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July/August 2009 home page

Form-Based Code Planning
Anthony Corso, Stratford Court

The idea of using a form-based code [footnote] to help revitalize Del Mar’s Village Center continues to be explored by the appointed Ad Hoc Form Based Code Advisory Committee. Their next meeting will include a discussion of whether or not to televise future meetings of the committee.

Since its first meeting in May, committee efforts have been primarily devoted to educating members on the scope and magnitude of what might be attempted, the experiences of other communities where the approach has proven successful, a review of existing and relevant Del Mar plans and studies, and the acknowledgement of existing community goals, particularly those of the Del Mar Community Plan.

A decision was also made to include all six commercial zones as well as existing and proposed major developments, including City Hall, the Post Office, the Library and the Del Mar Garden Project in the a Form-Based Code implementation district. By adopting implementation boundaries that are inclusive rather than exclusive, the committee felt there was a greater opportunity to link commercial areas by modifying street design and streetscape or by coordinating adjacent properties.

The June meeting featured a walking tour along the entire length of Camino Del Mar. Emphasis was directed at identifying the variety of views along the way, including those that were lost in past development. Post- tour discussion highlighted the need to preserve and enhance views and how future development might expand opportunities for their enjoyment.


Form-based codes are design-oriented—concerned with the architectural features, façades and the overall design of the area, bulk and lot coverage, open spaces, views and landscaping, pedestrian and vehicular movement, parking and the compatibility of individual structures to adjacent structures. back


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