Request for Qualifications
Unified Development Ordinance
Town of Zebulon
Submittal Deadline: 08/09/2013
The Town of Zebulon, North Carolina, is inviting qualified consulting firms to respond to a recently released Request for Qualifications (RFQ) concerning the development of a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) for the Town. The purpose and intent of the project is to produce development regulations that address development and zoning practices that are easily understood by administrators, the public, and the development community.
The Town of Zebulon, North Carolina, is requesting proposals for planning services to assist in the development and preparation of a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Located along US Highways 64 and 264 in eastern Wake County, the Town of Zebulon is approximately 20 miles from downtown Raleigh, Rocky Mount, and Interstate 95. Currently, Zebulon’s corporate limits comprise 2,711 acres or 4.24 square miles, while the extraterritorial planning jurisdiction makes up approximately 5,795 acres or about 9.1 square miles. Zebulon has a strong industrial base with several major industries such as GlaxoSmithKline, Nomacorc and US Foods. In fact, its commercial base, one of the highest rates in the Triangle, generates 71 percent of Zebulon’s tax revenue. Zebulon offers its citizens and business community a reasonable tax rate, top notch fire and police protection, first class recreation and leisure opportunities with seven municipal parks and a community center; and of course is home to the Carolina Mudcats. The Mudcats are a minor league affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
II. EXISTING ORDINANCES
The current Town Code of Ordinances was adopted in 1985 and has had numerous amendments made to it over the past 28 years. The original document was based upon basic model ordinances relative to format and content. Amendments to the ordinance(s) have attempted to provide traditional development criteria while allowing for more contemporary uses. The UDO would represent the first major overhaul of Zebulon’s development regulations and will work in tandem with the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan to strengthen Zebulon’s development regulations. The Board of Commissioners, Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, staff, citizens and the development community continually express concerns with the current ordinances and the ability to interpret and enforce them fairly and consistently. Many of the processes outlined in the ordinances are not clearly defined or have become obsolete due to long standing practice and will need to be analyzed and rewritten. The Town wishes to modernize its land development regulations and address other major issues, content problems, or weaknesses including but not limited to the following:
• Awkward and confusing ordinance format and structure
• Unclear, contradictory language, including standards or requirements which simply cannot be met;
• Unclear review procedures and permitting requirements;
• Out-dated standards;
• Lack of graphics and illustrations with different dimensional information than district standards;
• Lack of sufficient and clear definitions;
• Lack of detailed aesthetic review criteria and design guidelines that address the Town’s gateways and commercial districts;
• Lack of cross-references within sections, section headings, and a comprehensive index;
• Inability to easily insert amendments;
• Lack of proper conditions on zonings requiring Special Use Permits; and,
• Incorporate and encourage urban design and environmentally friendly practices for long term sustainability.
• The current Book of Ordinances was compiled in 1985 (the same boiler plate that numerous small towns in North Carolina use) and has not been properly maintained over the years following its adoption.
An electronic copy of Zebulon’s Code of Ordinances can be found by visiting www.amlegal.com under the “Library” tab, search “North Carolina”, then select “Zebulon”.
III. DESCRIPTION OF THE UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE TO BE DEVELOPED
It is anticipated that this new UDO will be:
• “User-Friendly”, easy to read, understand, and interpret for all users, including citizens, staff, developers, and elected and appointed officials;
• Simpler, flexible, and more easily administered by staff;
• Heavily illustrated, with considerable graphics depicting the requirements, recommendations, and concepts detailed in the code;
• Built upon the best small-town design principles and practices throughout the state and/or country.
• Demonstrative of current planning best practices in approach to land‐use regulations while recognizing local controls and desires; and,
• Legally defensible and consistent with the recently adopted Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
IV. SCOPE OF SERVICES REQUIRED OF THE CONSULTANT
The services being sought of the consultant selected for this project will include:
• Review and assess the complete existing Code of Ordinances; subdivision regulations, zoning ordinance, and all other town ordinances with staff, the local development community, elected and appointed officials, citizens, and other interested parties to determine deficiencies;
• Review, identify, recommend and facilitate potentially significant changes to the Town Code of Ordinances;
• Prepare specific updates to the Town Code of Ordinance to ensure elected officials, staff and the general public understands the use of the Town’s codes;
• Evaluate different approaches and determine the most effective type of zoning ordinance product for the Town of Zebulon;
• Prepare a UDO that will clearly define the expectations of the Town in regards to appearance, quality, density of development, and address identified weaknesses;
• Work with a staff review team or advisory committee;
• Provide neutral opinions and resolutions in cases of conflict;
• Act as facilitators with representatives of the Town’s business community, residents, board members, and Town staff in the formulation of regulations that are acceptable to both the Town and the development/business community;
• Possibly use charrette methods or workshops to cooperatively develop regulations with staff and the development community;
• Coordinate the development of this UDO with concurrent projects;
• Provide guidance regarding any zoning map changes which are a result of text changes to the UDO;
• Present the ordinance at meetings and public hearings;
• Ensure compliance with all applicable State statutes; and,
• Recommend the best approach for managing and maintaining codification of the new UDO for adoption.
V. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Public involvement is paramount to the development of the Unified Development Ordinance. This is especially true given the development issues and concerns within the Town – from single family residential to commercial while maintaining the small Town atmosphere that is desired for the community.
Consequently, the planning process shall incorporate an intensive public participation program that will encourage and facilitate input from developers, engineers, planners, residents of the Town, and special interest groups.
VI. END PRODUCT
The Unified Development Ordinance is to be presented in a format and language that is “user-friendly” and accessible to the general public. Technical jargon should be kept to a minimum. The extensive use of graphics and other devices that will enhance the readability and ease-of-use of the ordinance is required.
Immediately following adoption of the Unified Development Ordinance, the Town of Zebulon Planning Department shall receive 36 hard copies, two digital copies and an internet-ready copy of the final document. In addition, all sections of the ordinance, including any graphic files, are to be provided in the appropriate digital format.
The Town of Zebulon shall retain ownership of all data generated.
VII. PROJECT BUDGET
The work will be performed on a fixed price basis with a specific amount and payment program being determined through contract negotiations with the successful firm and will be based upon major milestones and/or identified tasks and subtasks.
VIII. TIME FRAME
The proposal shall outline the consultant’s best estimate of time to carry the proposed planning process to its completion. The realism of proposed timeframes given other work and projects will be considered in the ultimate selection of a consultant.
IX. SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS
In order to be considered, five (5) copies of the proposal must be received by the Town of Zebulon Planning Department on or before Friday, August 9, 2013 by 5:00 p.m., EDT.
All proposals must be in a sealed envelope marked: REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS – UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE.
Each proposal is limited to 25 pages and shall contain the following information in the order listed:
1. A proposed work program detailing public participation, phases, tasks, and sub-tasks of the project based upon the SCOPE OF SERVICES REQUIRED OF THE CONSULTANT in this request.
2. A detailed time line for the completion of the project, showing timing for each phase, tasks and sub-task identified in one (1), above.
3. A detailed organizational chart and management approach, including descriptions of the use of any subcontractors.
4. A brief description of the proposed planning team, identifying each key member, their respective responsibilities, and the anticipated percentage of their time to be allocated to this project.
5. A description of the proposed final format for the Unified Development Ordinance.
6. A statement of qualifications and relevant experience.
7. A list of at least five (5) references for previously developed Unified Development Ordinance’s, including names, titles, addresses and telephone numbers.
A budget proposal based upon the SCOPE OF SERVICES REQUIRED OF THE CONSULTANT in a separately sealed envelope shall also be provided. The budget proposal is to list the cost for each phase of the project (including person-hours by specific consultant), individual costs for hard copies, internet-ready copy, and cost per meeting/workshop, and any additional supplemental charges.
A separate sample work product prepared by the consultant/consultant team for a comparable community shall also be included with the submittal. This will not count toward the page limit identified above.
X. COPYRIGHT RELEASE
Those firms responding to this RFQ shall supply a copyright release in order for the Town of Zebulon to make copies of any copyrighted materials submitted.
XI. SELECTION PROCESS
The Planning Director for the Town of Zebulon will serve as the project manager and others will likely be involved in the selection process. Several criteria will be closely evaluated including, but not limited to the following: technical approach to the project, qualifications of key personnel, previous performance with similar projects, project management capabilities, public participation methods, and cost.
Interviews may or may not be required and can be conducted by telephone if necessary. The Planning Director and the Town Manager will attempt to negotiate an agreement with the top ranked firm. If no agreement can be reached with the top ranked firm, that firm shall be dismissed and staff shall proceed with discussions with the second ranked firm. This process may be repeated as many times as necessary until an agreement can be negotiated that is satisfactory to both parties.
The Town reserves the rights to be the sole judge of the suitability of the proposed services for its intended use, and further specifically reserves the right to make the award in the best interests of the Town of Zebulon.
XII. MAILING ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Individuals responding to this solicitation should mail or deliver proposals to:
Town of Zebulon Planning Department
Attn: Mark A. Hetrick
1003 N. Arendell Avenue
Zebulon, North Carolina 27597
All inquiries regarding this specific project should be directed in writing or via email to:
Mark A. Hetrick
1003 N. Arendell Avenue
Zebulon, NC 27597