Sometime last year I was e-mailed by one of the Senior Planners at the Grand Valley Metro Council [GVMC], asking if I would be interested in helping them survey ideal locations in Grand Rapids. These measurements would then be used in their Form Based Code Study.
Last week, while riding the number 6 bus, a familar face got on - Jay Hoekstra, Senior Planner for GVMC and also the father of Ben Hoesktra aka Anaphase. He informed me that the Form Based Code Study was finished, and that I was actually acknowledged on the front of study. .
The study was created as set of guidlines to create more walkable communities in West Michigan. Jay tried to explain to me on the bus exactly how these new zoning laws would be enacted. Apparently, it is up to individual neighborhoods or districts [i.e. Eastown, SECA, etc] to use the guidelines - which do away with conventional zoning methods [i.e. the Family Dollar on the corner of Wealthy and Fuller, why is there such a huge parking lot in front when the rest of buildings are only 9 ft. from the street].
You can read more about the study by going to http://gvmc.org/landuse/formbasedcode.shtml.