What is the LUMO or Land Use Management Ordinance?
Every city has a set of development regulations that serve as the rulebook for things like where a building can be located on a property, how tall it can be, or even how close the structure can sit to the nearest road. This same set of rules also govern the design of streets, the streetscape, parking lots, site lighting, signage, stormwater and landscaping. In Chapel Hill, the current set of development regulations is called the Land Use Management Ordinance or "LUMO" for short. The LUMO was adopted in 2003 as a companion document to the 2000 Comprehensive Plan. A Comprehensive Plan typically guides land use decisions and sets the community's vision for its future.
Why are we updating the LUMO?
The goal of this project, called the "Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO) Update", is to once again align town development regulations with the community's vision for the future of Chapel Hill. The new community vision is expressed in the recently adopted (June 2012) Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan. Between September, 2013 and June, 2014 several sections of the LUMO, called "Topic Areas", will go through an update process that includes opportunities for public input and comment.
As part of the Town Council goal to improve Chapel Hill’s development review system, town staff began internal improvements to the development review process in 2008.
A key element of the first phase of improvements was the application of technology for increased transparency, accountability, and enhanced work flow. Town staff implemented the new permitting software with the opening of the new Permit Center in September of 2011.
Phase 2 of the improvement process began with the hiring of technical assistance to identify which parts of the Land Use Management Ordinance are working well, where there are conflicts between the LUMO and other goals, where changes in other regulations or conditions impact the LUMO, and where changes in community values may affect the Ordinance. The Land Use Management Critique and Technical Report is available for review.
The Town has hired, Code Studio, a firm that specializes in land development regulations to begin the LUMO Update process. A team of Town staff from several departments, including Planning, Public Works and the Office of Sustainability, has been assembled to help coordinate and implement the project.