Nashville has adopted, and Chattanooga is in the process of adopting, Form-Based Code. Form-Based Code is a form of land use regulation that focuses more on the aesthetics of communities and well-balanced uses rather than on micromanaging the legal uses. Michelangelo, I believe, would have given his stamp of approval.
Charged with balancing individual property rights and social responsibility, the government has gotten it wrong for quite some time, favoring utility over aesthetics. The result? Visually unappealing buildings and urban blight with diminishing property values. From my perspective, the recent trend in Form-Based Code over historical zoning practices has been a turn for the better. Who knows? Maybe the urban areas of America are at the cutting edge of our own Renaissance.
But I’d be curious about the experiences of those affected by Form-Based Code. Please weigh in using the comments section below.