Thursday, August 2, 2012

Form-based codes team presents charrette summary, 10 guiding principles

The team behind the development of Cincinnati's form-based code presented a summary of April's five-day planning charrette to City Council's Livable Communities Committee on Tuesday.

"Paradigm Shift Back to Urbanism: Complete Neighborhoods for Cincinnati", developed for the City by Opticos Design, Inc. with assistance from glaserworks, Urban Advisors, Hall Planning & Engineering, Inc., Brandt Retail Group, and Wise Economy Workshop, presents the results of the sessions, attended by more than 700.

The City has been working on a form-based code since 2008, looking to replace the City's traditional, land use-based zoning with a visually-based code based that examines the relationships between building form, surrounding buildings, and the street.

Form-based codes are considered to speed up the development process by making the permitting and approval process easier for developers. They won't be applied city-wide, but are attractive to neighborhoods that want to create, enhance, or maintain a mixed-use, walkable urban design.

The report presents the Cincinnati rural-to-urban transect – or visual density diagrams – that will be used to interpret the code on a neighborhood level. It also details an overall framework of ten guiding principles, including:
  • taking a complete places approach to revitalization,
  • making vibrant neighborhood Main Streets a priority,
  • using neighborhood revitalization as economic development,
  • utilizing and building upon our City's rich assets,
  • creating complete streets,
  • integrating stormwater management across the transect,
  • incubating local businesses and seeding reinvestment,
  • developing and aggressive strategy to bring people back,
  • creating an effective administration process, and
  • utilizing form-based codes for effective implementation.
From October 29 through November 2, intensive, neighborhood-level design sessions involving neighborhood stakeholders from College Hill, Madisonville, Walnut Hills and Westwood will be held at Centennial Two, located at 805 Central Avenue.

In preparation, consultants, City officials, and neighborhood leaders held map sessions and walking tours in all four neighborhoods over two weekends in July, examining sites that could potentially be developed or upgraded under the code.

The form-based code initiative, know as Plan Build Live, is being funded by a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded in 2010.

NOTE: The summary report is not yet available online. Images courtesy of "Paradigm Shift Back to Urbanism: Complete Neighborhoods for Cincinnati". Photo courtesy of the City of Cincinnati Department of Planning and Buildings.

Previous reading on BC:
Plan Build Live survey asks for advice on neighborhood, development issues (6/12/12)
Five-day form-based code charrette begins Saturday (4/26/12)
Overhaul of Cincinnati development code ramps up today (3/6/12)
Bellevue first local municipality to adopt form-based codes (3/21/11)
Preferred alternative for Cincinnati form-based codes discussed (5/3/10)