Policy Recommendations

With so many key issues on the horizon that impact the future growth of our City and how the buildings being built today will continue to shape the design, function and livability of our neighborhoods. Working with our Division Design Committee and community leaders we have developed some key recommendations for the Comprehensive Plan Update (our city’s 20-year growth plan), new Mixed Use Zoning, Neighborhood Contact Code Update and the Design Standards and Guidelines (DOZA). These have been presented to many neighborhood groups, at Citywide Land Use committee, at SE Uplift, and other venues. Several recommendations including our Top 10 policies below were informed by recommendations from from Urbsworks, our policy consultant on the Design Guidelines.

View Key Policy Recommendations here:


  • Our blog post with an overview on the policy and concerns plus links
  • Neighborhood Contact Code Update at City Council (Policy went before City Council on 3/6 and will be back at City Council 4/11 for amendments. See the video from the City Council 2019-03-06 PM Session for a great overview of many of the big design issues with testimony on the Richmond Notification Policy and important related design issues by Heather Flint Chatto at one hour and 13 min in. (1:13)
  • RNA New Development Notification+Community Engagement Policy– many pieces of our policy became part of the appendix for guidance to developers.
  • Our Template Works – Developer Follow Up to RNA Community Comments Form – Hacker 2017– Good real example ( (Hacker Community Development Meeting Follow up Letter). This was given to City council at hearing on 3/6 showing how a design firm used our follow up meeting form successfully documenting concerns and how they were addressed. One  City Councilors noted this as very helpful and that it “showed that these development meetings are actually valuable”.

Top 10 Policy Recommendations These overarching policies maintain a no-net density loss goal, and have received formal endorsements from the following leading organizations:

  • Division Clinton Business Association (DCBA)
  • Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association (HBBA)
  • Richmond Neighborhood Association (RNA)
  • Mount Tabor Neighborhood Association (MTNA)
  • Division Design Committee (DDC)
  • Architecture for Humanity

City Response to many neighborhood organizations testifying in support of the DDI Top Ten Policy Recommendations: During City Council work sessions on the Comprehensive Plan, the Council held a special discussion on the DDI Top 10 Policy Recommendations including a matrix with Comp Plan and Mixed Use Zoning responses provided from BPS staff for each of our Top Ten Policies. In response, the Council noted the need to integrate community input into further refinements of design and community engagement in the Comprehensive Plan and later the Mayor and Councilwoman Fritz’s offices asked the DDI organizers to meet with their staff to consider whether there were options to integrate the DDI Top 10 Policies into current and future policy frameworks. We met with Council staff with our design and policy consultant and provided this additional matrix DDI Followup to City Staff Responses on DDI Top 10 Policy Recs.2.17.16. We have asked for additional followup as well.

Background Presentations:

Detailed Recommendations – Specific Recommendations +Talking Points useful for Testimony to City Council & Bureau of Planning & Sustainability:

1 -Comp Plan Update – Draft Recommendations

2- New Mixed Use Zones – Draft Recommendations

Why these recommendations? With the rapid redevelopment of Division from both public investments in the Division Streetscape project and extensive new private large development projects over the span of 18-24 months, the long-standing neighborhood character and identity as well as social fabric of the neighborhood has been significantly altered. This has left many residents without either the policy or political framework to have a voice in the evolution of their neighborhood. This has caused a crisis within the local Division community that some may paint as growth/no growth, density/anti-density. We see this same crisis reflected citywide. In an effort to help shift the dialogue away from complexities that polarize communities when discussing issues of density to the fundamental importance of DESIGN. Ideally, focusing less on where we may be divided towards what we can agree upon as shared goals. Our Top Ten Recommendations are in no way intended to reduce achievement of our density goals, but to foster density with fewer impacts, and better compatibility.

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