Grand Valley Metro Council's Land Use Department announces the completion of its Form-Based Code Study. The report provides local governments a template for zoning ordinances that emphasize the urban design of places. This is a new approach to zoning that supports traditional town and city forms such as main streets, village greens, and neighborhood centers. Based on a survey of the best places in the metropolitan area, the Study provides standards that can be placed in local zoning ordinances, along with processes to determine best locations for the range of standards. The contexts that are defined, from most regional downtown to residential neighborhood, are related to a pallette of appropriate street standards. These street standards are likely very similar to new, context directed, street standards that will be proposed nationally in the near future.
The document may be downloaded from this site in sections. It may be used by any local government or organization in the GVMC region, with appropriate attribution. The Study parallels the SmartCode, which is becoming widely used as a template across the United States. The SmartCode is also available to the public at www.placemakers.net. GVMC's consultants for the project were Farr Associates from Chicago and Meyer, Mohaddes Associates from Minneapolis. In addition local architects, planners, developers and others nominated best local examples, and reviewed the draft document.