Back by popular demand, the City’s regulatory improvement program is now restored to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s budget, after a three-year hiatus. Initiated in 2002 to “update and improve City building and land use regulations that hinder desirable development,” the program included the annual Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages or RICAPs, for short. Focused on practical solutions, these bundles of code amendments provide a mechanism for quickly addressing ongoing technical and minor policy amendments to the City’s regulations.
From 2005―10, City Council adopted five packages of amendments (RICAPs 1 through 5), which resulted in many amendments to the City’s Zoning Code.
With funding for the program restored, BPS is proposing a RICAP 6 workplan of 42 items to consider in the coming year. These were selected jointly by staff from BPS and the Bureau of Development Services from more than 300 items submitted to the Regulatory Improvement Requests (RIR) database.
The workplan includes issues around temporary uses and home occupations, bed and breakfasts, and short-term rental regulations; radio frequency facilities (wireless antennas); fences; and administrative process clarifications. In selecting the items for the workplan, staff did not include items that may be part of the larger Comprehensive Plan Update project that is also underway.
On August 13, BPS asked the Planning and Sustainability Commission to approve staff’s selection of items to be evaluated for possible code changes in the coming year. With their approval, staff will begin their analysis and research during the remainder of 2013 and present potential code amendments to the PSC in 2014 for recommendation to City Council.