The City Council had an unusual meeting on Tuesday night. No legislation was considered, no votes were cast, and no hearings were held. Instead, we received a presentation – almost a tutorial – about “form-based codes.”
Yes, I know, it sounds like a cure for insomnia, but, actually, the discussion was fascinating – and very important.
A form-based code is essentially a re-conception of traditional zoning, with an emphasis on urban design. The physical and geometric relationship between buildings, roads, and public spaces becomes the central focus, with the aim of creating streets and neighborhoods that are more appealing. These enhanced design standards are often paired with greater flexibility in use.
The City will consider the adoption of a form-based code in conjunction with our downtown development plans, so the purpose of this informational session was to acquaint the Council with the basics, before we drill down to details later this year.