LDC Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we updating the Land Development Code? Why now?


The original Land Development Code (LDC) has not had a significant revision since its inception in 1999. Ideally, a LDC should be updated regularly to reflect the community’s vision set forth in the Comprehensive Plan, which is revised every 5-10 years.  With the adoption of the new 2015 Comprehensive Plan, it is the ideal time to revise the Code to ensure it reflects the current vision of the Comprehensive Plan.

What was the goal of the update?


The goal was to bring the Land Development Code in sync with the 2015 Comprehensive Plan goals. Goals stated in the Comprehensive Plan include:

  • Preserve and enhance the character of Hudson’s established neighborhoods while accommodating incremental residential development that can diversify and expand the local housing stock.
  • Promote residential development and redevelopment of a variety of housing and dwelling unit types, tenures, and densities in accordance with the Land Use Plan.
  • Encourage housing development that provides diverse choices of style and cost.
  • Support the development of “age-targeted” housing units that allow Hudson’s seniors to age in place and remain in the community.
  • Provide developers with the flexibility to cluster residential development in certain portions of a site, thereby leaving larger contiguous areas of stream buffers, wetlands, tree stands, and other assets undisturbed.
  • Focus the development of higher-density or multi-family units within the greater Downtown area.
  • Evaluate changes to the Land Development Code that can allow greater flexibility in designing and development higher-density homes such as duplexes and town homes, in appropriately targeted areas.

How different is the proposed draft Land Development Code?


Most revisions involved reformatting and re-organizing the regulations to make it easier for users to find information they need to complete their projects.  For example, in the current Land Development Code, if someone wants to put a fence on their property, it is difficult to find all the references that apply to residential fences. The re-organized Code logically groups regulations together to make it easier for the user to find all relevant regulations. 

Is the updated LDC a done deal?


It is not a final document but is a work in progress.  Over the next few months, we will continue to reach out to citizens during the review process.  Also, because the LDC update is primarily a rearrangement of the regulations contained in the existing LDC and is not a wholesale code replacement, errors caused by the reorganization will need to be updated as well.

Where are Planned Developments currently permitted? How has that changed?


In the current LDC, Planned Developments are permitted in Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. They were not permitted in District 4 or in the District 7 Overlay. In the proposed LDC update, Planned Developments will be allowed in all districts subject to obtaining a Special Permit, which would require both Planning Commission and City Council review and approval. Planned Developments offer flexibility with regulations in exchange for increased amenities, such as parks, trails, recreation areas, and enhanced building designs. Planned Developments have become increasingly important as demographic shifts require housing variety.

Why are we increasing the bonus density from 25% to 125%?


The base density (number of housing units allowed per acre) for each residential district would not change with this update.  Density bonuses only are possible within the framework of Planned Development applications.  Currently, Planned Development regulations allow applicants to request a 25% density increase in exchange for the applicant agreeing to satisfy a collection of standards within the LDC.  Importantly, final determination on maintaining or increasing the 25% bonus density within Planned Developments will be studied as part of the current LDC update process.  Notably, allowing a density bonus can encourage flexibility, innovation, and creativity in design.  This, in turn, supports the Comprehensive Plan’s goal of updating the Land Development Code to allow greater design flexibility in residential developments.

Why are we removing the Open Space Conservation Subdivision regulations? Isn’t it important? 


In the proposed LDC update, Open Space Conservation text has been removed. However, the proposed update allows such projects to be applied for as a Planned Development, which would require Planning Commission and City Council review and approval.

Why are we removing the District Overlays?


Overlays are currently in very limited locations and were, in some cases, passed into law for very narrow development purposes; this has caused confusion regarding applicable regulations.  

Will the LDC Update turn the City into a mass of high-density cluster homes?


No, the base density regulations for each zoning district would not change. While both the current and proposed LDC regulations permit density bonuses within Planned Development applications (and only if the applicant meets certain regulatory standards), both City Council and Planning Commission must approve and grant a special permit to allow each Planned Development application that is filed with the City. And this Planned Development application may only be approved after both City Council and the Planning Commission find that the applicant meets all of the standards for Planned Developments outlined in the LDC – including whether the Planned Development applicant has met the standards for receiving a density bonus.

Will the LDC Update turn the City into a mass of high-density cluster homes?


No, the base density regulations for each zoning district would not change.  While both the current and proposed LDC regulations permit density bonuses within Planned Development applications (and only if the applicant meets certain regulatory standards), both City Council and Planning Commission must approve and grant a special permit to allow each Planned Development application that is filed with the City.  And this Planned Development application may only be approved after both City Council and the Planning Commission find that the applicant meets all of the standards for Planned Developments outlined in the LDC – including whether the Planned Development applicant has met the standards for receiving a density bonus.

With an updated LDC, can developers bypass established district zoning regulations and create whatever they want?


No, developers must adhere to our strict regulations and must build within the regulations contained in the LDC that continue to be much stricter than other neighboring communities.  If a modification to a development regulation is proposed through the Planned Development process (both in the current LDC and in the updated LDC), the applicant must seek approval from both the Planning Commission and City Council, along with significant public involvement at each step.

Was the zoning map changed? 


Yes, slightly.  The total number of districts has been reduced.  Some of the districts have been merged to better reflect the recommendations of the 2015 Comprehensive Plan and current use limitations.
  • District 7, District 9 and the District 7 and District 8 Overlays would be combined to allow for smaller-scale commercial and mixed residential/commercial developments to promote more appropriate transitions to adjacent neighborhoods. This is primarily along the Darrow Road corridor. Current zoning in District 7 and 9 has placed limitations on development and reinvestment opportunities, leaving underutilized land parcels. Many lots are split between Districts, making them difficult to develop. In addition, the large lots in District 9 limit and constrain development. This change would also provide for more varied housing types to be developed in the new district.
  • District 10 has been merged with the rural residential District 2. The zoning regulations, uses, and density permitted within Districts 2 and 10 are similar, so combining the two Districts provides increased efficiencies. City records show that two properties in District 10 are not residential.  One is a landscaping business that would still be a permitted use in the new District and the other is a business that will still be conditionally permitted in the new District.

Does “simplification” of the LDC change the LDC? Was that done for the developers’ benefit?


Streamlining was done to make it easier for all applicants (small and large) to find the information they need to understand the City’s zoning requirements and obtain permits for their properties to allow all Hudson residents to maximize the use of their property. In its simplest sense, information was re-organized to make the document more user-friendly. Developers were not consulted and did not have input in the process.  

Why should we keep up with development trends in other cities? 


Our goal was not to keep pace with development trends in other cities, but instead to make sure the LDC aligns with the vision outlined in our 2015 Comprehensive Plan.  We have no desire for Hudson to look like other communities.

Is diversified housing stock mentioned in the Comprehensive Plan? Why?


The new 2015 Comprehensive Plan specifically states a desire to encourage different types of housing that would meet the changing needs of the community. In Hudson, our population is aging, with the average age now significantly higher than state and national averages. While Hudson has an oversupply of 2,500+ sq. ft. homes on large lots, the Comprehensive Plan recognizes a shortage of smaller homes that are built closer together that would meet the needs of a changing population demographic. Baby boomers with empty nests want to remain in the community but are leaving because they can’t find appropriate housing.  In addition, encouraging young professionals to locate in Hudson requires somewhat smaller and more affordable housing options.

Will these updates result in parcels with no defined zoning or regulations?


No, each parcel in the City of Hudson is subject to the strict zoning regulations contained in the LDC.

Why are we changing the names of the Districts?


We are not changing the names. We are adding numbers to the original names of the districts that reflect the density of the districts.  For example: District 2 Rural Residential Conservation is now R-1: Rural Residential Conservation.

Was the sign code changed to allow A-Frame Signs? Aren’t A-Frame signs already permitted?  


The current LDC does not allow for A-Frame signs, although these regulations have not been strictly enforced. Hudson Merchants feel strongly that A-Frame signs are beneficial to their businesses.  After surveying and consulting with our merchants, the LDC update includes regulations on size and placement of A-Frame signs. By regulating placement and size, we can help minimize the visual clutter while accommodating the merchants’ need for these signs.  

What outreach to citizens have we done? Is the city asking for citizen input?  


Over a six-month period, staff reached out to residents for feedback on the existing LDC. Internal outreach included in-person interviews with members of the Planning Commission and City Council, meetings with AHBR, BZBA and Planning Commission, and an online follow-up survey to these groups.  The City also performed external outreach through a public open house, online survey, meetings with community groups, and input from contractors, homeowner’s associations and merchants. Now that we are in the review process, we will be:

  • Conducting small group meetings to solicit public comment.
  • Providing information to Planning Commission as part of their second and fourth Monday meetings each month.
  • Gathering public comments and answering questions. Individuals interested in providing comments or who have questions should contact Jody Roberts, 330-342-9539 or by email. Click here for an email address.

Comments or Questions?


Send all comments or questions to:

Jody Roberts
Communications Manager
330-342-9539

Email