places
time limits on the actions to be taken by the Planning Board (e.g., from 45-
90 days for site plan review) and also provides a one-stop service for
developers. According to Sternlieb and Hughes, the states should also provide
model zoning statutes to be used by local governments. The State should
3. George Sternlieb, James W. Hughes, America's Housing Prospects and
Problems, (Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research, New Jersey,
1980), p. 333.
4. John Vranicar, Welford Sanders, and David Mosena. Streamlining Land
Use Regulation, A_ Guidebook for Local Governments. (American Planning
Association, Chicago, Illinois, November, 1980), p. 3.
5. ibid., p. 335.
provide information, help induce local regulatory reform, and encourage and
help with the wider standings of PUDs.^
In the 1980's, local governments are increasingly gaining more control
over land use. However, another trend is toward a transfer of power from
the federal to the state levels. Development pressure is not only being
experienced in Colorado Springs, but all along the front range. It will be
important for the State of Colorado to take a more active role in planning.
The state could function as a clearing house for information and also generally
provide a leadership role to local governments. As development becomes
more intense along the front range, it will be in the interests of the State
to oversee local governments' housing problems and needs.
2. Local Reform and Innovative Land Use Control
The Planned United Development Zone is the most effective in
dealing with the development of housing. However, as the PUD evolved from
the existing land use control system, so will other innovative land use controls
evolve from the PUD. This study has shown how the PUD has evolved
differently according to different goals and policies of particular cities. This
evolution, although sometimes difficult to comprehend, must be encouraged.
As problems with the PUD process are solved, more efficient development
and land use controls will be discovered. Planning and land use decision-
making, even as we near the 21st Century, still could be considered in their
initial stages of development. The most innovative elements of land use
control can be traced to cities who are taking action to form a bond between
comprehensive planning and specific goals of the community. These innovative
6. ibid., p. 336.
actions are coming from two directions, both of which can be traced to PUD
regulations. The first direction, a "Land Development Guidance System"
employed by Fort Collins, Colorado, emphasizes the negotiation process. The
second, called a "Special Planning Area" and administered in Sacramento
County, California, attempts to eliminate the negotiation process.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Instead of using traditional zoning methods, the city openly negotiates
with developers in order to get developments that are designed with quality
in mind, pay their own way, and minimize traffic congestion by combining
industry, shopping areas and a variety of housing units within single
According to James Cloar of the Urban Land Institute, the system
works because Fort Collins has what other communities desperately need: a
constituency for long-term planning.^
Under the Land Development Guidance system, developers are
challenged to accommodate Fort Collins' goals of mixed land use and paying
their own way for development. More density is allowed if projects are
located near employment and shopping centers, parks and transit routes, and
if public amenities are provided or if low or moderate income housing is
7. Neal Pierce, Fort Collins, How to Grow Fast, with Class. (Denver Post
Editorial, Denver, Colorado, 1985.)
The next section provides an example of non-discretionary decision-
making in regard to the PUD process.
Recommendation; Specify PUD Standards
To counter the problem of discretionary decision-making associated
with PUDs, the study looks at Sacramento County in California where they
have written a set of individually-specified performance standards that govern
specific undeveloped parcels. The applicant is then aware beforehand of
specific requirements. The PUD Districts are called Special Planning Areas,
and are administered through overlay zones. According to the APA Report,
terms and conditions for each SPA are decided upon during the community
planning process, specified within each community plan, and are then put
into the zoning ordinance as a special amendment.
The ordinance has the following mandatory provisions:^-*-
0 Legal description of property.
0 Statement of intent.
0 Reasons for establishing SPA.
0 List of permitted uses.
0 Performance and development requirements related to yards, lot
areas, building coverage, parking, landscaping, and signs. (See
10. Vranicar, Sanders, and Mosena. "Streamlining Land Use Regulation, A
Guidebook for Local Governments", p. 44.
11. ibid., p. 44.
Soclion VIII Davolnpmunt and Pvrtonnancn Standards
1 Full development shall be based on ihe provision ol adequate vehicular access
Development shall proceed in conformance with ihe phasing schedule described m the
general developmenl plan and shall be correlated with the provision uI access improvements
as described therein.
2 The applicant shall petition Ihe county and participate in a request to CalTrans lor access lo
I lighway 50 and will participate in the cost ol said access in conjunction with county policy The
applicant shall likewise petition the coun'y and participate in Ihe cost ol providing vehicular
access lo Hazel Avenue.
3 The cost ol all slrecl improvements lo Sunrise Boulevard including signalized intersections
shall lie shared by the developer and Ihe county in accordance with policy ol the Dot mini mi it of
Public Works There shall be no curb cuts (private access) directly onto Sunrise Uoulevaid
1 The developmenl shall provide a combined surface and groundwater water supply system in
conjunction with Ihe City ol Folsom's development plans lor public water soivico
2 Prior to Ihe approval ol any tentative subdivision map or other spccitn: development
proposals, Ihe property owners shall lake the necessary actions lo inmate aniie oitiun to the
f olsoin Cordove Unilied School District
1 A sound attenuation device or mitigation measures (setback) shall bo provided along
Highway 50, along the industrial property boundary lo the west and along Sunrise (luuleverd lo
the specifications of Ihe County Health Agency
2 A plan lor live landscaping along Sunrise Boulevard shall be developed in conjunction with
Ihe county and subject lo review by Ihe Project Planning Commission
D Physical Environment
1 A thorough investigation ol the extent and nature ol the aequiler lech irge function ol the silo
shall be prepared |>nor to development Provisions lor on site disjior. u ol surface water lunoll
shall bo included with the general dovelojiment pi,in lor the sue
2 Development jilans lor lots along the American River shall bo subject to ajijiroval ol the
Project Planning Commission and shall include:
a the size, type, color, and location of fencing along Ihe American ftivoi Parkway.
b the number, location, and type ol Ihe jilanting along Ihe American River Parkway shall be
Irorn Ihe list ol native trees and shrubs prej>; red by Ihe Parks and Re .roalion Department
Native Vegetation Planting Program Advisory Committee;
C all structures shall comply with height restrictions of Section 235 25 (Paikway Corridor
Combining Land Use Zone) of the Sacramento County Zoning Code
d each lot along the Parkway shall be so oriented that the rear yard setback will be along the
Parkway boundary rattier than a sideyaro setback along the Paikway
I The gross density ol residential dovelojiment in this Sjioual Planning Atea shall not exceed
3 5 dwelling units jrer acre
Source Ordinance No 7H SPA -12 amending the Zoning Code lo establish the Null,mas
Projieity Special Planning Ama. 1971) Sacramento County. Cnlilumie
In addition, who pays for what is also specified. Other provisions
may be discussed, including:
0 Phasing, sequence of development.
0 Procedures for official review of project.1
The developer submits a general development plan based upon
provisions of the Ordinance, which is reviewed by the Planning Commission
and County Board. When this is approved, the Development Plan becomes
part of the SPA Ordinance.2
Several advantages can be attributed to the SPA:
0 The developer has a clear idea of the basic performance
0 The applicant has knowledge beforehand of any specific
0 The developer has more knowledge of special costs on- and off-
0 The County has taken the initiative and is not in a reactive
position. The community benefits by this pro-active position.
0 Through the Community Planning process, local citizens
participate in creating innovative land uses.^
1. ibid., p. 44,
2. ibid., p. 44,
3. ibid., p. 44.
The process is similar to the conventional PUD process in that once
a Development Plan is submitted and meets basic standards, the Ordinance
is tailored to fit the plan.^
Several problems also can be encountered with the SPA.
1. The Community Planning process may be too ambitious.
2. Circumstances associated with individual parcels may change.
3. Problem with balance. If the ordinance is too strict, it may
defeat the purpose of a PUD.^
Recommendation Colorado Springs Process
To provide a solution to some of the problems associated with PUDs
and the production of housing, a combination of the Fort Collins and
Sacramento County processes is recommended.
To solve the problem of interpretation and delays associated with
the PUD process, Colorado Springs could develop a single PUD Ordinance for
all potential requests. Performance standards would be written for specific
undeveloped parcels in the city. In relation to Colorado Springs, these zones
would essentially be overlay zones which would be called Comprehensive Plan
(CP) Overlay Zones.
The process would follow the Sacramento example by determining
individual requirements for each parcel through the community planning
process incorporating these requirements into appropriate community plans,
4. ibid., p. 44,
5. ibid., p. 46,
and then incorporating these standards into the zoning ordinance by special
Provisions of the CP Zoning Ordinance, like Sacramento, would
require a legal description, statement of intent, justification, a list of
permitted uses, and performance and development standards relating to yards,
lot areas, density, parking, landscaping, and signs.7
The Comprehensive Plan Zone would differ from Sacramento's "SPA"
in the following manner:
1. Submittal and review of Development Plan.
In Sacramento, development plans are reviewed by both the Planning
Commission and County Board.^ In the case of Colorado Springs' CP Zone,
the Development Plan would be submitted for administrative review. Of
course, the plan would generally have to conform to provisions of the zone.
If a plan is submitted and it is questionable whether or not it conforms, the
plan would be referred to the Planning Commission and Council for public
The process would also be different from Sacramento's in relation
to the bargaining process. The Sacramento Ordinance appears to completely
negate the negotiating process. The Colorado Springs CP Zone would be
different in that, if a developer attempts to submit plans radically different
than what would be proposed in the CP Overlay Zone, the normal PUD
6. ibid., p. 44.
7. ibid., p. 44,
8. ibid., p. 44,
process becomes available. In essence, plans would be submitted to the
Planning Commission and the developer would be required to justify his
proposed development. The normal bargaining process would be retained in
Implementation for Short-Term 5 years
Initial implementation of the proposed zone would be accomplished
by first determining which parcels within the city limits would be appropriate
for the zone. The community planning process would begin at this stage.
Long-Range Implementiaon 5 15 years
In terms of long-range planning, the Colorado Springs zone would
be more extensive than Sacramento County's. After the 5-year planning
increment, the long-range implementation (5-15 years) would include
establishing the CP zone through a joint City/County (El Paso County)
process. In effect, a ring would be created around the city limits for a
distance of five (5) miles. A Recommended CP Overlay Zone would then
be created for all undeveloped parcels within this area. PUD Land Use
Proposals within this area would, of course, be approved by El Paso County.
However, the CP Zone proposals within this radius in the county would be
reviewed based on the joint recommendation by El Paso County and Colorado
Springs. The zones within this area would include recommended performance
standards only. This joint effort would be particularly effective for areas
likely to be annexed by the City in the future.
The City is likely to encounter some of the same problems as
Sacramento in implementing the PUD Zone. These include the enormous
amount of time and resources required, problems with the Community Planning
process, and ever-changing land use conditions. The proposed CP Zone would
counter the problem of rigidness by leaving the door open for the normal
One of the greatest barriers to a zone of this type could be the
lack of a "planning attitude" in Colorado Springs. The City's political climate
is such that the local government primarily reacts to development pressures.
It would certainly mean adding more long-range planners to the City staff.
Opportunities The Actors
Due to the reactive posture of the local government, it is
recommended that the Overlay Zone be initiated through joint public/private
action. Creation of an Overlay Zone would require a strong commitment
from elected officials. In addition, the private developers must be involved
in the process.
In summary, the CP Zone would be more effective than Sacramento
County's by a more streamlined PUD process, by providing the opportunity
for joint city/county participation, and by relieving the Planning Commission
and City County of having to review all PUD proposals.
The creation of this type of zone would force the community to
look toward the future. The CP Zone would be the best way for the City
to respond to development pressures, and to reach for desired goals and
objectives. It is unrealistic for Colorado's front-range communities to just
react to development pressure without long-range planning. This type of
zone provides a long-range solution to the detrimental impacts associated
with PUD regulations and the production of housing. It provides for a
comprehensive planning process involving the community. Now is the time
for the City of Colorado Springs to begin to plan for future needs and the
CP Zone would be an appropriate start.
for the City of Colorado Springs to begin to plan for future needs and the
CP Zone would be an appropriate start.
Burcheli, Robert W., Planned United Development, New Communities
American Style, Rutgers University, The State University of New
Carr, James H., and Duensing, Edward E., Land Use Issues of the 1980's,
Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University, 1983.
Colorado Springs. Comprehensive Plan. City of Colorado Springs,
Colorado Springs. Report on Housing Costs and Government Regulation,
Colorado Springs City Planning Department, March, 1978.
Colorado Springs. Community Profile, Comprehensive Planning Report
Number Two, City of Colorado Springs Planning Department, 1981.
Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, "Economic Development
Committee Report", Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, 1985.
Frank, S., Sr., Mosena, David R., and Bangs, Frank S., Jr., Planned Unit
Development Ordinances, Planning Advisory Service, Report No. 291,
Goetze, Rolf, Public Technology, Inc., Changing Housing Standards.
Washington, D.C., 1983.
Hill, Dennis C., Colorado Springs Housing, Business Quarterly of Colorado
Springs, Spring, 1985.
Johnston, Robert A., and Schwartz, Seymour I., The effect of local
development regulations on the cost of producing single-family
housing. University of California, Davis, April, 1984.
Maynard, John A., A Proposal for a Planned Unit Development Ordinance