Comprehensive Code Reform Through Development of a Unified Development Code (UDC)

City of Missoula
Thursday January 20, 2022
Location: Missoula, MT

The City of Missoula is requesting proposal for Planning Consultant Services to develop a modern, updated and unified development code that is streamlined, consistent, clear, aligned, and user-friendly. This regulatory work must be responsive to city values and policies given consideration of the City’s comprehensive plan (the Our Missoula City Growth Policy) and other related City policies, and shall be coordinated with a related Growth Policy Update process, as well as subsequent zoning map amendments.

This Request for Proposals seeks submissions from qualified entities that shall offer demonstrated experience in visioning, evaluating, researching, merging, and writing land use regulations to develop a Unified Development Code (UDC) for the City. The City is seeking a multidisciplinary team of land use planners, facilitators, designers, and code specialists with a demonstrated background in innovative community engagement protocols. The Consultant team shall offer expertise in zoning and other land use regulations, process auditing, equity in land use auditing, national and Montana land use law, transportation, architecture and design, historic preservation, utility infrastructure, environmental resource protection, development financing, implementation of sustainability initiatives, and community planning including policy development.  The team should offer a strong public communications and marketing background that emphasizes community engagement with a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The intent of this project is to create a UDC that achieves the aspirational elements of City policy and fulfills stated project goals.  The final UDC will integrate all City development regulations (including but not limited to zoning, subdivision, parks, and engineering regulations) into one code and update the regulations to be responsive to Missoula’s current and emergent land use needs, especially through the lens of affordability, equity, and sustainability.

The process of developing the UDC is anticipated to involve two concurrent paths; one path that focuses on Implementation and another path that focuses on Innovation.  The Implementation track will establish a baseline (first phase) UDC that evaluates current land use development processes and regulations and combines current regulations with an eye for creating consistency and syncing processes and regulations together.  This track continues as an updated (second phase) UDC based on the outcomes of the Innovation track.  The Innovation track includes broad, inclusive community engagement to audit City policies and regulations for alignment and new direction – referred to as a ‘community innovation audit.’ Early in the exploration of new ways that the City should modernize and update the regulations is the need to conduct an analysis of our land uses regulations and the land use designation map through a lens of equity, in order to better understand whether impacts from growth are shared such that no neighborhood is exempt from change, but no neighborhood should experience sudden, radical change. Innovative concepts that could be considered include a range of approaches to regulations that meet the needs of our changing community including areas of form-based code, zoning map amendments, or other modernized, highly illustrative, and innovative regulations that support equitable and sustainable development.

Overall, this comprehensive process will involve tasks that provide various deliverables along the way; include the community throughout the time frame; interface with the growth policy; and move forward in an informed way to create the regulations that are best suited to fill the needs of this community, unique to Missoula.

Desired Project Duration: 30 Months

Link to RFP: 

Posted December 20, 2021

Planetizen Courses logo

Planetizen Courses: Online Training in Urban Planning

Access more than 250 urban planning courses on your computer, phone, or tablet. Learn today, plan for tomorrow.

View Courses

Edmonton, Canada

Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class logo

Planetizen AICP* Exam Prep Class

90% of students who took our class passed the exam and became AICP* certified.

View Class

image of laptop and class instructor Jeff Levine