RFP: Unified Development Ordinance Development, Saratoga Springs

The City of Saratoga Springs (City) is requesting responses from qualified planning firms to complete a comprehensive revision to the existing Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations and incorporate current policy and regulatory documents including the City’s Complete Streets Policy and Urban Forest Master Plan into a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The UDO should support the goals and policies adopted in the 2015 Comprehensive Plan. 

The City is an international tourist destination supported by the Saratoga Racetrack, an award winning historic downtown, mineral springs, gateway to the Adirondacks, and is located within a manageable distance from NYC, Montreal, and Boston. The City also has many diverse cultural and educational facilities and public lands including Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, growing network of trails, and 4 national landmark sites that support a high quality of life for its 28,000 year-round residents. 

The City seeks to create and maintain a growing economic center and continues to experience a high volume of diverse mixed-use, industrial, commercial and residential development activity. 

In 2015, the City updated the Comprehensive Plan its recommended actions center around four guiding principles: 

• Economic Strength and Stability 

• Environmental Health and Resiliency 

• Transportation and Mobility 

• Community Character

The City operates under a hybrid form based and Euclidean zoning ordinance. The City’s three (3) transect districts continue to experience the highest intensity of development. Experience with the form based zoning has been positive overall, but a review of district performance and potential improvements is warranted. 

The goal of the project is to develop a visually interesting, logically coherent, unified document including updates to regulatory documents, newly adopted policies and plans, and incorporates new sustainability initiatives into a regulatory framework that implements the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan. 

In order to accomplish this goal, the Consultant, with support of the City, shall complete the following tasks: 

o Conduct an exciting, innovative, open and transparent process utilizing a wide range of communication/participation methods to: 

o Engage elected and appointed City officials; 

o Engage stakeholders; 

o Engage the citizenry; 

o Engage the technical review committee 

o Create a visual and user-friendly document; 

o Articulate and document the type of future land use and development the community wants to see; 

o Prepare a Unified Development Ordinance that: 

o Updates the Zoning Ordinance;

o Updates and incorporates the Subdivision Regulations; 

o Includes recently adopted policies and plans (Complete Streets Policy, Urban Forest Master Plan, etc.; 

o Includes updated Building and Construction Standards and Details; 

o Incorporates new sustainability initiatives 

o Is easy to understand 

o Is easy to administer 

o Generate broad support for the UDO 

o Complete the project in 12 months

This project is partially funded with a grant from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under the Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) Program. 

The City intends to develop a final scope of work, schedule and fee in collaboration with the selected consultant. The Consultant may provide varied approaches to completing the project. 

For more information, see the Attached Document.