City introduces Form-Based Code to combat urban sprawl

City of Sarasota Manager Tom Barwin said he was “excited” that a draft of the new form-based code is complete and available online for review by the community.

Barwin says Form-Based Code is a modern response to the challenges of urban sprawl, deterioration of historic neighborhoods and the need for safe and efficient multi-modal transportation options for pedestrians and cyclists. It is touted by planners as land development regulations that foster predictable results using physical form rather than separation of uses as the organizing principle.

The Form-Based Code includes zoned districts, known as transects, that address the relationship between building facades and public spaces such as roads and parks, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another and the scale and types of streets and blocks.

Barwin writes that the new code will be presented in easy-to-understand words, diagrams and graphics.

Barwin added that the draft is a result of citizen input and it will replace the current zoning code. City staff will be reviewing the draft over the coming months and community workshops, public meetings, and hearings are forthcoming.

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