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Thread: Euclidean, form-based, or hybrid: which should we use?

  1. #1
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    Euclidean, form-based, or hybrid: which should we use?

    Our municipality is rewriting its code, and contemplating whether we should use a form based code, a euclidean based code, or some hybrid?

    We are an older small city, with our core developed prior to World War II. A form-based code might be a good fit for us.

    What are the best examples across the country of excellent land developemnt regulations: form-based, euclidean, or other?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Without going into more detail, I think a hybrid is likely what you will get.

    Form-based codes, from what I've researched, are great for dealing better with building orientation, site planning, building bulk/inter-relationship, and facade(s) composition, but you still need to address permitted, special/conditional and prohitibed uses.

    Form/Function does not always follow function/form - despite the preaching of certain Modernists.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    I agree, you'll probably want/get some form of hybrid. Overlays or "Design Guidelines" for the areas that need a more form-based approach have started to be effective at least in the west where I work. Well, effective. They're practicable, anyway.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Our code we're in the process of adopting has a mandatory form-based code over our older, historic core area, and then parallel code options for form based code or hybrid conventional code for other areas. The form based code has been adopted for a while now, and it seems to have been adopted pretty well by the local development community, and this is Texas...

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    I agree, you'll probably want/get some form of hybrid. Overlays or "Design Guidelines" for the areas that need a more form-based approach have started to be effective at least in the west where I work. Well, effective. They're practicable, anyway.
    Form-based take a long time to write and implement, and they may not be right across all scales. It really depends upon the community and I agree with the above is that you'll likely get a hybrid.

    As long as the processing, review, approval total package takes less time and TumsTM, and you get more choices/safety/complete streets/mixed uses than you likely have now, it doesn't matter what name you call it.

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    Good Examples of FBC Integration in Complete Code Updates

    There are several good examples for integration of FBCs into city wide code updates that you should look at.

    City of Grass Valley, California

    City of Livermore, California

    City of Flagstaff, Arizona (public review draft)

    First steps:
    1. Decide where you want walkable urbanism to be reinforce or created and use the Form-Based Code components for those areas. Don't forget to incentivize the creation of new walkable neighborhoods within your subdivision design standards (see Livermore or Flagstaff codes noted above).
    2. For areas that are to be more drivable suburban using a more conventional approach is ok.

    Your Form-Based Code application should never be hybrid (it should always include the required FBC components as defined by the Form-Based Code Institute for walkable urban areas), but rather your code becomes hybrid because it has FBC components next to more conventional components and form-based zones mapped on the same map as conventional zones. All of the examples above illustrate this. You can add graphics and tables to a conventional code, but that does not make it a Form-Based Code.

    You can read a summary of the Grass Valley Code and Miami 21 in my book "Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers," which is available on Amazon.

    Happy coding!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by FBCguy View post

    Your Form-Based Code application should never be hybrid (it should always include the required FBC components as defined by the Form-Based Code Institute for walkable urban areas),

    You can read a summary of the Grass Valley Code and Miami 21 in my book "Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers," which is available on Amazon.
    Bite my tongue. I will not respond.

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Bite my tongue. I will not respond.
    Yeah, it's bordreline mike, but substanive.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

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