Miscellaneous Tips on Ordinance Drafting
(a) Arrange definitions alphabetically but do not number them.
(b) Arrange zoning uses in groups of related entries and leave space between groups (if you make them alphabetical and you want to maintain alphabetical order, you’ll have to renumber/letter the remainder of the section.)
(c) Avoid making specific references to sections when you can; use the first section of an article or division where possible. e.g., "Sign regulations are covered under section 12 et seq." NOT "see paragraph (3) a. of section 12 for regulations concerning wall signs in residential districts."
(d) The preferred punctuation for each entry in a list is a period, because:
1. When materials are added or changed, it does not require that punctuation in otherwise unaffected subsections be changed.
(e) Rather than trying to tie your numbering system to the article or major part, consider making the section numbers sequential and leaving yourself far more space between articles. While it is intellectually pleasing to have a tidy numbering system where each element of the number means something, it works against the average user in two ways:
1. When used past the section level of indention, the numbers become so bulky they lose their meaning. They become a hindrance to the reader, not a help.
(f) Have an organizing principle behind what you do--temporal, procedural, spatial, numerical, and alphabetical--choose what fits the material.
Provided by the Municipal Code Corporation
City Clerks Office -
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011