The set of proposed guidelines for downtown development that the city of Hudson will unveil next week contains a plethora of ideas for making buildings attractive -- and incentives for builders that use them.

Included in the 56-page booklet produced by Putman Planning & Design are suggestions on building colors, setbacks, height, roofs, architectural variety, fa?ade openings, windows, entries, materials, lighting, signs and more.

But instead of listing hard-and-fast rules that builders would have to follow, the city is offering to let them choose design elements suitable for their situations.

"It is a common belief that one can add restrictions and pass ordinances to improve quality and prosperity," an introduction to the guidelines states. "It is a paradox to some that, generally, the most creative solutions, the greatest prosperity and investment, grows not from more rules, but less."

The plan calls for providing financial and other incentives to owners who build attractive structures. A city design quality team would assist them with their projects.

The city would create a Tax Increment Financing district to provide money for the incentives, as well as public improvements such as parking garages, walkways and plazas.

Marc Putman of Putman Planning & Design will present the proposal in a public forum scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, in the River Room of The Phipps Center for the Arts.

The Hudson City Council contracted with Putman last fall to help the city draft a plan for the downtown. The action was in response to a proposal by GCI Builders of St. Cloud, Minn., to redevelop the River City Center property on Second Street.

The booklet containing the proposed development guidelines that Putman recently completed includes suggestions for the River City Center property.

City officials are encouraging the public to attend next week's presentation on the proposed guidelines.