The concept of developing a Form Based Code (FBC) has been discussed in various City meetings over the last year. In an attempt to better understand the potential opportunities, The City of Frederick will be hosting two workshops.
CONTACT: Susan Harding, Public Information Officer, 301-600-1385
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Form Base Codes: Is It Right For Frederick?
Frederick, MD –The concept of developing a Form Based Code (FBC) has been discussed in various City meetings over the last year. In an attempt to better understand the potential opportunities, The City of Frederick will be hosting two workshops. These meetings are intended to lay the groundwork for future discussions.
Mayor and Board Workshop
November 14th at 3:00 pm at the Municipal Annex Building (140 West Patrick Street)
General Workshop on Form Based Codes
November 14th at 7:00 pm at the Municipal Annex Building (140 West Patrick Street)
The public is encouraged to attend either workshop and public comment is welcomed
Mr. Peter Katz will be leading the discussion on this topic. Mr. Katz co-founder of the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI), a group that he organized in 2004. Peter has authored and edited several books on urbanism. In addition to his advocacy work, Peter Katz has served as a staff planner for local governments in Oceanside, CA; Sarasota County, FL; and Arlington County, VA, where he was director of the Planning Division. Peter Katz also works as a consultant, providing services to government, public agencies and private-sector clients. In so doing, he has played a key role in shaping and implementing a range of nationally significant community design and development projects.
What are Form Based Codes?
Form-based codes foster predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. They are regulations, not mere guidelines, adopted into city or county law. Form-based codes offer a powerful alternative to conventional zoning.
Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes are presented in both words and clearly drawn diagrams and other visuals. They are keyed to a regulating plan that designates the appropriate form and scale (and therefore, character) of development, rather than only distinctions in land-use types.
This approach contrasts with conventional zoning's focus on the micromanagement and segregation of land uses, and the control of development intensity through abstract and uncoordinated parameters (e.g., FAR, dwellings per acre, setbacks, parking ratios, traffic LOS), to the neglect of an integrated built form. Not to be confused with design guidelines or general statements of policy, form-based codes are regulatory, not advisory. They are drafted to implement a community plan. They try to achieve a community vision based on time-tested forms of urbanism. Ultimately, a form-based code is a tool; the quality of development outcomes depends on the quality and objectives of the community plan that a code implements.
For more information, please contact Joe Adkins, Deputy Director of Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org.