The City of Cincinnati undertook a Form-Based Code Study to determine how Form-Based Codes could be incorporated into the new Land Development Code. The study took several years and the development of the Form-Based Code itself took another several years. The Code will be a tool that neighborhoods and/or developers can voluntarily choose to implement in the compact walkable areas as defined by Plan Cincinnati.
Form-Based Codes are an innovative alternative to conventional zoning that focus on the form of buildings rather than the land use. For example, Form-Based Codes focus on the physical character of buildings and the relationship of buildings to each other and to the street.
A consulting team consisting of Opticos Design Inc., glaserworks, Urban Design Associates, Hall Planning & Engineering, Urban Advisors, Brandt Retail Group, and Wise Economy Workshop helped assist the Department of City Planning and Buildings in the development of the Form-Based Code. Other stakeholders, neighborhoods, and City Departments also played an important role in the process.
- Reinforcing Community Character & Walkable Urbanism With Zoning (January 8, 2010)
- Existing Regulatory Obstacles For Form-Based Code Application (February 1, 2010)
- Form-Based Code Best Practices (March 1, 2010)
- Focus Neighborhoods Analysis (March 9, 2010)
- Form-Based Code Approach Options (March 10-11, 2010)
- Approach To Form-Based Code Application Staff Report (April 30, 2010)
- Approach To Form-Based Code Application Presentation (April 30, 2010)
- A Tool For Shaping Community Form & Smarter Growth (September 30, 2010)
- Creating A Form-Based Code To Preserve Community Character (October 2, 2010)
The following poster includes the definition of Form-Based Codes, the standard three-step standard process for creating a Form-Based Code, why Form-Based Codes are needed, and components of a Form-Based Code.
Form-Based Code Institute
The Form-Based Code Institute (FBCI) has the goal of setting standards for the practice of Form-Based Coding. The FBCI website includes links to books, articles, code documents, and additional resources from the FBCI.
Plan Cincinnati and the vision of "Thriving Re-Urbanization" laid out the groundwork for the purpose and development of the Form-Based Code. The Plan, Cincinnati's first Comprehensive Plan in over 30 years, can be downloaded and viewed at:
Public and the Process
The Form-Based Code process has been extensive, and has included:
- The Form-Based Code Working Group (neighborhood leaders, organizations, City staff, etc.), which has been meeting for over 4 years
- Several Trips to Nashville, Tennessee (led by Roxanne Qualls) to understand and see results of a successful Form-Based Code
- The Cincinnati Form-Based Code Initiative Working Group (planners, developers, architects, etc.), which has been meeting for over 4 years
- Stakeholder Interviews conducted before and during the Citywide Charrette
- The Citywide Charrette/Urban Design Workshop (April 28 - May 2, 2012), where citizens and stakeholders were included in development of the Form-Based Code
- The Public Review Draft of the Cincinnati Form-Based Code (September 2012)
- Informational/Education Meetings at the City Planning Commission and Livable Communities Committee of City Council (October 2012)
- The Neighborhood Charrette (October 29 - November 1, 2012), where College Hill, Madisonville, Walnut Hills, and Westwood were the first 4 neighborhoods to begin the visioning process and testing the Form-Based Code in their compact walkable areas
- Final Draft of the Cincinnati Form-Based Code (February 2013)
- Special City Planning Commission Meeting where the Cincinnati Form-Based Code was approved with few amendments (March 7, 2013)
- Livable Communities Committee of City Council (May 7, 2013)
The current draft can be downloaded by visiting our webpage below:
The Plan Build Live website have more information related to the Cincinnati Form-Based Code and the larger Land Development Code process:
For more information related to the Cincinnati Form-Based Code, please contact:
Alex Peppers, City Planner
513-352-4855 or firstname.lastname@example.org