The City regulates planned unit developments in Chapter 19 of the IZO. A required finding to adopt a PUD is that the PUD would conform to the General Plan. This finding could not be made unless the General Plan was first amended to increase the maximum allowable Floor-to-Area Ratio (FAR) from 2.5 to 5.6 (the FAR proposed for the Hotel). Thus, for a PUD to be adopted for the Hotel site, either the FAR limits of the Mixed Use Land Use Classification would need to be amended, or a new Land Use Classification be created. Staff did not recommend amending the Mixed Use Land Use Classification or creating a new Land Use Classification because the scope of the planning effort to do so would be beyond what the City could study alone or ask the applicant to fund.
Additionally, creating a PUD to allow the FAR, height and lot coverage limits that are required for the hotel would allow a vastly different land use potential for this site than the surrounding district, and when combined with the FAR General Plan Amendment described above, staff felt creating a PUD for this site would create a special privilege and be an instance of spot zoning. Spot zoning occurs when a City provides special zoning treatment for a site that is not available to other parcels in the area, creating an “island” effect in the middle of a larger area, and staff believes that applying a PUD to this site would afford this site with special zoning treatment.
Also, the PUD districts that the City adopts typically allow development that still adheres to the density limits but allows the development to proceed in a different configuration (such as clustered development to preserve open space, for example) than would be allowed under the zone that applied prior to the adoption of the PUD. Here, as stated above, the FAR, height, and lot coverage limits required for the hotel would be well above what is allowed under the zoning that applies to the site and surrounding areas.