You Asked. We Answered.
At the Inquiry Answer Service, we answer, on average, more than 300 questions for our subscribers each month. We consult a variety of sources to create a custom response — which may include APA publications, sample ordinances and plans, articles and literature from partner organizations, and the most current information available online — for each question.
Each month, we choose one question to feature here, so you can see what your peers around the country are asking and how we answered. When your organization subscribes to PAS, you and your colleagues will also have access to the You Asked. We Answered. Archive.
How can we regulate form and appearance in industrial zone districts?
I am looking for some examples of industrial zone districts employed by other communities that move towards a more form-based model. We are looking to institute a new zone district for a future business/industrial park and are more concerned with design and appearance than use.
There are very few examples of form-based codes for industrial districts. The explanation is simple: Form-based codes are intended to prescribe a pedestrian-oriented built form, and the large-format buildings and attendant operational characteristics of large-scale industrial districts are inherently incompatible with this goal. With that said, though, there is no reason why a form-based code couldn’t be successfully used for a clean industrial or high tech/commercial district with smaller footprint buildings and less off-street parking, and a few communities do have form-based zone districts that include industrial uses such as warehouses or light manufacturing uses.
More common than form-based codes in this context are design standards or guidelines for industrial or business park districts, which directly address design and appearance of these areas. These often address elements of both site design (e.g., building orientation and setbacks, parking, circulation, and landscaping) and building design (e.g., building massing and architectural features).
- Borys, Hazel. 2011. “Special Districts Getting All Mixed Up.” PlaceShakers and Newsmakers, September 16.
- Bloomington (Illinois), City of. 2007. Gridley, Allin, & Prickett (GAP) Form-Based Code. Part J, Building Types: Warehouse Building.
- Black Diamond (Washington), City of. 2009. Black Diamond Design Guidelines for Business Park/Industrial Areas.
- Encinitas, City of (California). 2016. Municipal Code. Title 30, Zoning; Chapter 30.24, Light Industrial Zones; Section 30.24.10, Development Standards; part B, Site Planning. Part C, Building Design.
- Goodyear (Arizona), City of. 2011. City of Goodyear Design Guidelines. Chapter 5, Employment/Industrial.
- Holly Springs (North Carolina), Town of. 2013. Unified Development Ordinance. Section 4.05, Architectural and Site Design Requirements for Industrial Districts.
- Mountlake Terrace (Washington), City of. 2008. Light Industrial/Office Park Design Standards for the City of Mountlake Terrace.
- Papillion (Nebraska), City of. 2016. Municipal Code. Chapter 205, Zoning; Article XXXII, Industrial Design Guidelines.
- Peoria (Illinois), City of. 2016. Code of Ordinances. Appendix C, Heart of Peoria Land Development Code; Article 6.0, Form Districts; Section 6.5, Warehouse District.
- Riverhead (New York), Town of. 2016. Municipal Code. Chapter 301, Zoning; Article XXXIX, Planned Industrial Park (PIP) Zoning Use District; Section 301-187, Design Standards for Planned Industrial Parks.
- Sacramento (California), City of. 2012. City of Sacramento Industrial and Business Park Design Guidelines. December.
- Spokane (Washington), City of. 2016. Municipal Code. Title 17C, Land Use Standards; Chapter 17C.130, Industrial Zones; Section 17C.130.500 et seq., Design Standards Implementation.
- Stillwater (Minnesota), City of. n.d. "West Business Park Design Review District."
- Sunnyvale (California), City of. 1993. Industrial Design Guidelines.
- Wilsonville (Oregon), City of. 2014. Coffee Creek Industrial Design Overlay District. Also see Wilsonville Pattern Book for Coffee Creek Light Industrial Area. Additional documentation of this project available at city website "Coffee Creek Industrial Area Form-Based Code."
- Wood Dale (Illinois), City of. 2014. City Code. Chapter 17, Unified Development Code. Article IX, Thorndale Corridor Corporate District; part B, Subareas; part 2, Business Park.
Related PAS Products
- Elliott, Donald L., Matthew Goebel, and Chad Meadows. 2012. The Rules that Shape Urban Form. Planning Advisory Service Report no. 570. Chicago: American Planning Association.