Avoiding Common Form-Based Code Mistakes, Part 1

Zoning Practice — May 2013

By Daniel Parolek


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This article tackles some common misconceptions about form-based coding and highlights some common mistakes communities have made when trying to harmonize form-based coding concepts with existing regulations.


Page Count
Date Published
May 1, 2013
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Daniel Parolek
Daniel is an urban designer and architect, and the founding principal of Opticos Design, a BCorporation that has grown into a sought-after company of thought leaders in urban placemaking, innovative housing design and policy, and zoning reform for walkable urbanism. They are leading the master plan and design of what will be the country’s largest car-free neighborhood. Daniel has been featured in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Next City, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, and Curbed. He created the concept of Missing Middle Housing, launched missingmiddlehousing.com (Planetizen Top 10 Urban Planning website in 2019), and wrote the book "Missing MIddle Housing" which will be available in spring of 2020 from Island Press. As a thought leader in zoning reform efforts, Daniel co-authored the book "Form-Based Codes" (named one of Planetizen’s best books in 2009), and co-founded the non-profit think tank, the Form-Based Code Institute. He has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Urban Design from the University of California at Berkeley. Daniel loves to travel internationally, especially in Italy. The seeds of his passion for walkable urban places started while growing up in the small town of Columbus, Nebraska.