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Auburn hires design team to kick off zoning update

Traci Newell, Auburn Journal

Read original here.

Aug 26, 2022 1:00 PM

The city of Auburn is one step closer toward updating its zoning code. The city council on Monday approved hiring Auburn-based Genevieve Marsh Design Group to oversee the first two phases of its plans to develop a form-based code for the central commercial core of Auburn. Form-based code will consider all aspects to the built environment and then create a prescriptive code to implement that vision. Jonathan Wright, community and economic development director, said the code work will focus on “a very specific plan” for Old Town and Downtown areas on mixed use, higher density and residential uses. During the city’s request for proposal process, Wright said he found consultants were in high demand so they received no responses. In April, Wright was introduced to Genevieve Marsh, which was working with the city’s sustainability committee, and the idea to break up the form-based code work was born. The first phase of the form-based code work is the visioning, community outreach and spatial design work, Wright said in his staff report. “Genevieve Marsh Designs is located in North Auburn and specialize in community-engaged design, they know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to drawing out valuable local knowledge and mediating feelings about change,” Wright stated in his report. The design team has a decade of experience working throughout the Sierra Nevada foothills, Sacramento region and beyond. As a result of the visioning and community outreach, the city will have the design standards and a block-by-block analysis, resulting in a draft form-based code design work. After the initial design work, the city will need to develop the land usage ordinance, conduct an environmental review, determine consistency with the city’s general plan and run the adoption process, the staff report stated. To assist, staff contacted Regional Government Services (RGS), which is ready and able to take this phase (phase two) to the finish line, Wright wrote in his report. RGS specializes in providing cities support for these types of projects. Wright said he plans to use grant funding to finance the contracts for the first portions of this process and is actively seeking additional grant funds to continue to fund the form-based code project.


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