A Message from Michael

Michael Lauer Planning continues to help our clients develop comprehensive, neighborhood, corridor and strategic plans; meaningfully engage stakeholders in shaping their futures; draft zoning, subdivision, design or form-based regulations; and pursue other strategies to take your community from vision to reality.

I believe that great outcomes result from the constructive collaboration that has fostered my long-term client relationships. By listening to your needs and ensuring that stakeholders understand the implications of their options, we can build support for actions that create vibrant neighborhoods and communities that thrive through economic ups and downs, respect valued resources, and promote positive change.

Gretna, LA UDO illustrations

Gretna UDC Adopted June 12, 2019

The City of Gretna City Council unanimously adopted a new Unified Development Code that was drafted by Michael Lauer Planning with the assistance of Dana Brown Associates.  The code is a big step forward for this historic community located across the river from New Orleans, including many special features to reinforce the best characteristics while fostering improved compatibility between the historic mix of uses. Key features include:

  • Creation of a Planning and Zoning Commission;
  • Expanded authority for administrative relief to strict application of landscaping, parking and lot development standards;
  • Gretna, LA UDO illustrationMore robust and context sensitive site development and design standards that better reflect the desired building forms;
  • Height transition requirements and provisions for height bonuses for developments achieving specific sustainability thresholds
  • Consolidation and clarification of development review and approval procedures;
  • Creation of neighborhood overlay districts that reflect the historic context of the City’s many neighborhoods;
  • More flexible non-conforming use standards that foster continued enhancement of historic businesses;
  • Greater flexibility in the design and location of required parking, including expanded opportunities for parking partnerships and waivers in historic districts; and
  • A combination of mandates and incentives for the use of green infrastructure.
Building in Concord, NC

Concord, North Carolina Code Revisions Under Way

Subsequent to the unanimous adoption of the Land Use Plan, the City retained Tindale Oliver and Michael Lauer Planning update its land development regulations, with particular focus on:

  • Creation of a conservation subdivision district for low density growth areas;
  • Creation of cluster standards for suburban residential areas;
  • Revision to residential, commercial and industrial design standards;
  • Adjustment of density and dimensional standards;
  • Parking and loading standards
  • Compatibility between districts;
  • Tree preservation; and
  • Specific use standards.
Bryan County, GA sunset

Bryan County, Georgia Unified Development Code

After reviewing the County’s land development regulations, Michael Lauer Planning drafted an Interim Development Ordinance, which was adopted in late 2018 to simplify and clarify subdivision procedures and establish design guidelines for residential and non-residential development.  Subsequently, the County retained Michael Lauer Planning to draft a new Unified Development Ordinance, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2019.

Durango Comprehensive Plan

Durango, CO Adopts Comprehensive Plan Update

The City Council unanimously adopted the Comprehensive Plan update the bolstered the City’s sustainability, open space, mobility, resiliency, parks, utilities, and growth management initiatives. Thanks to Tom Borrup of Creative Community Solutions for facilitating the development of a new Arts, Culture and Creative Economy element to the Plan. Thanks also to the citizens, staff and community leaders who worked so diligently to complete such a meaningful update in less than a year. The included Plan Implementation Program will keep everyone busy as a great City strives to remain one of the best small cities in the country.

Jefferson Parish Housing Strategy

Jefferson Parish Housing Enhancement Strategy in Place

The new strategic plan to enhance the Parish’s neighborhoods and housing stock was well received by the JEDCO Board. First steps of the strategy include identifying and selecting two neighborhoods for revitalization pilot programs that will adapt the toolbox presented in the Strategic Plan to create more vibrant and resilient neighborhoods that provide greater diversity in housing choices and better mobility to connect housing to the places where residents can work, learn and play.

MLP Selected to Update Durango’s Comprehensive Plan

The City of Durango, Colorado retained MLP to update its Comprehensive Plan, which will incorporate the City’s recent character district, affordable housing, sustainability and mobility initiatives. The update also is needed to resolve significant growth and utility extension issues created by the development of Lake Nighthorse Reservoir and the proposed dedication of a planned growth area (Ewing Mesa) for community recreation, culture and open space purposes.  Creative Community Builders joins the team to develop an arts and culture element that will define the City’s relationship with its arts community and identify cultural resources for protection and enhancement.

JEDCO Evaluates Housing Stock Enhancement Strategies

MLP recently kicked off the development of a strategic plan to enhance Jefferson Parish’s existing housing stock and facilitate development of new housing to meet existing and future needs. With the assistance of Asukura Robinson, Michael Lauer has prepared a survey neighborhood and housing stock enhancement tools, is conducting several case studies about the use of those tools and will help JEDCO prioritize public and private initiatives that will sustain existing residents and attract new residents to the Parish.

Panama City Beach, FL Implements Form-Based Code

The City is processing several large-scale developments in the Front Beach Road corridor that are subject to the recently adopted form-based code, which was drafted to provide better linkages between the public and private realms in this vital tourist corridor. The code establishes site and building design standards to ensure that development is coordinated with transit, pedestrian and bicycle enhancements. Michael Lauer, who drafted the form-based code with support from Kevin Klinkenberg, Mark White and Ginger Corless, worked with City staff and attorneys to incorporate the form-based provisions in a unified land development code (LDC) and continues to prove support for code maintenance and site plan reviews.

Southern Pines, NC Adopts Comprehensive Long Range Plan Update (CLRP)

The Town Council unanimously adopted revisions to its CLRP on March 8, 2016. The updated Plan refines existing goals and policies, update socio-economic trends and projections, and create a new plan implementation program. With the recent adoption of a new unified development ordinance (UDO) and neighborhood plans for the Downtown and West Southern Pines, the Town has fully implemented its existing plan and is seeking a new work program that continues to support its vibrant historic Downtown and neighborhoods while improving mobility options. Michael Lauer has served as project manager for each of these projects and provides continuing support to maintain the Town’s UDO.