The Oak Ridge Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) Code was produced by TSW for the City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The district is the result of a public-private partnership between the City of Oak Ridge and Rarity Communities, Inc. Prior to the creation of the district, TSW was retained by Rarity Communities, Inc. to design Rarity Ridge, a 1,200 acre TND located on a former industrial site on the outskirts of the city. TSW quickly realized that the proposed development was not permitted under current zoning regulations. As a result, TSW was hired by Rarity Communities to work with the City of Oak Ridge to create a new district that would permit both Rarity Ridge and other future TNDs in Oak Ridge.
The Oak Ridge TND Code is a hybrid district which permits a variety of types of developments ranging from small, single family homes and multifamily buildings to larger, mixed use town centers, complete with extensive retail and employment components. The type and intensity of uses within the development are controlled by lot types, street types, and proximity to public facilities, all of which have specific performance standards associated with their application. The number of variances that may normally be required have been dramatically reduced. The TND regulations essentially serve as a parallel new urbanism code; one which requires concept plan approval by the planning commission and staff approval of the final design.
Open space requirements are in keeping with the size and type of development. Provisions are made for urban plazas, neighborhood parks, nature preserves and active recreation areas.
New pedestrian scale street design requirements are an essential part of the code. These supersede conventional street design requirements in the City of Oak Ridge Public Works Code. These new requirements ensure that streets in the proposed TND development can be narrower than those conventionally required. In addition, they provide for the creation of sidewalks, street tree zones, on-street parking and a comprehensive, well-planned street grid system.