Developers Recognize Advantages of Market-Responsive Form-Based Codes

Form-based codes voluntarily adopted by developers show how this kind of land-use regulation can offer high market adaptability while assuring a better public realm.
May 9, 2013, 8am PDT | newurban
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"Richardson, Texas, an affluent inner-ring suburb of Dallas, and home to many telecommunications corporations, wants to remain attractive to employers in coming decades," writes Robert Steuteville. "Key to that goal is becoming more walkable and connected to transit, qualities that many of today’s young and talented professionals are seeking. There are five Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) stations in Richardson, and unfortunately not one is in a walkable neighborhood. Such areas are in short supply in Richardson, which grew up entirely after World War II."

"But a 100-acre previously undeveloped parcel adjacent to one of the stations will establish a new pattern: The site was rezoned recently for 3,200 residential units and up to 6,000 jobs. State Farm Insurance Company, which could have located anywhere in the region but was looking for a walkable urban center, chose this site."

"As long as builders adhere to a new form-based code (FBC), no further public hearings are required. 'We eliminated the risk of NIMBYism for a theoretical maximum buildout within a wide range of uses,' says Scott Polikov of Vialta Group, LLC, A Gateway Planning Company. 'There’s nothing more market-responsive than that.'”

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Published on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 in Better! Cities & Towns
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