Form-based codes catch on, to some architects' dismay
Miami approved a form-based code last year, and Denver followed up in late June with a form-based code advocated by Peter Park, Denver's manager of community planning and development. Miami's effort, guided by Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., came about through extensive participation, including more than 500 public meetings. "There was resistance up front," says former mayor Manny Diaz, in an article here by Nate Berg in Architect magazine. "And, I wouldn't kid you, there's still resistance." But according to Plater-Zyberk, most of the protests have faded away.
In all, 323 form-based codes have been adopted or are in development across the US and Canada, says the consulting group PlaceMakers. The trend has been to produce them neighborhood by neighborhood, observes Caroly Wyant of the Form-Based Codes Institute.
In Denver, collaboration between architects and the city planning staff ironed out most of the concerns that architects had expressed. Most form-based codes are written so that they can evolve and so that any mistakes can be remedied, Berg writes, citing the changes that have been made in a code for the Columbia Pike since its initial adoption by Arlington, Virginia, in 2003.