The Five Steps to a Hybrid Code

Zoning Practice — May 2008

By Arista Strungys, FAICP


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Many communities across the country are showing new interest in using zoning regulation to better realize a desired building form. Zoning codes have always contained the basic bulk relationships that create the three-dimensional building envelope, such as minimum lot area, lot coverage restrictions, required setbacks, and maximum height, but additional design-oriented elements to better refine that form have not, traditionally, been part of the equation. As a result, many communities are not satisfied with the end result, whether it's monotonous residential subdivisions or out-of-character infill development.

However, to completely revise a traditional zoning code, especially in a fully built out community, into a form-based code can may be akin to tossing the baby out with the bathwater. In many situations, hybrid codes represent a viable alternative.

This issue of Zoning Practice introduces a step-by-step approach to hybrid zoning and cites a number of communities currently using hybrid codes.


Page Count
Date Published
May 1, 2008
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Arista Strungys, FAICP
Arista Strungys, AICP, is a Principal at Camiros, Ltd. Her area of expertise is zoning and development regulations, and she has worked with communities across the country of all sizes in drafting development regulations. She is experienced in all types of regulatory techniques, including traditional controls, place-based zoning, form-based coding, design guidelines, and sustainable development.