Form-Based Code

fbc_video Opens in new windowWatch Form Based Code for The City of Frederick.

eaststreetvision Opens in new windowThank you all for your participation in the Charrette and the Work In Progress Meeting. Watch the recording of the meeting and download the report here

East Street Form-Based Code

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The Division of Planning is launching efforts to draft a Form-Based Code for the East Street.

With the 2020 Comprehensive Plan, Strategic Plan, and the East Street Small Area Plan as the foundation, the Division of Planning will begin the process by gathering public input and collecting data to define goals and strategies that will guide the East Street growth and development and ensure that the community’s vision is put into action and the goals are being met.

What is Form-Based Code?

Form-Based Code (FBC) is a zoning regulation that guides how developments and buildings relate to the public realm first, and only secondarily to what uses occur inside them. Its purpose is to design a particular type of place or built environment based on the community’s vision.

FBCs are written to regulate development so that it deliberately generates a specific urban form, including the public realm. The purpose is to integrate subdivision and zoning regulations and right of way standards (roads, sidewalks, landscaping) and rules for parks and other open spaces such as plazas and squares. Intentionally defining the relationship between private development and the streetscape in order to create an inviting and comfortable public space, including streets, sidewalks, plazas, squares, and anywhere else the public gathers outdoors.


  • Promote high-quality structures, streetscape, urban design public realm within an urban context.
  • Encourage all development types for a unified and attractive environment. This Code is intended to provide requirements and guidance, mainly in graphic form, in accordance and to implement the vision of the community. 
  • Create an identifiable neighborhood/ corridor environment and provide customer experience opportunities for existing and new nonresidential users. 
  • Support public infrastructure upgrade, extension, and beautification opportunities. 
  • Build upon established anchor uses and areas. 
  • Promote differentiated and unique ideas that can provide a sense of place and destination while encouraging new and expanded development in the corridor. 
  • Continue to support citizen-based initiatives to improve the east side of Frederick and create opportunities for citizen representation in the area.

Project Approach

Task 1:          Introduction to the Form-Based Code
Task 2:          Initial Review + Analysis
Task 3:          Public Design Process
Task 4:          Drafting the Form-Based Code
Task 5:          Refining the Form-Based Code
Task 6:          Approval Process

Public Participation

All residents are encouraged to participate during the entire process by attending the public meetings, leaving comments on the interactive mapping tool, filling out the surveys, regularly checking out the project webpage, and by contacting the Division of Planning.

In addition to the surveys and maps, City staff will be presenting the efforts to the NACs and stakeholder groups beginning in May 2022. Comments and feedbacks during the Planning Commission and Mayor and Board of Aldermen workshops and public hearings are strongly encouraged.

External FBC Related Articles

5/24/2022Frederick News PostForm-based zoning for East Street
6/1/2022Frederick News PostEast Street Corridor Redesign shows Promise, needs more vision
6/7/2022Frederick News PostCity to hold information sessions on new Zoning Approach
6/8/2022Frederick News PostConsultants say form-based code would connect neighborhoods
8/14/2022Frederick News PostWork session lays out ideas for East Street redevelopment
8/17/2022Frederick News PostEast Street redesign a crucial building block for Frederick's future
11/15/2022Frederick News PostEvolving East Street should include Better Ties to Downtown
Frederick News Post
City Reviewing Form Based Code
Frederick News Post
Alderman look at elements of form-based code proposal

Articles about Developments in the FBC District

2/8/2023Frederick News PostBrick Works plan shows no harmony with historic downtown
Frederick News Post
Plenty of Chances to help shape Brick Works Project

Meeting Information


6/8/2022Mayor and Board WorkshopVideoBackup
6/14/2022Public MeetingVideoBackup
8/12 - 8/16/2022Community Visioning CharretteFlyerReport
8/15/2022Planning Commission Workshop Video
10/17/2022Planning Commission WorkshopVideo
10/19/2022Mayor and Board WorkshopVideo
Charrette Report Open House

Mayor and Board Workshop

To stay involved in this process and join our email list for future updates, email Arash Ghahramani