Why Stress Test?

Does your Master Plan call for thriving core neighborhoods and beautiful infill, but you are not seeing it come to fruition? Most cities are unaware of the stymieing effect of what may seem like innocuous rules or processes. Be it the fine print of stormwater management or the approval processes required for a parking variance, many well-intentioned regulations disproportionately hinder exactly the kind of development that cities hope for. Stress Testing will help your city understand the hidden impact of today's regulations to guide a path to tomorrow's. This is not an anti-regulation exercise - it's about making the rules clearer and the process less arcane for local, small scale developers.

How does it work

The Stress Test involves bringing in a 2-3 person IncDev team to help your city prioritize what needs to change first in order to legalize small scale development like Missing Middle buildings.

  • The Stress Test is focused on specific lots in a particular neighborhood of a city (or an entire small municipality). You'll want to target an area of approximately a mile radius or under 10k people to make this most effective.

  • The IncDev team will interpret zoning codes for a specific area and identify barriers by working through developments on paper, from site plans to cash flow. This will be performed on-site, in your city.

  • The IncDev reconnaissance process involves speaking with local builders, realtors, and business owners to understand your city's development environment and market conditions. Those conversations will inform a summary of technical considerations pertinent to several administrative departments which may not be aware of contradictions.