In 2016, the County Board adopted a zoning ordinance amendment that enabled modifications of height, setback, density, dimensional, and parking requirements for elementary, middle, and high schools within the S-3A zoning district through the special exception use permit process. Such flexibility could be used for layouts and designs of individual public space projects that would benefit from increased height, reduced setbacks, and/or reduced parking requirements.

This initiative for an updated use permit process is rooted in the Action Plan of the 2019 Public Spaces Master Plan which recommends that the County review and consider updating the zoning regulations related to parks and public spaces in “S-3A” and “P-S” districts, specifically related to setbacks, athletic field and other lighting, parking and parking options, dog parks and dog runs, signage, height, water features, fencing and temporary use of public and private property as public space.