IntroductionsAriana – Senior Associate for Northeast Projects at OFF, advises the Foundation’s partner communities on project design and implementation strategies and develops resources on the Foundation’s Heart & Soul Community Planning approach. Jane - is the Executive Director of Friends of Midcoast Maine (FMM), a regional smart growth organization. In 2008, FMM partnered with the Town of Damariscotta, Maine and the Orton Family Foundation in a Heart & Soul Community Planning project where Jane served as project coordinator. Paul – is the Director of Zoning and Planning for the City of Newport, Vermont and is the owner of Dreherdesign. He also assisted Damariscotta, Maine with the public process for developing its code. Brief survey of audience:Familiarity w/FBC? I eat it for breakfast or I’m quite familiar with it, I know about it but am fuzzy on the details, Form Based what?How many of you are interested in or already working on adopting FBC in your community?
Place – every community has a “heart and soul”
People – local wisdom matters and can improve a planning and decision making process. Need for robust community engagement.
Action – planning efforts must lead to real action on the ground – from policy to smaller actions.
Will just note that we use a particular process (won’t go into details).Will note that we use a specific set of principles to guide planning.This leads us to the stories of Newport and Damariscotta – a tale of two towns working to reinvent a code writing process.Both communities went through similar processes – the results turned out differently for each community but the common result was community empowerment - where locals were able to make a choice about what they wanted.Both processes saw “community as the expert”. Both experimented with how to make Form Based Code fit their communities.In today’s session you’ll hear the stories of Damariscotta and Newport and listen to what worked and what was challenging in these code writing processes. At the end we’ll have time for Q&A. Turn it over to Jane to talk about Damariscotta.
Do we still want to highlight VT?
Jane – highlight a few bullets, refer to hand-out
DPAC’s origins and the Heart & Soul application
We began with the story-telling component of our project..To talk to and listen to people in town. We asked for personal histories and stories about town.It was the combination of the Neighbor to Neighbor story-telling, the candy corn voting, the community forums that helped is to reach our values.
From this process over two years, using multiple methods, we came down to six values that represent the Heart and Soul of Damariscotta.
Bill Dennis Town Design and partners and volunteers
PaulBoth of us:Natural Expectation after Heart & Soul to have a community built code in Damariscotta; began consultation with Paul Dreher and Patricia Sears from Newport VT, after connecting through Orton Family FoundationDamariscotta attempted to adapt a template and Newport developed a code from scratch.Community organizations involved in both communitiesThe code itself is user friendly to administrators, developers, property owners.
PaulImportance of the regulatory map.Difference between Newport and Damariscotta: Newport regulated by street typology and building envelope standards. Smart code does not use a building envelope standard. A traditional FBC does use BES typically.End results are the same. (Dama did not want a max lot width. They would not have minded a BES.)
Giving the pens to the community
What was the product?Make sure to discuss the Smart Code template here.
No Heroic leaders: In both communities there were unlikely partnerships between the property owners, the builders, developers, environmentalists and code purists.Time: Newport: 4 times/month for 6 months to draft code plus public hearingsDamariscotta: 41 public workshops and hearings over 7 monthsCode Education vs Political Campaign: more relevant to Dama but we are impacting property rights, and in Dama there was a town wide vote. It was not just a City Council who had to learn the benefits of the code.Nature of the Code: It is a technical code but it is user friendly.Keeping diverse people involved: this is critical. You must work with everyone and keep them involved. It is work but it must be done and you must always go back and ask their opinions.Vision to Policy to community building to place making: this is the processCapacity Building: community based code making—you get a code but more importantly you get a strengthened community!
We need more time”, “We want to add more controls” or “It was not right for us at this time”.
A Tale of Two Codes
Tale of Two Codes: A New Approach toForm Based Codes in New England Towns Jane Lafleur, Friends of Midcoast Maine Paul Dreher, City of Newport Ariana McBride, Orton Family Foundation
Why Form Based Codes? “Setting the stage and then preparing for the actors, the script, the audience…and the reviews….” Setting the stage… • Visioning and capacity building • Community code writing • Community building and place-making
Traditional Zoning vs. Form Based Code Conventional Zoning Form Based Codes Regulatory • Use focus • Form focus Approach • Individual uses of property • Fit with nearby buildings and public realm Use Focus • Single use districts • Mix of uses Building • Uniformity in neighborhoods • Diversity in neighborhoods Focus • Limited design standards • Focus on architectural form and • Setbacks public spaces • Build to lines Street • Little emphasis on right-of-way • Attention to streetscape Focus
Advantages of a Form Based Code• Are prescriptive.• Create a predictable result.• Can shape a high quality physical environment.• Encourage independent development by multiple property owners, reducing need for large land assemblies and mega-projects.• Define and codify a neighborhoods or community’s existing "DNA.”• Are easier to use by non-professionals - shorter, more concise, and organized for visual access and readability.• Are easier for non-planners to determine compliance.
Damariscotta Values We value having culture and nature in We value working locally and close proximity, where we might see a growing locally owned businesses. seal or a moose but we also have restaurants, art galleries, local theater and a library, all within walking distance. We value an accessible community We value living locally, being able where we have easy access to goods and to afford to live and shop in Town. services, to local government and information. We value community involvement where people participate in We value a strong sense of community schools, organizations, churches and where people trust one another and community events and festivals. feel safe.
Developing a Community Vision throughthe Charrette Process
A concept for DowntownA concept for Piper Common A concept for Business Route 1
Using the Code:Damariscotta, Maine & Newport, Vermont
Lessons Learned • No heroic leaders…instead community ownership and shared leadership • Time and number of workshops • Code education versus a political campaign • The nature of a code: technical but user friendly • Keeping diverse people engaged throughout the process • From vision to policy to community building and place making • Capacity building - community building and the community as the expert
Damariscotta, Maine –“We did not choose this specific code…we built community.”
Newport, Vermont:from “Can’t happen here” to “Anything is possible”.
For more information• The Orton Family Foundation Ariana McBride, NE Projects Senior Associate 152 Maple Street, PO Box 111 Middlebury, VT 05753 (802)388-6336, ext 205 www.orton.org firstname.lastname@example.org• Town of Damariscotta, Maine • City of Newport, Vermont Tony Dater, Town Planner Paul Dreher, Zoning Administrator 21 School St., Damariscotta, Maine 04543 222 Main Street, Newport, Vermont 05855 (207) 563-5168 (802) 334-6992 www.damariscottame.com www.newportvermont.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org• Friends of Midcoast Maine • Newport City Renaissance Corporation Jane Lafleur, Executive Director Patricia Sears, Executive Director 5 Free Street, Camden, Maine 04843 194 Main Street #208, Newport VT 05855 (207) 236-1077 (802) 323 1056 www.friendsmidcoast.org www.discovernewportvt.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org