October 1, 2018: Draft Form-Based Code

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The City Commission established the Urban Design Studio (UDS) to work with Citizens and Stakeholders to create a City-wide Form-Based Code to replace the City's current Zoning Code. Please click here to view the October 01, 2018 Draft of the Form-Based Code that includes the October 30, 2018 map corrections on pages 3-22 to 3-29.

A red-line version comparing the differences between the March 2018 draft of the Form-Based Code and the October 2018 draft can be viewed here



  1. Click here to view a chart matching the location of the existing zoning code provisions and their location in the Form-Based Code.
  2. Click here to view a chart comparing the metrics of the current zone districts and the metrics for the proposed analogous transect zones. This chart was used as a base to create the draft Regulating Plan found in Article 3, Section 3.2.


How to Use This Code

The City of Sarasota Form-Based Code establishes the standards for development and redevelopment within the City. It is a unified code that combines the traditional elements of a Form-Based Code with the City’s Land Development Regulations, and Zoning Map (Regulating Plan) identifying the zone districts within the City. The Articles of the code are designed to be used in an integrated method consistent with the Sarasota City Plan and are summarized as follows:

Article 1. General Provisions: This Article includes code applicability or “When the Regulations Apply” as well as the necessary permits and procedures for implementation and the rules of administration. 

Article 2. Subareas, Districts & Infill Plans: The Sarasota Form-Based Code has been structured to include an infill and Subarea Plans component. It represents a geographical division and mapping of the City into five distinct areas. This allows for both city-wide standards but also for contextual variations of individual neighborhoods, districts and corridors while still providing for the form and predictability that citizens and stakeholders desire. 

Article 3. Transect Zones & Use Standards: This Article contains the Regulating Plan which is the map assigning the code’s transects and other zone districts tied to the building form standards and metrics throughout the code. This Article also provides the Zone District Standards for both traditional zone districts and the City’s transect zones regulating lot sizes, height, density, and setbacks. Article 3 also provides the uses allowed in each zone and the type of permit and standards necessary for approval.

Article 4. Frontage, Building Type & Structure Standards: These are regulations that control the type and size of allowed building types and structures by zone and frontage maps and standards that define and shape the public realm.

Article 5. Individual Site Standards: This Article provides specific standards for signage, parking, fences, landscaping, and waterfront property regulations and setbacks.

Article 6. Public Right-of-Way Use Standards: This Article establishes the City’s Thoroughfare Network including Functionally Classified Roadways, Context Sensitive Classifications, and Thoroughfare Assignments establishing standards for both behind the curb as well as the travel lane and on-street parking components of the public realm.

Article 7. Sustainability & the Natural Transect: Article 7 includes graphics, standards and regulations that govern the different ecological environments and characteristics across the City including: stormwater best management, flood zone standards, tree preservation and urban food production.

Article 8. Definitions: Article 8 provides the statements and meaning of terms found within the code.

Appendix A. Concurrency Methodology & Access Management: Appendix A includes the concurrency methodology to ensure that development provides sufficient infrastructure for both capacity and safety to mitigate the impacts to the City’s Thoroughfare Network. Appendix A also includes access management analysis information and sets forth minimum traffic study requirements.

Appendix B. Administrative Powers, Duties and Public Notice: Appendix B identifies the power and duties for the City Commission, Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Historic Preservation Board, etc. It also outlines the notice of public hearing requirements and procedures for the conduct of public hearings. 

Appendix C. Special Parcels, Ordinance and Resolution Summaries & Legal Exhibits: Appendix C includes parcels with special conditions including existing uses and structures that otherwise would not conform to these regulations. The intent is to protect private property rights and recognize certain pre-existing or historic uses, structures, or developments which, in part, help define the City's character. 

 For additional information about the Form-Based Code, please contact:

Briana Dobbs