Galesburg Approves Unified Development Ordinance

Galesburg, IL – It will soon be easier for new building developments in the city of Galesburg. The city council approved a new unified development ordinance (UDO) at its meeting this week -- paving the way for a simplified development code.

Community Development Director Roy Parkin says the new code will take several existing codes and make them available in one place, making it easier for developers to get the information they need.

Parkin says the idea for a unified development ordinance came about a little more than 10 years ago when the city revised its comprehensive plan. The city has since been using feedback to help develop the ordinance.

"Earlier on in the whole process, we did provide copies of the draft development ordinance to local contractors, local developers, local engineers," said Parkin. "[We] tweaked the ordinance a little bit with help from their comments."

Some of the various development requirements in the Municipal Code combined into one, new code, include Chapter 8 (Drainage, Flood Damage Prevention), Chapter 20 (Planning and Development), Chapter 23 (Signs), Chapter 26 (Subdivisions) and Chapter 31 (Zoning).

Parkin says the city has also added a landscaping code to the UDO. He says residents have at times mentioned lack of greenery when new strip malls are constructed or parking lots are paved.

An agriculture zone has been added to the UDO. That means if the city decides to annex a plot of land with an ag zoning, it will no longer have to re-zone the property to fit city code.

The UDO will not become code until July 6 at the earliest. The draft is complete, but Parkin says Galesburg must now review each zoned property in the city to make sure it reflects the new requirement. That may mean re-zoning and addressing multiple variances. Once that's done, the UDO will be presented to the city council for final approval to become code.