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Sustainable Zoning Practices

Sustainable zoning practices address environmental, economic, and social equity factors by incorporating both performance and
form-based zoning tools, and responds to regional climate, ecology, and culture.

Traditional or Euclidean zoning, still predominantly used by municipalities nationwide, provides a high emphasis on separation of
uses and is typically not flexible enough to accommodate innovative development practices. This has been standard practice to
prohibit proximity of incompatible uses and to guide development patterns. Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning is prevalent in various fast-growing communities to allow grouping of compatible land uses with various public amenities.

Form-Based codes focus on an integrated built form addressing a relationship between building facades and the public realm.

Sustainable zoning codes and regulations are intended to incorporate land use, building form, open space, energy, health, water quality, food production, climate change, recycling and the relationships among those. Sustainable zoning codes can remove barriers, create incentives, and provide mechanisms for sustainable development and smart growth.

Sustainable Zoning Practices

Sustainable Zoning Guidebook

This guidebook is a resource for North Texas with information on locally adopted zoning approaches supporting walkable, mixed-use, and transit-oriented developments.  This includes where, how, and what various zoning strategies have been locally implemented.  Using a review of codes from 36 North Texas cities, the intent is to provide a picture of sustainable zoning trends in the region and provide an array of zoning options cities can easily review and possibly adopt in support of sustainable land use and transportation coordination. Download a PDF copy of the Sustainable Zoning Guidebook.



What are Form-Based Codes?
According to the Form-Based Codes Institute, form-based codes foster predictable built results and a
high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle
for the code. They are regulations, not mere guidelines. They are adopted into city or county law. Form-based codes are an alternative to conventional zoning.

Form-based code places emphasis on how buildings relate to the street and most importantly, people.

Overview of Form-Based Codes in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

NCTCOG Form-Based Code Training Presentation September 10, 2014

Form Based Code Standards

        Frisco’s Form-Based Code Standards for Planned Development Districts.

urban-to-rural transect
Rural to Urban Transect created by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company

What is SmartCode?
The SmartCode is a type of form-based code that offers an alternative to conventional zoning regulations. According to its lead author, Andrés Duany, the SmartCode is based on the traditional neighborhood model as it varies along the urban-to-rural Transect. In keeping with the new urbanist principle that the neighborhood is the basic unit of urban form, the SmartCode provides design criteria for streets, blocks, open spaces and buildings based on their geographic location from rural preserve to urban core. Municipalities can now adopt the SmartCode as a replacement for the aging zoning ordinances that perpetuate sprawl.

Click here to view the SmartCode as a PDF document

Who is doing Form-Based Codes in the Dallas-Fort Worth region?



Carrollton – Transit Center Zoning District
TOD Zoning District, Article XX. (TC) Transit Center District Regulations
Dallas – Form Districts
Chapter 51A Article XIII: Form Districts
Duncanville – Downtown Duncanville District
Downtown Duncanville District
Farmers Branch – Farmers Branch Station
Form-Based Code for Farmers Branch Station, Conceptual Master Plan
Fort Worth – Near Southside Development Standards and Guidelines
Near Southside Development District, Standards and Guidelines
Frisco – Planned Development District Form-Based Codes Manual
Form-Based Codes Manual
Keller – Old Town Keller Overlay District
Old Town Keller Overlay District
Lancaster - Campus District and Mill Branch Overlay District
Long Range Planning
McKinney - Regional Employment Center Overlay District
Article III Sec 146-99 REC Regional Employment Center Overlay
Mesquite – Truman Heights Revitalization Code and Gus Thomasson Corridor Revitalization Code
Truman Heights Revitalization Code, Gus Thomasson Corridor Revitalization Code
North Richland Hills – Transit-Oriented Development Code
Transit-Oriented Development District Code
Roanoke – Oak Street Corridor Zoning District
Chapter 12, Article III, Division 15, Oak St Regulating Plan (Map)

Contact Information

4/27/2018   bw %Trans E

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