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Thread: Form based codes

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Form based codes

    I was wondering in anyone knows of examples of communities that use form base coding or if anyone know of links to the actual text in the code?

  2. #2
    Huntersville, NC has adopted and administers from- based code. Check out our website at:

    www.huntersville.org

    From the homepage, look for "Town Planning" in the left side menu, then go to "Official Adopted Zoning Ordinance" to download the pdf document.

    I will look for any comments and questions on this thread.

  3. #3
    Member Hipockethipy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I was wondering in anyone knows of examples of communities that use form base coding or if anyone know of links to the actual text in the code?
    Try these links:

    http://www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/dep...me/outcome.htm
    http://www.hercules-plan.org/instruments.htm
    http://www.cityftmyers.com/departmen...duanyplan.aspx

  4. #4
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    actually, don't forget Peoria, we're in progress of adopting form based code for the pre WWII portion of town. We have plan online, but the code is still being developed.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  5. #5

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    Strictly Euclidean here, but we have design guideliens that emphasize somewhat form,. There is supposed to be a presentation soon by a consultant on this topic. I'm looking forward to it.

  6. #6
    Member JasonLB's avatar
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    Alexandria, VA does in certain districts.

  7. #7
         
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    Form Based


  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I am going to bring this thread back, because I was also wondering if anyone knows of any information that is out on the web. I also heard someplace that DPZ or someone else has a book on this topic?

    Also, what are your personal thoughts on how it well would it work in postindustrial cities?
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

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  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Places for People--

    I looked at your ordinance and maybe i just don't understand this form based approach. It looks particularly euclidian to me. Multiple zoning districts, lot minimums, the typical legal unreadability of it all.

    So what's the difference?What makes it different or better.

    And I am not being a wise guy here. Maybe I expected something else.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gkmo62u
    Places for People--

    I looked at your ordinance and maybe i just don't understand this form based approach. It looks particularly euclidian to me. Multiple zoning districts, lot minimums, the typical legal unreadability of it all.
    I was wondering the same thing. They still regulate uses per district as well as form.


    Does anyone else know of any communities that are using form based codes?
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    YO M'skis

    I got a RFP not to long ago for a community in "Or Fair State" interested in developing a Form-Based ZO.

    PM Me your Fax number if you are interesed in a copy of the RFP.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    saratoga springs, Ny

  14. #14
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    Saratoga Springs

    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    saratoga springs, Ny
    Know where one might find the Saratoga Springs code online? Can't seem to find it.

  15. #15
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Burlingame94010 View post
    Know where one might find the Saratoga Springs code online? Can't seem to find it.
    Here you go.

    http://www.e-codes.generalcode.com/c...t.asp?t=tcfull

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    FWIW, PlanningWiki has an article on form-based codes:

    http://planningwiki.cyburbia.org/Form_based_code

    From the article:

    The following communities are among those that have adopted or are drafting form-based zoning codes.

    United States

    * Azuza, California: Development Code
    * Farmers Branch, Texas
    * Fort Myers Beach, Florida
    * Hercules, California: Regulating Code for the Central Hercules Plan
    * Petaluma, California: Central Petaluma SmartCode
    * Woodford County, Kentucky: The New Urban Code
    * Sonoma, California: Sonoma Development Code
    * St. Lucie County, Florida: Towns-Villages-Countryside Code
    As with anything on the Wiki, you're encouraged to make additions, edits and other improvements.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I had tried that previously. Here's what you get:
    Chapter 240: ZONING

    [The Zoning Ordinance of the City of Saratoga Springs has been removed from the City Code. The Zoning Ordinance is on file in the office of the City Clerk and may be viewed there during normal business hours.]

    So, if anyone's seen this supposed gem of an ordinance + can find it online, would be appreciated. Thanks.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    BUMP

    I'm curious if there are any examples of form-based regulations for signage. I'm not looking for regulations contained in overlay or special districts. Rather, I'm looking for an entire sign ordinance/chapter that is form-based and regulates the entire community.

    I've seen plenty of examples of form-based regulations for signs within overlay districts, but I haven't been able to find what I'm thinking of. Is it even feasible to regulate all signage within a community using form-based standards?

    Or would you consider typical signage regulations already somewhat form-based in that they provide a maximum size, height, etc?

    Anyone?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gkmo62u View post
    Places for People--

    I looked at your ordinance and maybe i just don't understand this form based approach. It looks particularly euclidian to me. Multiple zoning districts, lot minimums, the typical legal unreadability of it all.

    So what's the difference?What makes it different or better.

    And I am not being a wise guy here. Maybe I expected something else.
    I did not look at this ordinance myself. I know here in Albuquerque, there has been a lot of contracting with New Urbanist firms to develop codes. Sicne the City is reticent to jump on the wagon and go form-based all the way, we have something of a hybrid which sounds like what you are describing. Still very jargon-infested and Euclidian in its separation of uses, but with small steps toward a more mixed-use approach. Oh, and lots of useful graphics. That's probably the best facet to this approach to me - its so tedious and confusing to translate graphic information into text and then back into a graphic again (in the form of developers' drawings).

    As for definitions of FBCs, the following is from the Form-Based Codes Institute website:
    Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in Form-based codes, presented in both diagrams and words, are keyed to a regulating plan that designates the appropriate form and scale (and therefore, character) of development rather than only distinctions in land-use types. This is in contrast to conventional zoning's focus on the micromanagement and segregation of land uses, and the control of development intensity through abstract and uncoordinated parameters (e.g., FAR, dwellings per acre, setbacks, parking ratios, traffic LOS) to the neglect of an integrated built form. Not to be confused with design guidelines or general statements of policy, Form-based codes are regulatory, not advisory.
    That may answer some of your questions. I think in general that these plans do identify the types of uses allowed on specific parcels of land (making it not so different from Euclidian zoning), but they are often more flexible in this area (allowable uses may encompass a wider range of possibilities than traditional zoning), creating a higher degree of mixed use.

    The approach is also very graphic and nicely side-steps a lot of the jargon found in traditional codes by conveying that same information in a well-designed diagram.

    The crux of their argument is that the appearance of the building (and the impact it has on the functionality, walkability, etc. of the public spaces buildings create) has a greater impact on what a places looks, feels and functions like than just the types of uses allowed. So, they are concerned with regulating form, massing, setbacks, etc. to create places that physically function well. At least that is their intent. It helped me to know that the folks that started this movement were architects, not planners, so their pre-occupation with the form of the built environment (and the suggestion that you can design your way out of difficult problems) makes sense. I think they go overboard sometimes (not everything can be solved with good design), but overall, I support the trend.

    M'skis, the book you are looking for might be this one: Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers. By Daniel G. Parolek, AIA, Karen Parolek, and Paul C. Crawford, FAICP

    I also thought I saw a recent one by DPZ or someone in that same cadre recently published, but I can't seem to find it listed.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I personally met Peter Katz today so in a few months I might be able to share some more. We are currently doing our county comp plan and in certain nodes (crossroad towns) we may be implementing some form of a form based code with his help.
    @GigCityPlanner

  21. #21
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    I did not look at this ordinance myself. I know here in Albuquerque, there has been a lot of contracting with New Urbanist firms to develop codes. Sicne the City is reticent to jump on the wagon and go form-based all the way, we have something of a hybrid which sounds like what you are describing. Still very jargon-infested and Euclidian in its separation of uses, but with small steps toward a more mixed-use approach. Oh, and lots of useful graphics. That's probably the best facet to this approach to me - its so tedious and confusing to translate graphic information into text and then back into a graphic again (in the form of developers' drawings).

    The March 2008 edition of the NTHP - MainStreet News has an article about form-based zoning and uses Albuquerque as its main example.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    saratoga springs, Ny
    I can only imagine Kunstler's presentation on that one.

    Does anyone know of any other northeastern municipalities?

  23. #23
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    DPZ developed the form based code. You should check out some of the projects they've worked on as I'm sure you can find some great examples.

    http://www.dpz.com/projects.aspx

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    It seems that basically "Form Based Code" (FBC) benefits can essentially be accomplished by using existing zoning ordinance parameters.

    For example:
    No parking in Front Yard areas or between building and street.
    Prohibiting Side Yards. (Access to parking will be through center accessway through building to parking in rear - or a common parking structure will be provided nearby and people walk to the store.)
    Building heights - not limited to FBC concepts.
    Street Trees - not limited to FBC concepts.
    Transit System - not limited to FBC concepts.
    Large parking lot exposures - can be minimized by three foot high evergreen shrubbery or berms and landscaping, and tree islands in the parking lots.

    Some of the disadvantages of FBC are:
    Allows or encourages parking on street.
    Buildings forced to be too close to street (canyon effect).
    Buildings too close to street limits street tree types and placement.
    Buildings too close to street limits people-friendly shrub and foundation landscaping opportunities.
    Buildings too close to street limits park-like or campus-like or pedestrian friendly atmosphere opportunities.

    Just some random thoughts to keep the discussion going. I would like to know more about your experiences with FBC.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    It seems that basically "Form Based Code" (FBC) benefits can essentially be accomplished by using existing zoning ordinance parameters.
    Someone pointed out strict separation of use districts in Euclidean zoning codes, but the actual zoning code that Euclid, OH used that was challenged in the 20's was more a composite ordinance that regulated uses, yes, but also intensity and architecture. There were three separate and distinct districts in each specific and unique zoning district (1-2-3, being 1=use 2=intensity/density and 3=architectural elements/style) It was almost a form based code on top of separating uses.

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