Urban Design Projects Form-Based Codes

Opticos’s Dan Parolek Will Speak in Austin as an Expert on LDC Updates

Many of the country’s land development codes are outdated and overly complex. Last year the Austin City Council adopted a 30-year comprehensive plan to update and revise Austin’s LDC with the aim to create safe, modern, and well-maintained neighborhoods for the city. Opticos is leading the team that will rewrite Austin’s code, dubbed CodeNext.

As part of the CodeNext project, Opticos will assess the code and then recommend ways to clarify the language and make it easier to use. To do that requires a fine-grain understanding of places and place types. One of Opticos’s areas of expertise centers on our careful analysis of the characteristics of different parts of a community and writing a zoning code that both supports and takes advantage of those unique aspects.

Opticos’s SmartCode for the City of Flagstaff, Arizona, adopted in 2011, was structured to preserve the relationship between the urban and rural, and regulated walkable urban environments along the transect differently from drivable suburban environments designated as Special Districts. Earlier this summer, Cincinnati, Ohio, adopted its new Form-Based Code written by Opticos, which includes extensive macroscale and microscale analysis and mapping to address how the FBC will be applied citywide.

Next week, Opticos’s Dan Parolek will speak at the Central Texas Commercial Association of Realtors’s event “Catalysts for Change” in Austin, Texas. Dan was invited as an expert on writing land development codes. He will discuss Missing Middle housing types—which are already plentiful in the city—their appeal, and how they can grow a walkable, livable community, as well as other issues facing the Austin LDC rewrite.

CTCAR’s “Catalysts for Change” will be held at the Hilton Austin, Thursday, Oct. 10. Other speakers include renowned real estate advisor John Alschuler and Ryan Robinson, a demographer for the City of Austin. Click here to register online.

Below, recent edition of CityVew, Austin, TX’s news magazine, featuring the recent CodeNext launch: