Sample Codes

FBCI gathers good examples of form-based codes from communities across the U.S. You will find these sample codes very helpful in your own research and writing of codes.

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Arlington County , VA Columbia Pike Plan and Code

Columbia Pike was the most underdeveloped area in a county that is otherwise built out. Located in an urban county that has seen explosive growth in recent decades, Columbia Pike, (a 3.5-mile urban corridor immediately across the Potomac River from downtown Washington, DC) had seen little development in the past 30 years. County leaders initiated this revitalization effort to bring economic development to the corridor through the creation of a form-based code to foster transit- and pedestrian-oriented infill redevelopment. The project also included a public participation urban design charrette and master plan. The code is an optional (or parallel) code, with all of the underlying zoning remaining in place, but includes incentives such as expedited review and approvals, to encourage its use.

Columbia Pike Code Contents       Columbia Pike Regulating Plans 

Benicia , CA Downtown Mixed Use Master Plan

**Driehaus Award Winner**

Downtown Mixed Use Master Plan 

Bradenton , FL Bradenton Form-Based Code Land Use and Development Regulations

**Driehaus Award Winner**

The City of Bradenton Form-Based Code Land Use and Development Regulations offers an important model for the way it deals with infill development of an existing 1,830-acre community. It is a comprehensive SmartCode that has incorporated and calibrated new modules, including modules for sustainability (urban farming, wind power, solar power, and composting), public art, stormwater management, and lighting. Affordable housing is addressed within the code as well. Even with the addition of these multiple components the code succeeds in being easily comprehended and implementable.

City of Bradenton FBC (23 MB)

Denver , CO The Denver Commons

**Driehaus Award Winner**  

The City of Denver’s Riverfront Commons Form-Based Code is a national model for a groundbreaking early form-based code with excellent built results. The visioning and intent statement were so fine they made a convincing case for public and private support of the code. Area by area, the intent was clearly outlined. The public realm requirements in the code were provided in great detail. A distinction was made between these required standards and additional guidelines on each subject. This code could be emulated at any scale. While this code was adopted as a PUD using “design guidelines” language, its essential elements could be replicated today as a form-based zoning district.

Denver Commons Site       Denver Commons Images       Denver Commons Design Guidelines

Farmers Branch , TX Station Area Form-Based Code

**Driehaus Award Winner**

The Station Area is located within a struggling commercial district adjacent to interstate highway interchange. Farmers Branch initiated a master plan effort to prepare for anticipated redevelopment of the district in conjunction with extension of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail line to the city. The master plan calls for creation of strong development regulations that are consistent with the community's vision. The frontage-based form-based code prescribes clear and precise design standards for street spaces, broad categories for uses, and general architectural parameters that are important to the quality and character of a vibrant new downtown. The 2007 Driehaus Award Jury found this code to be “an excellent model for new development at a project or site specific scale with excellent graphics and minimal verbiage contributing to its clarity and ease of use.”

Station Area contents       Station Area introduction       Station Area regulating plan        

Flagstaff , AZ City of Flagstaff Zoning Code

In 2009 the City of Flagstaff embarked on a comprehensive rewrite of its zoning regulations realizing that they were complicated, hard to administer and enforce, and they promoted sprawl development inconsistent with the general plan which envisions a more compact urban form. The new code, adopted in 2011, seamlessly combines conventional zoning districts (for most of the city) with form-based districts (for downtown and surrounding historic areas). The code promotes sustainable development consistent with the general plan and, through its form-based elements, fosters transit- and pedestrian-oriented infill redevelopment. Because of the limitations of Arizona statutes the form-based code is an optional (or parallel) code with the underlying zoning remaining in place, but it includes numerous incentives to encourage its use.

Flagstaff Code Preamble Flagstaff Code Table of Contents

Fort Myers Beach , FL Fort Myers Beach Land Development Code

After incorporation, the Town of Fort Myers Beach FL needed to completely revise its land development code to implement a new comprehensive plan. The new plan revolved around a community design element that described how physical pieces of the town (open spaces, buildings, streets, and paths) work together to create a distinct local character amidst a tourism economy. The new code, adopted in 2003, uses a combination of conventional zoning districts for its stable neighborhoods plus form-based zoning districts for its redevelopment areas. All zoning districts use a streamlined method of assigning land uses. Mandatory design standards are provided for commercial buildings, replacing difficult-to-enforce design guidelines. This code is administered by town staff, replacing a system where nearly every approval required approval by the Town Council. 

Fort Worth , TX Near Southside Development Standards and Guidelines
Gulfport , MS Gulfport Code

**Driehaus Award Winner**

The Gulfport Code is the first new FBC to be adopted in communities hit by Hurricane Katrina. While an optional code, an add-on to the city’s existing regulations, it still holds immense potential to serve as a model for other recovering communities. The sheer effort to create the Gulfport code brought the community together under difficult circumstances. It makes many additions to the base SmartCode, in a tactic intended to embed the FBC in local practice.

Havana , Cuba El Vedado: Municipio Plaza de la Revolucion

**Driehaus Honorable Mention**

Urban regulations for the City of Havana, Cuba.

El Vedado: Municipio Plaza de la Revolucion (in Spanish, 18 MB)