Council approves 'form-based code'

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - City Council has approved an innovative alternative to conventional zoning.

Council's Livable Communities committee unanimously approved the new Cincinnati Form-Based Code on Wednesday.

"Cincinnati now joins hundreds of cities that are using form-based code to build and reinforce walkable places that create value, preserve character, and are the bedrock of Cincinnati neighborhoods' competitive advantage," said Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls.

Qualls has been working since 2008 with neighborhoods around the city to bring form-based codes to Cincinnati.

Four neighborhoods — College Hill, Madisonville, Walnut Hills, and Westwood — have volunteered to be the first to implement the code. The neighborhoods will take the results of the four-day neighborhood urban design workshop last fall and apply the new code to their neighborhood business districts and adjacent residential areas. The code also outlines a process for additional neighborhoods and developers to voluntarily apply the code.

Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes are presented in both words and clearly drawn diagrams and other visuals. They are keyed to a regulating plan that designates the appropriate form and scale (and therefore, character) of development, rather than only distinctions in land-use types.

To read more about the code, visit

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