The General Plan Land Use Designation regulates how your property is used – in terms of the general type of use and the intensity of the use. For example, if your property is designated for residential use by the General Plan, you can only use your property for residential purposes. You could not have a grocery store or an office building on your property.
The General Plan Land Use Designation also establishes the intensity of use. For residential developments, the intensity of use is regulated by an allowed density range (minimum and maximum) that is measured in terms of “housing units per acre.” Density is calculated by dividing the number of housing units on the site by the gross acreage of the site. Most residential neighborhoods in Windsor have a density range between 3 and 8 units per acre. Apartments and townhomes are located in areas that have a higher allowable density range (e.g. 16 to 32 units per acre).
For commercial and industrial developments, intensity is measured in terms of Floor Area Ratio (FAR). FAR refers to the ratio of building floor space compared to the square footage of the site. FAR is calculated by dividing the floor area of all buildings on the site by the total square footage of the site. For example, a 12,500 square foot building on a 25,000 square foot site has an FAR of 0.5.
A graphic example of how density and FAR are measured can be viewed from this link Density and Intensity Table.
A table describing each of the land use designations in the General Plan, including the type and intensity of uses allowed under each designation can be accessed from this link Land Use Comparison Table.