Form-Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America

Ventura Downtown Specific Plan

Ventura Seal

Ventura wanted to reduce barriers and develop incentives to encourage redevelopment in the downtown area. The Specific Plan offers clear rules, certainty of process, and high-quality design that encourages walkable urbanism. In California, the Specific Plan allows for all policies, codes, and infrastructure improvements to be coordinated within one document. This transect-based form-based code was road tested for two years in the form of guidelines used to evaluate projects, and many code revisions resulted from this trial period.  The code integrates a complete set of standards for an extensive range of building types in addition to building height and placement standards. A hillside overlay ensures that buildings are tiered with the sloping topography. The Code also proposes design standards and guidelines to encourage compatibility with the historic fabric.

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