Unified Development Code Update

City of Fremont

Fremont, NE

Request for Proposals For Planning Services For a comprehensive re-write of the City of Fremont, Nebraska Unified Development Code.

The City of Fremont, Nebraska is seeking qualified consulting firms to submit proposals for a comprehensive revision the Unified Development Code to clarify, simplify, update, and create a cohesive code.

Sealed Proposals are due by 1:00 p.m. August 21, 2020. Late proposals will not be accepted.

Sealed proposals shall be hand carried or delivered by traceable means to:

Tyler Ficken, City Clerk
City of Fremont
400 East Military Avenue
Fremont, NE 68025

All proposals should be clearly marked: Request for Proposal for Planning Services, Unified Development Code re-write. RFP # PL-002


The City of Fremont is seeking planning consultant, consulting firm or team to clarify, simplify, reorganize, and update the City's Unified Development Code (UDC), Chapter 11 of the City's Municipal Code. The consultant(s) must have national knowledge of best practices in land use planning, urban design, land use law, community engagement, transportation planning and parking standards, as well as experience drafting subdivision and zoning ordinances in the State of Nebraska.

The City's last significant zoning code changes were adopted on November 28, 2017, however, many of the UDC sections are unclear, cumbersome, and difficult to interpret. This results in uncertainty for citizens, elected officials, and the development community. The current code may be found on the City's website www.fremontne.gov at https://library.municode.com/ne/fremont/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CD_ORD_CH11UNDECO

The City will be issuing a request for proposals for an update to the City's Comprehensive and Transportation Plan at the same time. It is expected that the consultant for the UDC project will coordinate with the consultant selected to update the Comprehensive and Transportation Plans.


The City of Fremont is the county seat of Dodge County located in eastern Nebraska. Fremont is approximately 38 miles northwest of downtown Omaha and approximately 52 miles north of Lincoln.

Fremont is nestled between the Platte and Elkhorn Rivers. The Platte River is adjacent to the south edge of the City's extra-territorial jurisdiction, the Elkhorn River is a few miles to the east. As such, much of the City's jurisdiction is located in or adjacent to a floodplain. Additionally, many sand-pit lake developments are located near the Platte River, along the southwest edge of the City's jurisdiction. Lake and river recreation are important to the community.

The City has a population of 27,021 and a median age of 40. The annual growth rate has traditionally been under 1% annually, however the rate is expected to increase with the recent opening of new industries and businesses, as well as the many business expansions that are underway. Food processing, construction and wholesale trade are among the largest employers.

Fremont Public Schools, Arch Bishop Bergan Catholic Schools, Trinity Lutheran School and other parochial schools are the primary providers of elementary and secondary education in the community. Midland University and Metropolitan Community College provide higher education and trade education.


The Consultant will work with City staff to establish a process to develop a new Development Code (zoning, subdivision and design standards) for the City of Fremont. The City is open to conventional Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances as well as a combination of other types/styles of ordinances.

It is anticipated that an experienced, multi-disciplinary team will develop an ordinance that addresses, among other things:

  • Standards for older, existing residential, commercial and industrial neighborhoods;
  • Appropriate zoning for transitional areas;
  • Guidelines for planned development and historic districts;
  • Concise, understandable standards and regulations for new developments;
  • Subdivision regulations and standards;
  • Signage regulations;
  • Landscape standards;
  • Opportunities for green infrastructure;
  • Supplemental use regulations;
  • Short-term rentals;
  • Accessory use regulations including fencing and accessory structure design/sizing;
  • Mixed use standards for existing corridors and in new developments;
  • Coordinated subdivision regulations and land developments standards;
  • Enhanced standards for limited and conditional uses;
  • Design standards for zoning and subdivisions, and;
  • Clear definitions with illustrations or photos as available.

The selected team will have significant experience developing zoning and land use regulations; subdivision regulations; signage regulations and knowledge of sign related law; landscape design, including best practices for storm water management; historic districts; land development regulations, and; transitional land uses.

It is anticipated that the consultant will work with the community to develop a zoning ordinance that articulates good standards that support walkable neighborhoods. The ordinance will provide for administrative approval opportunities, will address the needs of older neighborhoods and will provide updated zoning and subdivision standards for newer and yet-to-be developed areas of the City.

The final ordinance will be a code that provides the City with the best workable and least burdensome ordinance (i.e. conventional code, unified development code, form-based code, etc.). The City desires a high degree of illustrative and pictorial examples.

The final work program will be developed in conjunction with City staff but the scope of work should include the following:

  • Initial Review and Analysis. The consultants will work closely with the Planning Commission and City staff in a thorough review of the existing ordinance, development challenges and an on-site analysis of the community. The proposal should specify the number of days the team will be on site and the methods and types of analysis that will be performed.
  • Coordination with Comprehensive Plan. The consultant will coordinate with the consultant leading the concurrent effort to update the Comprehensive Plan to ensure the new code will be consistent with the identified goals, objectives and recommendations of the updated Comprehensive Plan.
  • Public Outreach. The consultant will work with staff to develop a public outreach strategy designed to inform community stakeholders and the general public on the benefits of the update, as well as conducting regular meetings and web/social media interaction throughout the process. Public meetings should include a visual approaches such as a visioning charrette, visual preference surveys, or other methods to help with understanding of the intent and outcomes of proposed options. The methods, number and type of meetings should be detailed in the response. The selected consultant will work with city staff to develop a public participation process. The process must include opportunities for robust participation in-person and on-line in both English and Spanish.
  • Meetings. Weekly update meetings with staff will be conducted via telephone and/or electronic means. Monthly meetings will be held with the staff and Steering Committee. Quarterly progress updates will be held with the Planning Commission and City Council. A minimum of four (4) community engagement meetings will be held as well as one (1) public open house. Additional sub-committee meetings on special topics should be detailed. The meetings and open houses will be conducted in English and Spanish.
  • Drafting the Document. The consultant will prepare drafts of the zoning/subdivision ordinance, including graphics, for review by staff, Planning Commission, sub-committees and the public. The proposal should include the anticipated number of public meetings, committee meetings and staff meetings. The proposal should also specify number of revisions that the team will provide based on feedback, and the overall project timeline. A fee basis for additional meetings, if required, should be provided.
  • Presentation of Final Draft. The consultant will present the initial draft ordinance in two public information sessions, in four meetings to the Planning Commission and four meetings to the City Council. The consultant should provide costs to present to additional meetings or make revisions, should they be necessary.
  • User-Friendly Format. The consultant will work with City staff to create a user-friendly, interactive format in which the public can access the revised code.
  • Deliverables. The consultant will be expected to provide all graphics and illustrations to be included in the ordinance, the synopsis and any hand-outs used in public meetings in both "hard copy" and electronic form. In addition all text produced through this assignment will be provided in "hard copy" and electronic form.


The RFP proposal will include:

  • A cover letter signed by the consultant or a member of the consulting firm empowered to commit the firm to a contractual arrangement with the City. The cover letter should also identify the consultant and/or firm submitting the proposal and any sub-consultants that may be proposed. It should generally outline your understanding of the assignment.
  • A detailed discussion of your work approach to fulfill the requirements of this request for proposal. For each task, describe the activity, the intended results, any work or activity you assume will be conducted by the City. Identify the type of zoning ordinance that will be proposed (i.e. conventional, unified, form-based, etc.).
  • A project schedule outlining the timeline and estimated completion date of each major task identified in your scope of work.
  • The name, qualifications, experience and availability of the project manager and all other members of the project team that will work with the City, their roles in the project, related experience, hours to be dedicated to the project and billable rates.
  • Resumes of key staff proposed for the project. Resumes included should be limited to those key personnel who will be committed to this project. A resumes shall be no more than two (2) pages for each person.
  • Past experience that the team has recently completed providing planning services for at least three (3) similar zoning ordinance projects. Include reference names and contact information and design fees for the referenced projects.
  • Project fees. Provide your fees for performing the services required as detailed in your proposal. Describe any modifications you would recommend to the general work scope described in this request for proposal and the impact of those modifications on your fee proposal. Fees shall be stated as a total not-to-exceed fee for the services outlined, based on the hourly billing rates of the staff that would serve the City together with any added reimbursable costs for such expenses as printing, mileage, data or sub-consultants.


A total of 10 copies of the proposal must be received no later than 1:00 p.m. on August 21, 2020. Proposals received after this deadline will not be considered. Submitted proposals shall remain in effect for 120 days from the due date. All costs incurred for proposal preparation, presentation or contract negotiations are the responsibility of the consultant. The City of Fremont reserves the right to reject any or all proposals submitted in response to this request for proposal and/or to select the proposal that it determines, in its sole judgment, to best meet the needs of the City. To be considered, proposals should include the information set forth below and must be received by the due date at the following address:

Tyler Ficken, City Clerk
City of Fremont
400 E. Military Ave.
Fremont, NE 68025


The City will evaluate all submitted proposals based on the responsiveness of the work approach proposed, the qualifications of the staff that will work with the City, the overall qualifications of the firm and the fees proposed. Specifically, the City is seeking consultants with the following capabilities and experience:

  • Experience in preparing ordinances or codes to regulate development and redevelopment in smaller, Midwestern, agricultural communities.
  • Experience with and understanding of Nebraska State Statutes.
  • Experience in building community consensus to support innovative regulatory structures.
  • Strong graphics, written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience in evaluating, codifying and capturing qualities of community design and character consistent with the culture of the community.

The City may schedule oral interviews with some or all of the firms responding and, in that event, the outcome of such interviews may influence the evaluation of proposals.


It is expected that a contract will be executed with the selected firm within 90 days of the due date for proposals.

Request Type
Friday, August 21, 2020

Contact Information

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