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Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)
Zoning is designed to protect a community by outlining what can and can’t be built on a given piece of land. It sets standards to ensure that adjacent buildings complement rather than conflict with each other. And it determines whether homes, schools, and stores are clustered together or set far apart.
The Unified Development Ordinance was adopted by the Common Council on December 27, 2017, signed into law by Mayor Brown on January 3, 2017, and became effective citywide on April 3, 2017. The new UDO is the city’s first comprehensive zoning rewrite since 1953 and codifies the land use policies of the Comprehensive Plan and Buffalo Green Code planning documents. It combines land use, subdivision, and public realm (e.g.; streets, parks, and sidewalks) standards into a single, user-friendly document.
The UDO implements the community’s vision for the development of the city. Responding to considerable input from residents and business owners, it is a “form-based code,” emphasizing neighborhood character, as its organizing principle. This approach was chosen because of its unique capacity to help realize the community’s vision for walkable, transit-supportive neighborhoods.
The entire December 2016 document is available here or broken into articles below.
Article 1. Introductory Provisions
Article 2. Definitions & Measurements
Article 3. Neighborhood Zones
Article 4. District Zones
Article 5. Corridor Zones
Article 6. Uses
Article 7. Site Development
Article 8. Access & Parking
Article 9. Signs
Article 10. Transportation Network
Article 11. Administration & Approvals
Article 12. Nonconformities &
Article 13. Zoning Board of Appeals
Article 14. Planned Unit Developments
Tools and Resources
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios