A Planned Urban Development (PUD) as a regulatory process is a means of land regulation which promotes large scale, unified land development by means of mid-range, realistic programs in chase of physically curable, social and economic deficiencies in land and cityscapes. Where appropriate, this development control promotes:
- A mixture of both land uses and dwelling types with at least one of the land uses being regional in nature
- The clustering of residential land uses providing public and common open space
- Increased administrative discretion to a local professional planning staff while setting aside present land use regulations and rigid plat approval processes
- The enhancement of the bargaining process between the developer and government municipalities which in turn strengthens the municipality’s site plan review and control over development for potentially increased profits due to land efficiency, multiple land uses, and increased residential densities.
Frequently, PUDs take on a variety of forms ranging from small clusters of houses combined with open spaces to new and developing towns with thousands of residents and various land uses. However, the definition of a PUD does not take into consideration these types of developments unless they fit into a category of size ranging from 100 to 200 acres In a PUD the property owner owns the land the dwelling sits on.
In PUDs, the zoning of districts becomes very different from what was standard under the Standard Zoning Enabling Act. Historically, the districts were very narrow in type and large in area. Within PUDs, zoning becomes much more integrated with multiple land uses and districts being placed on adjacent land parcels.
Residential properties in PUDs are by far the most numerous and occupy the largest land areas. PUDs tend to incorporate single-family residential uses within close proximity to two-family units and multiple-family dwellings to form a larger diversified neighborhood concept. Schools, churches, retirement homes, hospitals, and recreation facilities begin to find their way into residential districts. Residential districts also tend to use the best land in the community and the most favorable sites are protected from commercial and industrial uses.
Grouping shopping districts by service area is a first step in returning to the neighborhood concept. Land is reserved for regional, community, and local shopping clusters with some specific restrictions based on market experience and on what types of business intend to locate at each development. Local shopping districts with sufficient provisions for off-street parking, height restrictions, and traffic control are not frequently found surrounded by residential areas.
Industrial standards now help to reduce the journey for employees to work. Nowadays, there tends to be environmental and performance regulations that cut back on the amount of nuisance to surrounding areas adjacent to industrial districts. With sufficient setbacks, off-street parking, and height regulations, industrial locations adjacent to residential zones are usually looked to as an overall community goal. PUDs do not normally have large numbers of industrial districts, but if so, they tend to be geared more towards light industry.
A planned residential unit development (PRUD) (sometimes planned unit residential development (PURD)) is a variant form of PUD where common areas are owned by the individual homeowners and not a homeowners association or other entity. A PURD is considered the same as a PUD for planning commission purposes and allows for flexibility in zoning and civic planning.