To summarize (and I'll do my best, because it is a pretty extensive document), the city is attempting to update zoning and codes because the ordinances were outdated and didn't reflect modern urban planning efforts. They had a series of community meetings to get public feedback and ensure that whatever changes they made were reflective of the community will. They also had a relatively extensive and diverse task force oversee the process. Here are some of the changes:
- The creation of three new special overlay districts that allow for more customized and practical zoning, including regulations on setbacks, parking and design guidelines.
- A series of use changes that have to deal with a variety of areas, including limiting uses within residential zones, encouragement of mixed use, requirements related to street trees, reduction of parking requirements in certain situations, etc.
- Very importantly for Allentown, this ordinance further limits the conversion of dwelling unites into apartments in most residential zones.
- Zoning map changes to be more reflective of community will.