Valley Metro Transit-Oriented District Overlay Zoning Ordinance & PeD Guidelines

Phoenix Metropolitan Region, Arizona

Valley Metro Regional Public
Transit Authority

Subconsultant to SR Beard

1999 - 2002

Community Design + Architecture worked in the Valley of the Sun region on two major land use and transportation policy projects.

The Pedestrian-Oriented Design (PeD) Guidelines project was expanded from its original transit-oriented development (TOD) effort when cities throughout the region, some of which had infrequent transit service at the time, desired to create pedestrian-supportive environments. The broader PeD effort aimed to create planning, urban design, transportation, and development practices that will result in an environment that supports the choice to walk for both transportation and recreation. The document describes the general concepts of PeD and includes a primer on land use and transportation planning. Standards and guidelines are divided into two major sections: one addressing transportation systems planning and the land use structure of communities, districts, corridors, and neighborhoods; the second section providing standards and guidelines for site, building and street design.

TOD remained the focus for the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa, which will have stations along the Central Phoenix/East Valley light rail corridor. CD+A developed a model overlay zoning ordinance to guide the cities in formulating policies and regulations that will encourage TOD around the light rail stations. The document balances public policy and regulation with market and community perspectives. It also presents case studies from around the country to highlight opportunities and key issues to consider. The ordinance also includes TOD Discussion Points that provide a detailed rationale and trade-offs that must be considered in drafting prescriptive regulations, as well as a set of standards and guidelines that describe the design qualities desired of site plans and building designs for TOD. Since CD+A completed the model ordinance, the three cities have been working to integrate TOD into their planning policies and ordinances. Following the completion of their General Plan , Phoenix developed an overlay ordinance and has station area planning efforts around specific stations. CD+A in conjunction with Economic & Planning Systems also worked with these cities to define the market-supported potential for TOD around the approximately 26 stations on the Corridor.

Both the PeD Guidelines and the Model TOD Overlay Zoning Ordinance received a Transportation Planning Excellence Award for 2004 as part of the larger Comprehensive Program on Transit Supportive Land Use administered by Valley Metro Rail. The award is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, and co-sponsored by the American Planning Association.