Request for Proposals

Woodland District Hybrid Form-Based Code

City of Lacey

Lacey, WA

Posted: 08/05/2014
Submittal Deadline: 08/25/2014

Website: http://

The City of Lacey is a city of 45,320 people located at the southern reach of Puget Sound located approximately 50 miles south of Seattle. Largely developed after World War II, Lacey has lacked a “downtown” in the traditional sense; however, Lacey’s core area known as the Woodland District has provided a consistent regional retail and employment center for over 50 years. Planning for the Woodland District began in the mid-1990s as the City of Lacey grappled with giving the area a sense of identity, culminating in adoption of the Downtown 2000 Plan, which established design guidelines and development standards for the area. The Downtown 2000 Plan sought to provide the Woodland District as a vibrant and prosperous place that created a strong identity, encouraged density and mix of uses, supported transit and provided for a diverse population.

In 2008, as a result of a downturn in the financial markets and a downsizing and relocation of State office complexes, private investment in the Woodland District ceased and 240,000 square feet of office space became vacant. With the assistance of an appointed steering committee, the City began the 2011 “Downtown Refresh” to re-examine the goals of the Downtown 2000 plan. The committee validated the vision but understood that the area needed a jumpstart. Upon completion of the Downtown Refresh, the City received a grant through the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to establish the Woodland District Strategic Plan, an action-based strategic plan for the area to guide future revitalization and development of private investment, public places, and transportation infrastructure. The Woodland District Strategic Plan identified twenty-five key actions designed to provide the necessary framework and incentives to catalyze investment and development. The development of a form-based code was a top priority of the Strategic Plan to attract new investments and produce a cohesive district characterized by great places.

OBJECTIVES OF THE WOODLAND DISTRICT HYBRID FORM-BASED CODE: The City of Lacey is seeking professional services to develop a hybrid form-based code based on the framework set forth in the Woodland District Strategic Plan. Such a “place-based” regulatory system would clearly illustrate the Woodland District’s desired form and character with both graphics and concise narrative. It would shape both the public realm (the streets and pedestrian network, public places and parking supply) and private realm (building form, design and locations, private signage, on-site parking, circulation and landscaping). The form-based approach would provide clarity of content and would serve as an incentive to attract new investments.

The City desires to use a community- based approach in the development of the hybrid form-based code by forming a technical committee with representation from community businesses, developers, architects, engineers, citizens and the City.

The technical committee will review and consider recommendations from the consultant through all phases of the project including the initial review and analysis, the public design process, and drafting of the hybrid-form based code. The technical committee will hold a minimum of five meetings prior to making a recommendation to the City of Lacey Planning Commission.

SCOPE OF SERVICES: The City intends the development of the hybrid form-based code to be a focused effort that will conclude within approximately one year of contract execution with the selected consultant. The scope of work will include the following items:
1. Initial Review and Analysis
a. Interviews. The Consultant will interview appropriate stakeholders involved with the project. These interviews will include groups and individuals including elected officials, nonprofit organization leaders, property owners, local design professionals, developers, business organizations, and city staff.
b. Site Analysis. The Consultant will become familiar with the physical details of the Woodland District, patterns of urbanism and architecture in the surrounding region, and the previous subarea planning efforts that apply to the District.
c. Website. The Consultant will provide information for the City of Lacey website. The Consultant will provide materials including text, photographs, maps, renderings, and other images for the web site. This material will describe the Consultant’s credentials and help explain the project’s process.
2. Public Design Process
a. Generate necessary background maps and documents. Inventory and document the existing built environment and streetscape to build a form-based code based on the characteristics of the City of Lacey. The City of Lacey will provide all necessary base map information as needed by the Consultant. These documents will be used to produce the maps that will be used during the preparation of the form-based code.
b. Public Workshop and/or Design Charrette. The Consultant will organize and lead design workshops or a full planning charrette to engage the community, gather ideas and goals, and formulate implementation strategies. The Consultant will tailor the workshop or charrette to obtain maximum community input so as to produce the best possible master plan on which to base the new code. The charrette format will also take into consideration the findings of the initial site analysis, input from staff, and information obtained at previous meetings, workshops, and interviews. While the end result will be new land development regulations, the public process will include discussions of alternatives for street design, street connectivity, and town planning strategies that create vital town centers, corridors, and livable neighborhoods. At the conclusion of the workshop(s), the Consultant will present the work generated to-date. Plans, renderings, and initial coding ideas that reflect ideas articulated in the workshops will be publicly presented and further feedback solicited from the community.
3. Drafting the Hybrid Form-Based Code
a. Design Parameters for the Hybrid Form-Based Code. The new code will regulate development in a manner consistent with the Woodland District Strategic Plan to ensure high-quality public spaces defined by a variety of building types and uses including housing, retail, mixed-use and office space. The new code will incorporate a regulating plan, building form standards, street standards (plan and section), use regulations as needed, and other elements needed to implement the vision for the Woodland District. Sections of this document would typically include the following:
• Overview, including definitions, principles, and intent; and explanation of the regulations and process in clear user-friendly language.
• Regulating Plan (a schematic representation of the master plan) illustrating the location of streets, blocks, public spaces (such as greens, squares, and parks), and other special features. Regulating plans may also include aspects of Building Form Standards such as “build-to-lines” or “required building lines” and building type or form designations.
• Building Form Standards governing basic building form, placement, and fundamental urban elements to ensure that all buildings complement neighboring structures and the street. These standards should be based upon study of building types appropriate for the region, climate, and neighborhood vitality.
• Public Space/Street Standards defining design attributes and geometries that balance the needs of motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders while promoting a vital public realm. These standards should include design specifications for sidewalks, travel lane widths, parking, curb geometry, trees, and lighting.
• Block and Lot Standards governing lot standards and sizes to achieve desired development form.
b. Integration of the Hybrid Form-Based Code. The form-based code must be integrated into the City of Lacey’s existing regulatory framework (zoning and land development regulations) in a manner that insures procedural consistency, meshes with state and local legal requirements, provides clarity as to applicability of existing regulations, and maximizes the effectiveness of the code.
4. Refining the Form-Based Code
a. Presentation of First Draft. The Consultant will present the first draft of the form-based code to the general public for the purpose of gathering comments. Copies of the first draft will need to be in hardcopy and digital form and posted on the website. The presentation will educate the public on what a form-based code is, the purpose of form-based codes, and the initial details of Lacey’s hybrid form-based code
b. Presentation of the Second Draft. After making revisions in response to comments on the first draft, the Consultant will present the second draft of the form based code at a second public meeting.
c. Meetings with Technical Committee. The Consultant will attend and participate in up to five additional meetings with the appointed technical committee to review and refine the details of the new code and obtain further input and comments.
5. Approval Process
a. Public Hearing Presentations. The Consultant will make a formal presentation on the technical committee-recommended version of the hybrid form-based code to the Lacey Planning Commission and City Council.
b. Additional Revisions. The Consultant will be responsible for the revisions that may become necessary between presentations. The City of Lacey staff will be responsible for collecting comments, questions, and suggestions for these refinements from various sources and consolidating them into a series of action items for revision or responses.
c. Training. Upon adoption, the Consultant will provide a training session for City of Lacey staff. The training will focus on administering the hybrid form-based code for jurisdiction staff that has little or no previous experience with form-based codes.
d. Outreach. After adoption, the Consultant will develop informational materials including a brochure to assist potential applicants on how to use the hybrid form-based code.

Consistent with the Woodland District Strategic Plan, the hybrid form-based code will ensure high-quality public spaces defined by a variety of building types and uses including housing, retail, mixed-use and office space and will catalyze investment and development. The expected deliverable will be a hybrid form-based code that contains the following elements:
1. Regulating Plan
2. Building Form Standards
3. Public Space Standards
4. Frontage Type Standards
5. Block and Lot Standards

Project costs are expected to be less than $100,000. The final dollar amount will be negotiated as part of the final contract and scope of work with the successful consultant.

August 4, 2014 — RFP Issued
August 25, 2014 — Proposal packets due
September 5, 2014 — Evaluations of packets and finalist selected
September 15, 2014 — Presentations and interview with selected finalists
September 19, 2014 — Selection of Consultant
September 29, 2014 — Contract executed
September 25, 2015 — Final deliverables due

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate competency and experience in form-based code development and implementation and working with community groups, stakeholders, planning commissions and elected officials.

Submittal Requirements
Firms interested in being considered for this project must submit 10 copies of their Proposals and Statement of Qualifications or submit one PDF copy electronically via e-mail to Submittals must be limited to 10 double-sided pages (20 total faces), including an introductory letter. Submittals must include the following information:

1. Name, address, and telephone number of the firm or individual, and the primary contact,
2. Brief description of the consultant team and its background, size, and nature of services,
3. Names of principals and key personnel who would work on this project, fees for service, and their experience and qualifications,
4. Availability of personnel who would be dedicated to this project,
5. Experience with similar projects including experience in preparing municipal form-based codes that regulate development and redevelopment in other communities,
6. Experience in working with technical committees and other community stakeholders to obtain consensus to support innovative regulatory structures,
7. Experience with an array of public participation methods including social media,
8. List of at least three project references, including contact persons and phone numbers,
9. Description of a recommended project approach and strategy including preliminary milestones and tasks to be competed.

Submittal Deadline
RFPs for this work must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time on August 25, 2014 at Lacey City Hall located at 420 College Street SE, Lacey, WA 98503. If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Andrews, Planning Manager at (360) 412-3190 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Monday through Friday. Minority and women-owned firms are encouraged to apply.