Seminar ID: 100730

Why Form-Based Codes?

Presented By:
Leslie Oberholtzer


You will Learn:

  • To address the basic questions of architects, engineers, and attorneys.
  • About the legal framework of regulatory drafting for form-based codes.
  • Why it is helpful for development professionals to have a basic understanding of form-based codes; they are not a passing fad or fringe regulatory approach and they will only become more prevalent as a zoning technique.
  • Why developing an understanding of the typical contents and process of a form-based code is ultimately much more effective than just relying on the buzz to determine if it will work in your community.

There is an excited buzz in the planning and architecture communities about form-based codes – they are wonderful and every community should have one! Form-based codes can indeed be wonderful, they provide communities large and small with a specific and measurable method of approaching development to ensure that it meets local needs and expectations. But good form-based codes are also very locally-specific in nature and require focused attention on issues large and small to create. The more a community understands how the standards of a form-based code will impact local development, the more effectively the resulting code will work. The session Form-Based Codes: An Alternative to Traditional Ordinances is designed to help participants peer inside a form-based code. The speakers will identify and describe the functional components of a form-based code, highlight how form-based regulations both incorporate and differ from conventional zoning, and provide a basic overview of the legal issues that guide the drafting of these site-specific land use regulations. Program participants will leave the session with a better understanding of what “form-based” means; greater knowledge of the purpose of the various scales, forms, and combinations of elements used in these regulations; and will be in a better position to determine how and where to use this new zoning tool in their community.