Ways to Fail at Form-Based Codes 02: Make it Mandatory Citywide

Ambition is good, but don't bite off more than you can chew. Hazel Borys applies this valuable lesson to form-based codes.

"A while back, we talked about Connections, Community, and the Science of Loneliness, and how our laws have separated not just building uses — residential, commercial, retail, civic — but have also separated people. And that separation has led to a spate of ills — ill health, ill economies, and ill environments. We looked at some of the places that are reversing those use-separated laws of the last 80 years, allowing a mixture of compatible uses where people have a better chance of growing up healthy and aging in place."

Borys talks about implementation strategies for Form-based codes (FBCs):

  1. Mandatory citywide;
  2. Mandatory just for a certain area where locals want to either encourage something different from what’s happening right now, or preserve and protect existing conditions; or
  3. Optional but incentivized. Incentives may include a shorter approvals process, waived fees, more density, or public-private partnership support structures.

Borys goes on to analyze all the FBCs globally that are mandatory for the jurisdiction and finds it's just 2% of the market share. She looks to some success stories for lessons learned, as well as warns that the second biggest pitfall of a FBC is to bite off more than you can chew.

Full Story: Ways to Fail at Form-Based Codes 02: Make it Mandatory Citywide


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