Sustainability Subdivision Ordinances – Not Yet?!

In a recent Linked APA SCP discussion, i wrote the following in response to a query regarding sustainability subdivision ordinances:

If you are still seeking info, try . . .

(1) One Planet communities (U.N.E.P), one of the case studies, SOMA 5-minute living site plan,

(2) the BedZED prototype,

(3) the Sustainable Community Development Code and Reform Initiative of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute,

(4) follow up with St. Louis on their 2010 RFP,

(5) a dated but resource rich page on Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development,

(6) Municipal Ordinance review (2006),

(7) the Salt Lake City Sustainable City Code Initiative (2010), with the most promising reference being in progress (9. Connectivity: Subdivision Ordinance Rewrite, Details not yet available (Staff: Casey Stewart, 801 535-6260 or,

(8) and Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point Sustainability Plan (MOEWD). It’s not a subdivision ordinance, but it is a comprehensive sustainability plan. (you need to scroll down to find the links, it’s a weird site. I can email you the PDF, but it’s really big (

(9) i’m assuming you’ve already explored LEED ND. If they don’t already have a model site plan/subdivision ordinance, it would seem like starting there would be the quickest way to developing a decent project. I just searched their site and did not find anything obvious quickly, but . . .

(10) Well, and then there’s always the living building challenge, applicable to all scales. That would be a rich starting point too. They represent the next-generation LEED.

As i’ve researched this topic quickly, and have already reviewed the topic as a possible project with a colleague about 6 months ago, i beleive you will need to invent a subdivision ordinance from the many principles etc. that are out there. The tricky part is picking the right principles. I’d recommend starting with One Planet as they are starting with NetZero impact, which is the minimum standard to aim at for sustainability.