Unified Development Code

The Unified Development Code (UDC) regulates zoning, subdivision, signs, site development, and historic preservation in a single Code with 15 Chapters. The UDC: 
  • Guides the environmental, economic and social development, redevelopment and conservation of the community. 
  • Responds to contemporary development trends. 
  • Recognizes diverse development patterns, building types, and density.
Sustainability Circles

The UDC’s coordinated regulations facilitate development, enhance neighborhood quality, and support City goals. It promotes urban design and mixed-land use through diverse commercial, recreational, educational and residential uses in older, historic neighborhoods with a dense urban pattern as well as more “suburban style” neighborhoods. The UDC has flexible, illustrated site design standards to promote downtown and neighborhood revitalization:
  • Three-tier review process for new development, redevelopment, and special districts to accommodate different size projects and varying development patterns in the city.
  • Design guidelines for compatible development in context with historic and older neighborhoods.
  • No downtown parking requirements to reduce surface parking areas. 
  • Updated parking standards with shared parking among uses as well as bicycle parking,
  • Density bonus for mixed-use and higher density housing developments.

Go to the Bookmarks feature to find a specific Chapter or type a word in the find dialog box to search the entire document.

The UDC is approximately 4.5 MB and may take awhile to open depending on your connection speed.

This user guide is not intended to cover every aspect of City development regulations, and should not be considered the final or definitive authority on any of the matters it addresses.  It is only a general guide.  Contact the Planning Services Department for assistance and additional information pertinent to your project or property. For official regulations adopted by the Dubuque City Council, please refer to the City Code.

Click for an interactive PDF

Unified Development Code Cover
Development Hotline
Additional information is available during regular business hours at:
Planning Services Department
City Hall - Second Floor,
50 W. 13th Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001 
(563) 589-4210