Imagine some ugly, underused street in your town, marked by drab buildings, wide streets, and forbidding expanses of parking lot. If you have to go here at all, chances are you’d prefer to drive. Now imagine it remade into a place where you’d actually want to walk or bike. There would be broad sidewalks, trees, and streetfront buildings with ground-level windows. There would be other people walking around too.
Just as the development standards in a form-based code are tailored to a community so too should the code's administration. To determine which administrative strategy is best, authors of form-based codes must understand the residents' view of zoning implementation in addition to any state enabling law requirements. Five common strategies for development project review under a form-based code are 1) town architect, 2) interdepartmental review team, 3) design review committee, 4) two-tier system (based on project size), and 5) state-mandated solutions.
Three Texas communities illustrate FBCs ability to be responsive to today's development market.
A discussion of critiques and misconceptions of FBCs from the points of view of various stakeholders.
Hazel Borys discusses the biggest Achilles' Heel possible for a form-based code: failing to articulate a generally-accepted local vision.
More Michigan communities are recognizing the many advantages of form-based zoning.
Form-based zoning is starting to catch on with local governments in Michigan. There are key differences between form-based and conventional zoning which has led to its popularity.
Arendt explores the deficiencies in planning education and practice resulting from the lack of focus on physical design and spatial planning. To better prepare planners, municipal planning directors and many professors across the country are calling for a planning curriculum that better balances physical design with traditional regulatory planning courses.
Form-based codes are clear and predictable place-based development regulations and processes that can save a community significant time and money. Communities can offer FBCs as an incentive to attract new investments and produce great places by making "the good" easy to build.
The Economic Development Journal is a quarterly publication of the International Economic Development Council, 734 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. For more information, please call 202-223-7800 or go to www.iedconline.org.
A look back at the planning process for the successful Walnut Creek Apartments transit oriented development (TOD) and how it was positively shaped by form-based codes.
A discussion of how FBCs are a meaningful alternative to standard or Euclidean zoning practices in Maine. This article includes a brief review of some cities and towns in Maine that have considered and implemented FBCs.