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FBC 101: The ABCs of Form-Based Codes – Anderson, IN October 7

Paramount Theater in downtown Anderson. (Image: BWChicago via Flickr)


FBC 101: The ABCs of Form-Based Codes

Monday, October 7

Anderson Museum of Fine Art
32 West 10th Street
Anderson, IN 46016

Click HERE for a list of lodging, dining, and parking recommendations.

Eligible for 8 AICP CM

FBC101 is an intensive one-day class, in which participants learn how form-based codes are essentially different from conventional land use regulation and how they have evolved to solve many of the problems created by conventional zoning. The course provides an overview of the process of creating a form-based code, moving from an initial place-based community vision to an adopted code and beyond. Instructors combine lecture and classroom discussion with a hands-on exercise in observing community built form and shaping public space. Participants also learn about common misconceptions about form-based codes and the legal basis for form-based codes. This class is prerequisite for FBC 201 (urban design) and FBC 301 (code implementation). Participants who attend all three courses receive a certificate of completion from FBCI.

Click the tabs above to see agenda and instructors.


Click HERE for a full list of lodging and dining recommendations.

Fairfield Inn & Suites

2400 E 64th Street

Anderson, IN 46013

Hampton Inn

2312 Hampton Drive

Anderson, IN 46013

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

6720 S Scatterfield Road

Anderson, IN 46013


The following is a preliminary agenda.

8:30 – 9:00 AM Registration and Light Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 AM Welcome and Introductions – All Instructors

Instructors will introduce themselves and the Form-Based Codes Institute and provide background on why communities may decide to use form-based codes.  Participants will introduce themselves comment on why they are attending the class and what they hope to learn.

9:15 – 10:15 AM Form-Based Code Principles and Components: A Tool for Shaping Community Form and Character and Smarter Growth

The session will provide an overview of the differences between form-based codes and conventional zoning; the most common applications for form-based codes; common barriers to traditional urbanism; and basic  principles of urban form. The session will highlight the need for zoning reform and how form-based codes have become the paradigm for putting form first and relegating use to secondary status.

10:15 – 11:00 AM Steps and Components for Preparing a Form-Based Code

This session will explore the public engagement that is needed to reach a shared community vision of physical form, which is an essential step in the creation of a form-based code. Instructors will explain the various types of form-based codes and the components of a form-based code such as regulating plans, building form standards, and street standards.

11:00 – 11:15 AM Break

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM Legal Aspects of Form-Based Code

A broad understanding of applicable law is essential when adopting a form-based code. This session will provide an overview of some of the general principles for regulatory amendments; review some important considerations for the process of adopting a code; and present ideas for how to minimize the potential for legal challenges.

12:00 – 12:45 PM Common Misunderstandings about Form-Based Codes

In this session, the instructors will address common misunderstandings about form-based coding and how to address them. Topics will include: complexity and flexibility in form-based codes, the role of consultants in drafting a code, regulation of uses in an FBC, guidelines versus regulations, the potential for displacement, and the degree to which architecture and design can be regulated under an FBC.

12:45 – 1:45 PM Lunch provided by MCCOG

1:45 – 2:30 PM Developing under a form-based code

Unlike the historic growth of cities, today’s extensive regulations require professional developers and a bevy of consultants. This impacts urban form, economics, democratic participation and the government’s ability to protect the common good. Form-based codes are a key tool for re-democratizing the buildings of towns and cities.

2:30 – 4:15 PM Documentation and Analysis Exercise

In this exercise, participants will observe, document and discuss different contexts and levels of urbanism; how elements such as streets, frontages, setbacks and building forms become the foundation of a legally enforceable form-based code; and how to translate desired images into legally enforceable zoning codes and regulations of the public realm. Be ready to draw, understanding the details of built places and how they relate back to code content.

4:15 – 4:30 PM Break

4:30 – 5:15 PM Getting Ready for a Form-Based Code

Form-based codes are a new concept for many communities and local planners often need to build understanding and support before drafting and adopting a new code. Using case studies from their own experience, the instructors will speak about specific steps local planners have taken to prepare citizens, political leaders and their own staff for the transition to an FBC. This session will conclude with a summary of technical resources that are available to communities wishing to embark on a form-based code.

5:15 – 5:45 PM Lessons Learned and Q&A – All Instructors

5:45 PM Adjourn


FBCI draws upon national experts, including urban designers and planners with broad experience in all aspects of form-based coding.

Keith Covington is Principal of Common Ground Urban Design + Planning. As a registered architect, he brings over 20 years of professional experience in urban design, land planning, and architecture. Keith earned his bachelor of architecture degree at the University of Tennessee and his masters of architecture in urban design at the University of Miami. As a graduate of these programs, Keith has a unique understanding of traditional patterns of urban design from the regional scale down to the scale of the building. Keith applies time-tested principles of urbanism to all of his projects to achieve a true sense of community in neighborhoods, districts, towns and cities. While he is an accomplished architect whose work has been published in Southern Living Magazine, Keith’s primary focus is to create walkable environments that balance the needs of the pedestrian with those of the automobile. He has lectured extensively on this subject across the country. Prior to forming Common Ground Urban Design + Planning, Keith was the director of the Metro Nashville Planning Department’s Urban Design Studio where he helped reinvent Nashville’s approach to planning and coding. Keith Covington founded Common Ground Urban Design + Planning in 2006 and, since then, Third Coast has completed dozens of projects in 20 states across the United States.
Kaizer RangwalaKaizer Rangwala is the founding principal of Rangwala Associates, a town-planning firm that practices the principles of smart growth and walkable urbanism. Kaizer’s training and experience as an architect, city planner, and economic developer, coupled with his international interests, allows him to bring broad and distinctive perspective to place making. He has over 20 years of public sector experience, while his work on Form-Based Codes has been recognized with numerous awards. He has lectured extensively on smart growth, new urbanism, form-based codes, and regulatory reform at planning conferences, planning schools, and at the Form-Based Codes Institute, where he currently serves as the organization’s chairman. His writings have been featured in numerous architecture, urban design, planning, and economic development publications.
To see all FBCI instructors, please visit our website, www.formbasedcodes.org

Registration Fees

MCCOG Members: Please insert discount code at check out

Public Sector Early Bird (before 9/27): $225

Public Sector Regular (after 9/27): $275

Private Sector Early Bird (before 9/27): $275

Private Sector Regular (after 9/27): $325

We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. 

Register now!


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