What is a Unified Development Ordinance?

A Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) combines zoning regulations and subdivision regulations, as well as additional City regulations such as the appearance code, landscape ordinance, and stormwater requirements into a single document. Zoning, which provides the foundation for the UDO, is a tool used to enforce planning decisions that can regulate the look and feel of an area, promote or restrict certain uses, control the density of households in an area, and promote public health, safety, and welfare.

Why do we need to update our current zoning ordinance and land use regulations?

The current Yorkville Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 1974, the Subdivision Control Ordinance and Standard Specifications for Improvements were adopted in 2004, the Landscape Ordinance was adopted in 2009, and the Appearance Code was adopted in 2005. Each code has seen numerous amendments over the years, which has resulted in City regulations that can be difficult to interpret and enforce. Some of the processes outlined in the ordinances are not clearly defined, are onerous, or have become obsolete due to other long-standing practices.

Why is the City updating its codes now?

The City completed a full update to its Comprehensive Plan in 2016. The Comprehensive Plan set forth several goals and objectives for the City to obtain including updating the zoning, subdivision, landscape, and appearance ordinances. The Comprehensive Plan articulates in broad terms the rationale for zoning regulations within the community. The Comprehensive Plan can be viewed by visiting the City’s website.

What will the Unified Development Ordinance do?

The UDO will provide a “user-friendly,” easy-to-read document that can be understood and interpreted by all users, including residents, staff, developers, and elected and appointed officials. The UDO will integrate graphics, illustrations, and tables to clarify regulations and standards, allowing regulations to be applied and enforced fairly and consistently. When finished, the UDO will help to streamline the development review process, encouraging development, redevelopment, and innovative approaches to land use regulation.

What won’t the Unified Development Ordinance do?

It is impossible for the UDO to accommodate every situation. It will not prevent all non-conformities nor eliminate the need for zoning relief. The general rule is that the UDO will seek to regulate the norm, not the exception.

When will the UDO start and when will it be completed?

The initial phases of the UDO update have begun, with anticipated adoption in Winter 2021.

How can I get involved in the process?

Residents, business owners, and other stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the process of developing an updated UDO. Visit the Community Meetings page of this site to learn about upcoming events you can attend and visit the Send Comments page to directly send us your input regarding the UDO and planning process.