A form-based code is a type of zoning code that focuses on the physical form and characteristics of buildings and public spaces, rather than land use and density. Unlike conventional zoning codes, which primarily regulate land use and bulk standards (such as setbacks and lot coverage), form-based codes emphasize the design and arrangement of buildings, streets, and open spaces.

In a form-based code, specific guidelines and standards are provided for the physical form of buildings, including their height, massing, facade design, and relationship to the street. The code also addresses the design of public spaces, such as parks, plazas, and streetscapes, encouraging a more cohesive and aesthetically pleasing urban environment.

Form-based codes promote mixed-use neighborhoods, pedestrian-friendly streets, and high-quality urban design. By focusing on the physical form and aesthetics of the built environment, form-based codes aim to create more attractive, walkable, and sustainable communities.

The benefits of using a
Form-Based Code:

  • Helps regulate development
  • Easier to predict results of FBC’s implementation
  • Simpler than conventional zoning for non-professionals
  • Streamlines permitting and therefore saves time and money
  • Protects neighborhood property values

Use-Based Code

Used based

Form-Based Code

Form based