Thinking of a Planned Unit Development Overlay District, yes as much as I prefer full rezoning, this might be the better approach. Overlay zoning leaves the underlying zoning in tact.
Planned Unit Development would allow for a significant density bonus over developing under the traditional underlying zoned uses. For instance, current zoning, with a retail use allows 70% lot coverage, but out of this for every square foot of building, there are two square feet of parking. In the end, we wind up with an effective floor area ratio (floor space to lot area) of 0.23 or less. Planned Unit Development (PUD) would allow for a higher floor area ratio, perhaps a lesser parking requirement per square foot, while demanding a better land use mix and an enhanced site design.
Generally, PUD by-laws require a project to have at least two uses from a list of uses in the by-law. A traditional PUD by-law could lead to all commercial, or all residential development sites. I am thinking we want to be a bit different in our approach. I am thinking we approach this with three columns of uses. Column A Residential, Column B Retail, and Column C Office, Services, Recreational Uses, etc. A PUD would be required to provide a minimum percentage of floor space dedicated to uses from Column A, say 25% and a minimum percentage from Column B, again, perhaps the 25%. The remaining floor space can come from any column provided that the aggregate uses in the development plan did not exceed 50% from any single column.
Some of the uses currently in the Industrial Zone would be capable of being incorporated into a PUD proposal; retail, entertainment, restaurant, animal hospital. Others would continue to be permitted solely under the underlying zoning. We would seek Cape Cod Commission relief from regional review solely for projects being permitted under the PUD approach.
Feedback? This will be part of the discussion at the EDC Meeting on Thursday at 9 am in the Annex Conference Room.