Shelburne, VT Considers Form-Based Codes

Route 7 runs down the west side of Vermont from Burlington to Bennington, at times widening to 4 lanes. Up in Shelburne (just south of Burlington), development has turned into suburban sprawl. Citizens and the town government are now hoping to fight back with form-based codes, which control thelook, feel, and pace of development.

According to the Form-Based Codes Institute, “Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes are presented in both words and clearly drawn diagrams and other visuals.”

In Shelburne, local officials hope to keep a Vermont village aesthetic–which also allows local businesses to thrive. Working with a team of architects, they developed a plan (PDF) for Route 7 in 2011. Now they have to decide how to implement that plan.

Many thanks to Vermont Public Radio for the story on this one. Photos VPR/Kirk Carapezza.