1. Get everyone in city hall on the same page.
Pre-approved plans align the vision for the city with the procedures within city hall. Building officials and zoning departments review plans and coordinate with zoning regulations, typical lot configurations, and state building code. This expedites approval and significantly lowers risk for small-scale development. It also increases the efficiency of staff by reviewing one plan that can be repeated multiple times in the city.
Implementing a pre-approved building program requires local government to operate as the highest form of collaboration and make the internal shift from vertical approaches to a more horizontal approach.
2. Educate the public.
City-sponsored development workshops introduce aspiring developers to a network of professionals who can help them select, plan, finance, and build a profitable project.
This stage of the process:
- Encourages citizen-led development.
- Calibrates the next increment of development.
- Builds confidence in the community.
- Gets money off the sidelines and invested back into the community.
- Develops a local ecosystem.
3. Offer high-quality architectural plans.
The pre-approved plans should be high-quality architectural plans consistent with the local character and scale of the neighborhoods where they will be built.
As architects develop these plans, they should get input from local builders and keep local construction techniques and building codes in mind.
The traditional development pattern and existing housing stock in our communities include a wide variety of housing along the housing ladder, yet we overlook these today. Pre-approved house plans revive the full range of housing options, including starter homes that offer more affordable options for lower- and middle-income individuals.
The results are not only high-quality architectural plans consistent with the local character, but an emerging community of investors and developers from within the community.