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The Benefits of Creating Hybrid Zoning Codes

Roger E. Eastman recounts the process and product of a recent effort by Flagstaff, Arizona to replace an outdated zoning code with an innovative hybrid of form-based and Euclidean elements.
February 12, 2012, 1pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Along with co-authors Daniel Parolek and Lisa Wise, Eastman provides a detailed case study of the process by which the code was assembled and the community was engaged. The result of the process was a unique hybrid code that, "will be repaid in a more efficient, more equitable, and easier-to-use zoning system," and also, "changed the generally negative perception of city planners."

According to the authors, the crucial first step in assembling the hybrid code was to distinguish "walkable urban" from "drivable suburban" areas, upon which the form-based and conventional portions of the code would be respectively applied.

One innovative aspect of the new Flagstaff code is that, "Unlike other hybrid approaches in which the FBC [form based code] is an exception within an otherwise conventional zoning code framework, the Flagstaff code defaults to walkable urbanism and makes drivable suburban development the exception."

The article goes on to detail specific innovative policies, lessons learned, and the successful public engagement strategy .

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Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 in Planning
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