The Heart of the Development Code: Articles 26-1 thru 26-3

As promised, the Community Development Department is rolling out a series of informational videos to introduce topics in the Manhattan Development Code (MDC). Our staff has worked hard to create videos that are brief but hit the highlights of each article in the MDC. A huge shout out to Ben Chmiel, Long-Range Planner III with the department for his work in creating, edits, and producing the final video products.

The first video installments below cover Article 26-1. Authority, Purpose, Applicability, Article 26-2. Zoning Districts and Land Uses, and 26-3. Overlay Districts. The actual draft regulations can be found on the Manhattan Development Code EncodePlus site.

In addition to the information provided on, the Community Development Department will also be presenting each article to the Ordinance Advisory Committee (OAC), the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board, and the City Commission. FYI, the OAC is a committee of citizens formed with the project to give guidance to the drafting of the project. The Planning Board will have a work session on these articles on April 19th (see staff memo to the Planning Board). The City Commission will hold a similar work session on April 20th (see staff memo to the City Commission) (Pro tip – the two staff memos are largely the same). The OAC will hold a meeting on the drafts of Articles 26-1 through Articles 26-4 on May 5th. Article 26-4. Design Standards covered building and site design requirements for various commercial and residential districts. More information on that article will be coming soon!

If you have any comments or questions about the MDC or these first three articles, please drop them in the Question tab on the Manhattan Development Code project page.

Article 26-1. Authority, Purpose, Applicability

Honestly, Article 26-1 isn’t that exciting, when it comes to development standards. But, it is an important section that lays out the overall MDC structure, purpose of the regulations, and where and when the regulations are generally applicable. Enjoy!

Article 26-2. Zoning Districts and Land Uses

Article 26-2 dives right into the residential, commercial, and industrial zoning districts, what is allowed in each district, and what are the site requirements (e.g., building setbacks, building heights, minimum lot areas, etc.). The MDC introduces some new residential development types with hopes to encourage different subdivision designs that allow for new housing types and/or preserves natural areas and open spaces. The MDC also proposes some new processes for the approval of new developments. This video and the details in this article basically lay the groundwork for all articles to come. In addition to the video, The Community Development Department has created this nifty map to allow you to compare what the zoning of a piece of land or neighborhood is to what it is proposed to be with the MDC.

26-3. Overlay Districts

Ben does a great job in this video briefly explaining what Overlay Districts are, why we have them, and what changes are proposed with the MDC. So, please give a view for more information.

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