Background- Following recommendations from Auburn’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan and the 2014 New Auburn Village Center Plan, to “encourage new development or modifications to existing buildings to occur in a manner that reflects key elements of the traditional downtown development pattern”; Auburn made the commitment to implement a Form Based Code. Starting in 2014, the City Planning Staff and the Auburn Planning Board worked over a two year period and developed a simple, easy to understand and administrate Form Based Code for close to 100 acres of Downtown Auburn and New Auburn. Form Based Code to help bring back traditional development patterns by providing a focus on building placement, safe walkable streets, greater flexibility of land uses and a more simplified development process. The Auburn City Council adopted the Form Based Code (FBC) in May of 2016.
The Process- Initially, the Staff made a careful evaluation (calibration) of the Downtown’s physical, historical and architectural character and arrived at 5 character based types (transects); 2 Traditional Neighborhood types, 2 Traditional Downtown types and a Downtown Core type. Each Transect or District description in the adopted zoning ordinance contains sections on: Intent and Purpose, Characteristic Features and Pictorial examples, Building Placement and Configuration (by graphics), Building Frontage Types and External Elements. Much thought and deliberation was put into the level of detail and site elements to be regulated. The overall emphasis was on building form, simplicity of design elements, regulating what is most important in the end product and avoiding things like street design, landscaping, lighting and building materials.
Administration: Almost as much time was spent on how to administrate the Form Based Code in a way that is understandable but flexible. Some highlights are:
Success To Date: New developments are underway with more under consideration.
How to Use this Guide: