After OU offered to collaborate on a visioning process, the proposed high-density regulations were abandoned. On Jan. 21, the Norman City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Norman and the University of Oklahoma. The MOU also establishes that a Center City Vision Project Steering Committee.
Last year’s failure may have been necessary to move forward to find a vision the community at large can support. The Center City Visioning Committee will look at the possibility of using an overlay district in the study area that would apply form based code rather than the city’s current regulation-driven land use zoning.
Form-based code allows cities to look at planning in a more holistic fashion rather than simply dividing and separating land use based on function. Accompanying transportation planning is often about moving more vehicles along more quickly rather than considering quality of life issues associated with transportation.
Separating residential and retail space, for example, means people must always drive to buy groceries, eat out, or take advantage of other goods and services business offers. By recognizing that there can be some compatibility between different uses in the same urban areas, sprawl is eliminated and walkability can be created, according to the Form-Based Codes Institute.
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