CodeNEXT: Apply Only Form-Based Code?


#1

FANs interested in CodeNEXT met Saturday, August 12 to discuss recommendations that FAN could make to City Council, Planning Commission, Zoning and Platting Commission (ZAP), staff, and consultants. In the near future, FAN members will have an opportunity to vote on whether to support each possible recommendation. In keeping with FAN’s openness, transparency, and use of technology to include more people in the conversation, we are inviting discussion here on the forum about each recommendation before it is put to a vote.

1. What do you think of this recommendation?
2. What would you change, if anything?
3. What do you think of the rationale?
4. Do you have specific examples from staff’s existing CodeNEXT proposals that you believe must change to satisfy this recommendation?

RECOMMENDATION 5

Apply only form-based code to all neighborhoods in the city. Eliminate Euclidean zoning, overlays, and neighborhood conservation combining districts (NCCDs), and don’t grandfather them.

Rationale

  • All neighborhoods should have the opportunity to have a mix of shopping, jobs, and homes within walking distance. No neighborhood should be forever doomed as “drivable suburban”.
  • Keeping Euclidean zoning, overlays, and NCCDs alongside form-based zoning categories greatly complicates the land development code, making it more difficult to improve neighborhoods and include a greater diversity of people.

#2

Until and unless we see a form-based code for downtown that works, this scares me greatly. T6, as written, could seriously bring development downtown to a halt.


#3

Good point, @dkesh. The idea here isn’t to endorse any particular set of regulations that might be characterized as “form based”. The idea is to endorse the general approach of regulating form (and not in an overly prescriptive manner) instead of use.

How would you modify the recommendation to ensure it isn’t misinterpreted to endorse things that would be harmful?


#4

We plan on putting these recommendations to a vote starting sometime tomorrow. If you have any further specific recommendations for wording changes or examples that can be used in the “rationale” section such as links to specific research or articles, please let post here sometime today! I’ve included what I believe to be the latest wording for this recommendation below based on what everyone has said here, but if I missed something, please let us know.


RECOMMENDATION 5

Apply only form-based code to all neighborhoods in the city. Eliminate Euclidean zoning, overlays, and neighborhood conservation combining districts (NCCDs), and don’t grandfather them.

Rationale

  • All neighborhoods should have the opportunity to have a mix of shopping, jobs, and homes within walking distance. No neighborhood should be forever doomed as “drivable suburban”.
  • Keeping Euclidean zoning, overlays, and NCCDs alongside form-based zoning categories greatly complicates the land development code, making it more difficult to improve neighborhoods and include a greater diversity of people.

#5

Should we add the following to clarify what form based code would mean?

Residential zones should only differ by aspects of the physical form such as height, but not on type of housing. Form requirements should be standardized where building type or number of dwelling units does not need to be specified - e.g. small apartment complexes and single family homes in the same zone should have the same form, instead of having different requirements such as setbacks, impervious cover limits, and other requirements for different housing types.


#6

Totally, but I suggest some changes. I think the primary reason for form-based code is to regulate form instead of use (residential versus commercial). Accordingly, how about:

Zones should only differ by aspects of the physical form such as height, but not on type or use of the buildings. Form requirements should be standardized such that the use of buildings and the number of units do not need to be specified - e.g. a small grocery store, small office, and single family homes may co-exist in the same zone and have similar form, instead of having different requirements such as setbacks, minimum lot dimensions, etc.


#7

That looks good to me!