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Changes to Exterior Design and Compatibility

Assuming that the proposed Planned Development is in the right location based on the proximity evaluation, and the internal design has been sketched with the appropriate open space, recreation areas, accommodation for extra parking where needed, and urban recreation amenities, the Planning Commission and Board will evaluate the exterior design of the proposed project.

The characteristics of exterior design that ensure the stability of the proposed development to coexist with the adjacent and larger surrounding land use conditions include:

  • Lot size and density
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Transportation, and public comment.

Lot size and density

Policy 2.102-A1 is the Development Location policy in the Comprehensive Plan that states that Polk County shall promote contiguous and compact growth patterns. Therefore, residential development needs to be viewed in its macro and micro placement in the county. This involves considering:

  • The comparison placement of the smallest and largest lot placement in the proposed Planned Development with that of the adjacent lots
  • How the proposed lot sizes, lot widths and density compare with the larger community; and
  • Scaling of density and lot size from a denser area of the county to a lower density.

Green Infrastructure

The urban and suburban Development Areas listed in the Comprehensive Plan (TSDA, UGA, SDA and UEA) require the incorporation of design features that promote healthy communities, green building practices, and green infrastructure that includes an interconnected network of open spaces, natural areas and agricultural lands. This focus encourages a design integrating storm water ponds, manmade lakes and other conservation efforts in the design of the proposed Planned Development. It requires the external design to enhance and contribute to the quality of life for the adjacent residents, agricultural uses and the larger community.


Each new residential development contributes traffic to the safe logistics of the accessing roadway as well as the surrounding community. The placement and design of driveways are important to the safety of the vehicles currently using the roadway. In addition, improvements must be made to the adjoining roadway to enhance safety features or improve once unsafe conditions.

Public Comments

Public comments at the Planning Commission or Board public hearings are the most unknown aspect of planning a new community. Often the adjacent and surrounding residents are concerned about how stormwater runoff and additional traffic will impact the current quality of life and safety of their home. Answers to anticipated questions should include assurances the additional development will not negatively impact adjacent property or the larger community.