Mayor and Council approve eight amendments to the Unified Development Code

Mayor and Council voted 5-0 to approve eight amendments to the Unified Development Code (UDC) as part of the Planning and Development Services Department (PDSD) Code Update Package following a public hearing on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.  

The approved items and their intended benefits are: 

Improve PDSD Processes

1. Allow Administrative Special Exception for certain Water Well Upgrades
2. Remove the PDSD Director Decision Process for Wireless Communication Facilities (WCFs) that are co-located
3. Create additional option with more public input for requests for Major Change of Rezoning Conditions  

Remove Barriers to Small-scale Infill   

4. Remove Setback Requirements between Townhouse Units
5. Reduce Parking Requirements for Small Multi-family Residential   
6. Allow Accessory Structures in front yards for shade and carports   

Simplify Development Standards on Corridors  

7. Standardize Building Setbacks on Major Streets and Routes
8. Correct Minor Code Errors   

More than 10 members of the public spoke at the public hearing to provide input to Mayor and Council. Speakers expressed support for these items to allow for more housing options in Tucson, greater multi-modal options, clearer development standards, and streamlined processes. Many written comments on the proposal were also submitted to Mayor and Council. 

The code update package was reviewed by the Planning Commission in February, which recommended approval of all eight items. 

Additional PDSD Code Update Package components are part of the Administrative and Technical Manual sections, which continue to follow a different process for approval. These items are also intended to improve PDSD processes: 

  • Reduce Development Package (DP) Requirements for smaller projects  
  • Require Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Inventory in parking calculations 
  • Align Timeframe for Grading Permits with Development Packages 

The full PDSD Code Update Package proposal results from nine months of community engagement, including an online survey, city staff interviews, public meetings, and monthly updates to Tucson Development Center stakeholders. Early outreach resulted in over 130 suggested updates to the development code.

Although not all suggestions were part of this initial proposal, they may be considered in future updates.