But every architect I know has a variation on this story.
The story goes like this: a project gets kicked off and the entire team eagerly starts generating design iterations and options. But at the first planning meeting with the building department, there is disastrous news: there was one missed, overlooked, or incorrectly applied zoning rule. This voided weeks-to-months of design work and nearly torpedoes the project. Essentially all the work done needs to be rethought and recalibrated. Heads (nearly) roll.
It’s easy to see why this happens: the zoning code is thousands of pages of text, tables, maps, and charts, and full of links, cross-references, and conditional exceptions, exclusions, and bonuses. A single clause in one chapter can completely override everything else that preceded (or follows) it. It's easy to miss something in thousands of pages.
Even though it’s understandable to miss something in the zoning code, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get architects to confess this. But within building circles, we all know it happens more than we’d like to admit. Or just look at the number of land-use review applications that are kicked back and do the math yourself.
Incorrect or incomplete zoning information is more the rule than the exception.
Developers and clients, who partner with architects to deliver the buildings that make our cities, aren’t embarrassed about this, though. They’re angry.
And they won’t tell you a story about a project that was nearly torpedoed; they will tell you a story about a project that was effectively killed. Stories about professional relationships that were fractured.
The delays, revisions, resubmissions, and omissions are costly.
What if there was a way to quickly and efficiently double-check to make sure you didn’t miss something that would jeopardize a project?
We’re hearing that many of our customers are using UrbanForm in exactly this way. UrbanForm has automated the process of applying the relevant zoning regulations to properties, so even if you may have missed a crucial zoning constraint, UrbanForm won’t. It’s another set of eyes to make sure something isn’t missed and you’re not jeopardizing the livelihood of your team.
That’s why we say UrbanForm helps you manage the process of acquiring zoning information: it gathers the information for you, has already filtered for what is relevant, and keeps it all in one place for easy reference. It’s one digital process that takes seconds, replacing a hodgepodge of manual processes that took days.
UrbanForm's mission is to support and empower the people trying to make better buildings, cities, and environments.