Unified Development Code Rewrite
St. Tammany Parish finds itself at a unique crossroads. Traffic, drainage, rapid development, and growth remain top concerns for both the citizens of St. Tammany and Parish Government. However, our existing code for guiding development in the Parish is outdated and ill-suited to address these concerns. The current development standards and code were written over a decade ago in 2010 and do not meet the needs of development today, or for the future of St. Tammany. With this update, St. Tammany Parish has the opportunity to define our future, and set the standards by which our community will move forward to support the values of the residents of St. Tammany Parish. The Unified Development Code (UDC) has been overhauled. St. Tammany Parish Government encourages all citizens to examine the draft of the rewritten UDC and provide feedback to be included in the plan.
The UDC contains a combination of traditional land use and subdivision regulations, including design guidelines and water management standards that guide development projects and permitting requirements. The primary focus of this updated and revised UDC is to improve the development rules by streamlining the permitting process, removing redundancies and aligning overlapping procedures. The rewrite will address the impacts of recent development by restructuring and clarifying development standards that offset the impacts of proposed construction, while also improving policies for tree preservation, land clearing, and subdivision review procedures.
Of particular note, minor changes to zoning regulations will begin to better distinguish land development trends, categorizing most districts into four areas (residential, commercial, medical and industrial). A newly written innovative planning section clarifies the purpose and limit the use of Planned Unit Developments, and includes predictable minimum standards aligned with best practices for all uses from home offices to restaurants with a drive-thru.
Subdivision regulation changes are focused on clarifying processes for sites having limited infrastructure, detailing the procedures to successfully obtain subdivision approval (concept plan, proposed plat and construction plans, infrastructure installation, and final plat) and ensuring fair and transparent protocols for public input in the subdivision review process.
Ensuring a more resilient, sustainable future is a central goal of St. Tammany Parish Government, which will be guided by the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan, New Directions 2040. New “state of the art” proposed changes for “low impact” developments include: (1) more green space in subdivision proposals, (2) encouraging the use of native plants, and (3) clarifying stormwater runoff construction and management standards for major commercial sites to reduce the impacts to surrounding properties and the parish drainage system.
This overhaul of our UDC, currently in the draft stage while public comment is ongoing, has been an extensive process, involving countless hours of research, discussions and meetings over several years. But we aren’t done yet. Now, we want to hear from you. St. Tammany Parish is committed to gathering our citizens’ feedback and prioritizing their values, before implementing the rewritten, stronger Unified Development Code.
To share your comments, please visit the UDC Public Comment page.