Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)
Updating the codes that build Thomasville’s buildings, streets and public spaces
What is a UDO?
Combines multiple development related codes into one unified development ordinance (UDO), resulting in a business-friendly document with updated standards, common sense regulations, and lots of graphics.
Why a UDO?
In 2017 as an initial step towards upgrading and converting Thomasville’s development ordinances into a single source, easy to use, highly illustrative document, the City contracted with Town Planning & Design LLC to perform an audit of our existing codes and regulations; specifically the Subdivision Ordinance, Zoning Ordinance, Tree and Landscaping Ordinance, Historic Preservation ordinance, and Stormwater Ordinance.
The results of this process were presented to Council on April 23rd 2018. In some instances, the City’s development ordinances are approaching 50 years in age. All such standards must comply with state and federal laws. From both a legal and customer service perspective, the current structure of ordinances is cumbersome (requiring staff to interpret standards), lacks cohesion, has multiple contradictions, and contains several highly questionable legal concerns.
As a result, during the aforementioned “Code Audit” process nearly 100 items of concern were identified and classified into one of two categories: Urgent Fixes AND Fundamental Fixes.
Urgent Fixes include inconsistencies, legal concerns, outdated standards, and organizational issues. The document stated that these were “critical items that should be addressed in the immediate future using amendments to the existing text.”
Fundamental Fixes include the overwhelming majority of items, “complex and inter-related issues that are best addressed by adopting a new Unified Development Ordinance or UDO.”