Environmental Management

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 436–451 | Cite as

A Case Study of Form-Based Solutions for Watershed Protection

Article

Abstract

Despite an array of policies at the federal and state level aimed at regulating stormwater discharges, engineered solutions enforced by local governments often fall short of meeting water quality standards. Although the implications of land use planning and development regulations are important for stormwater management, they are often overlooked as critical initial steps to improving water quality. This study explores the role of ‘form-based’ regulations as tools for achieving urban planning and water quality objectives. Form-based codes are a new generation of development codes aimed at regulating urban development based on urban form and density, rather than land use. We present an exploratory case study of the feasibility of form-based codes in the Jordan Lake Watershed in North Carolina, a rapidly growing region where fragmented local governments face stringent nutrient reduction standards under new state regulations. Through program analysis and interviews, we explore the viability of form-based codes for reducing development impacts on Jordan Lake’s water quality. We consider the legal feasibility of code enforcement, regional and local barriers and opportunities, and implementation given existing regulatory frameworks. Our findings suggest that high quality information and data modeling are foundational to gaining support for a consensus agreement on the sources and degree of water quality impairment. Furthermore, implementing form-based solutions for water quality is greatly aided by (1) experienced regional planning bodies that have regulatory authority, and (2) local governments whose staff are experienced in implementing complex development ordinances, reviewing architectural renderings, and communicating development requirements with the public and developers.

Keywords

Water quality Form-based codes New urbanism Stormwater ordinance Environmental planning Urban form 

References

  1. Alamance County Board of Commissioners (2007) Resolution objecting to the proposed Jordan lake watershed rules. Alamance County Board of Commissioners, Alamance CountyGoogle Scholar
  2. Albrecht VS (2005) Role of environmental legislation in shaping the built and natural environment. In: Ben-Joseph E, Szold TS (eds) Regulating place: standards and the shaping of urban America. Routledge, New York, pp 271–291Google Scholar
  3. Albright CB (2007) Jordan Lake rules: what the environmental management commission should do. N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Alamance County, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/documents/AlamanceCountyAttorneysOffice.pdf
  4. Arlington County (2003) Columbia Pike Corridor masterplan with form-based code ordinance. City of Arlington, Arlington, VA, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/CPHD/Forums/columbia/current/CPHDForumsColumbiaCurrentCurrentStatus.aspx
  5. Arnold CL, Gibbons CJ (1996) Impervious surface coverage: the emergence of a key environmental indicator. Journal of the American Planning Association 62:243–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barth CA (2000) Nutrient movement from the lawn to the stream. In: Schueler TR, Holland HK (eds) The practice of watershed protection. Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, MD, pp 239–246Google Scholar
  7. Berg BL (2001) Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
  8. Berke PR (2008) The evolution of green community planning, scholarship, and practice: an introduction to the special issue. Journal of the American Planning Association 74:393–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berke PR, MacDonald J, White N, Holmes M, Line D, Oury K (2003) Greening development to protect watersheds. Journal of the American Planning Association 69:397–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Berke PR, Godschalk DR, Kaiser EJ, Rodriguez DA (2006) Urban land use planning, 5th edn. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, ILGoogle Scholar
  11. Cappiella K, Brown K (2001) Impervious cover and land use in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Report, Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, MDGoogle Scholar
  12. Charles River Watershed Association (2008) Resource, environmental, and land (REAL) planning. Charles River Watershed Association, Weston, MA, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.crwa.org/projects/EZ/ez.html
  13. City of Burlington (2007) Comments: proposed Jordan Lake nutrient strategy rules. City of Burlington, NC, Burlington, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/documents/BurlingtonJORDANLAKEFinalComments091307.pdf
  14. City of Durham (2007) Comments of draft Jordan water supply nutrient strategy. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/documents/CityofDurham-DepCityManager-JLComments.pdf
  15. City of Greensboro (2007) Written comments regarding Jordan Lake nutrient strategy. City of Greensboro Water Resources, Department, Greensboro, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/documents/Greensboro-GSONP-KenneyMcDowellJLComments_001.pdf
  16. City of Olympia (1995) Impervious surface reduction study. City of Olympia Public Works Department; Washington State Department of Ecology, Olympia, WA, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.ci.olympia.wa.us/~/media/Files/PublicWorks/PDFs/WaterResources/Impervious-Surface-Reduction-Study-1995-072407.ashx
  17. Claytor R (2000) Stormwater retrofits: tools for watershed enhancement. In: Schueler TR, Holland HK (eds) The practice of watershed protection. Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, MD, pp 188–191Google Scholar
  18. Congress for New Urbanism (2009) Congress for new urbanism. Congress for New Urbanism, Chicago, IL, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.cnu.org/
  19. Crawford P (2004) Codifying new urbanism: how to reform local and municipal land regulations (Planning Advisory Service Report No. 526). American Planning Association, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  20. Duany A, Brain D (2005) Regulating as if humans matter. In: Ben J, Szold TS (eds) Regulating place: standards and the shaping of urban America. Routledge, New York, pp 293–332Google Scholar
  21. Duany A, Plater Zyberk E (1991) Towns and townmaking principles. Rizzoli Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Duany A, Plater Zyberk E (2000) Suburban nation: the rise of sprawl and the decline of the American dream. North Point Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Duerkson C (2008) Saving the world through zoning: The sustainable community development code comes to the rescue. Planning 74:28–33Google Scholar
  24. Dunne T, Leopold LB (1978) Water in environmental planning. W. H. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  25. EPA (2000) Low impact development: a literature review (EPA-841-B-00-005). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/lid/lid.pdf
  26. EPA (2004) Protecting water resources with smart growth. EPA, Washington D.C., [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.epa.gov/dced/pdf/waterresources_with_sg.pdf
  27. EPA (2005) Stormwater Phase II final rule: an overview. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/fact1-0.pdf
  28. EPA (2006) Protecting water resources with higher density developments. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.epa.gov/dced/pdf/protect_water_higher_density.pdf
  29. EPA (2008a) Handbook for developing watershed plans to restore and protect our waters. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.epa.gov/nps/watershed_handbook/
  30. EPA (2008b) Making the connection: smart growth and water resource protection. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/smartgrowth/
  31. EPA (2009a) Urban BMP performance tool. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/urbanbmp/bmpeffectiveness.cfm
  32. EPA (2009b) Watershed assessment, tracking, and environmental results. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://iaspub.epa.gov/waters10/attains_nation_cy.control
  33. Ewing R (1996) Best development practices. American Planning Association and Urban Land Institute, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  34. FBCI (2006) Checklist for identifying and evaluating form-based codes. Form Based Codes Institute, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.formbasedcodes.org/checklist.html
  35. Ferrell Madden Associates (2007) Phase II, heart of Peoria plan. City of Peoria, IL, Peoria, IL, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.heartofpeoria.com/home.html
  36. Flyvbjerg B (2004) Five misunderstandings about case-study research. In: Seale C, Giampietro G, Gubrium JF, Silverman D (eds) Qualitative research practice. Sage, London and A Thousand Oaks, CA, pp 420–434Google Scholar
  37. Garvin E, Jourdan D (2008) Through the looking glass: analyzing the potential legal challenges to form-based codes. Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law 23:395–422Google Scholar
  38. Girling C, Kellett R, Rochefort J, Roe C (2000) Green neighborhoods: planning and design guidelines for air, water, and urban forest quality. Report, Center for Housing Innovation, Eugene, ORGoogle Scholar
  39. Hirschman D, Kosko J (2008) Managing stormwater in your community: a guide for building an effective post-construction program. Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, MDGoogle Scholar
  40. Kahn ME (2006) Green cities: urban growth and the environment. The Brookings Institution, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  41. Katz P (2008) Eight advantages to form-based codes. Form Based Codes Institute, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.formbasedcodes.org/advantages.html
  42. Knaap G (2002) Talking smart in the United States. University of Maryland National Smart Growth Center, College Park, MD, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.smartgrowth.umd.edu/research/pdf/Knaap_TalkingSmart_DateNA.pdf
  43. Local Government Commission (2007) Aligning land use and water quality protection in Ventura County. Local Government Commission, Sacramento, CA, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://water.lgc.org/ventura
  44. Low Impact Development Center (2008) Sustainable design and water quality research, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.lowimpactdevelopment.org/
  45. MacDonald J (2005) Assessing the incorporation of watershed protection techniques in new urban versus conventional low density development site plans. Dissertation/Thesis, Unpublished, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NCGoogle Scholar
  46. McDonnell MJ, Pickett STA (1990) The study of ecosystem structure and function along urban-rural gradients: an unexploited opportunity for ecology. Ecology 71(4):1232–1237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McHarg I (1969) Design with nature. John Wiley & Sons, Garden City, NJGoogle Scholar
  48. Meck S (1999) Growing smart legislative guidebook: model statues for planning and the management of change. American Planning Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  49. NALGEP (2003) Smart growth for clean water: helping communities address the water quality impacts of sprawl; Trust for public land; ERG. National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP), Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.resourcesaver.com/file/toolmanager/CustomO93C337F42157.pdf
  50. National Research Council (2008) Urban stormwater management in the United States. Report, The National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  51. Natural Resources Defense Council (2000) Stormwater strategies: community responses to runoff. Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/storm/stoinx.asp
  52. N.C. Ecosystem Enhancement Program (2009) Local watershed planning. N.C. Ecosystem Enhancement Program, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.nceep.net/pages/planpart.htm
  53. NCDWQ (2007a) B. Everett Jordan reservoir, Phase I total maximum daily load final report. NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/tmdl/documents/JordanLakeTMDLFinal.pdf
  54. NCDWQ (2007b) Fiscal analysis: B. Everett Jordan reservoir water supply nutrient strategy. North Carolina Division of Water Quality, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/nps/documents/FiscalText6-11-07-Final_002.pdf
  55. NCDWQ (2007c) History and summary of proposed nutrient strategy for the Jordan Reservoir watershed. North Carolina Division of Water Quality, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/nps/documents/StrategySum6-20-07_000.pdf
  56. NCDWQ (2007d) Stormwater best management practices manual. North Carolina Division of Water Quality, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/su/bmp_forms.htm
  57. NCDWQ (2007e) Summary of public comments with staff replies: Jordan nutrient strategy. North Carolina Division of Water Quality, Raleigh, NCGoogle Scholar
  58. NCDWQ (2008) Non point source management: Neuse Nutrient Strategy, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/Neuse_NSW_Rules.htm
  59. NCDWQ (2009a) Jordan lake nutrient strategy, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/JordanNutrientStrategy.htm
  60. NCDWQ (2009b) The model water supply watershed ordinance. NCDWQ, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/wswp/
  61. NCDWQ (2009c) Non point source management: Tar Pamlico Nutrient Strategy, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/tarpam.htm
  62. Ocean County Soil Conservation District, Schnabel Engineering Associates and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (2001) Impact of soil disturbance during construction on bulk density and infiltration in Ocean County, NJ. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ocean County, NJ, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.ocscd.org/soil.pdf
  63. Orange County Board of Commissioners (2007) Comments on the proposed Jordan reservoir water supply nutrient rules. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/documents/OrangeCountyBoardofCommissioners-JordanLakeletter.pdf
  64. Parolek D, Parolek K, Crawford P (2008) Form based codes: a guide for planners, urban designers, municipalities, and developers. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJGoogle Scholar
  65. Patton MQ (2001) Qualitative research & evaluation methods, 3rd edn. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA 698 ppGoogle Scholar
  66. Rhodes M (2002) Water quality & the transect. Seaside Institute, Seaside, FLGoogle Scholar
  67. Schueler TR (1994) The importance of imperviousness. Watershed Protection Techniques 1:100–111Google Scholar
  68. Slone DK, Goldstein DS (2008) A legal guide to urban and sustainable development for planners, developers, and architects. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJGoogle Scholar
  69. Smart Growth Network (2009) Smart growth online. Smart Growth Network, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.smartgrowth.org/
  70. South Carolina Coastal Conservation League (1995) Getting a rein on runoff: how sprawl and traditional town compared. SCCCL: Land Development Bulletin 7:1–6Google Scholar
  71. Spirn AW (2000) New urbanism and the environment. Places 13:44–46Google Scholar
  72. Tetra Tech (2003) B. Everett Jordan Lake nutrient response model enhancement. NCDWQ, Research Triangle Park, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/tmdl/Docs_SpecialStudies/Recal%20Final%20v1010-1-03.pdf
  73. TJ-COG (2005) Jordan lake stakeholder project final report. Report, Triangle J Council of Governments, Research Triangle Park. Google Scholar
  74. Town of Chapel Hill (2007) Town of Chapel Hill staff comments on the proposed nutrient strategy. N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/nps/documents/ChapelHillstaffcommentsfor_Jordan_Lake_rules.pdf
  75. Transit Friendly Development New, J (2006) Utilizing a form-based planning approach in Dover, New Jersey. Newsletter of Transit Friendly Development and Land Use of New Jersey, 2Google Scholar
  76. Ulin PR, Robinson ET, Tolley EE (2004) Qualitative methods in public health: a field guide for applied research. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA 344 ppGoogle Scholar
  77. UNRBA (2009) Upper Neuse River Basin Association, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.unrba.org/
  78. USGBC (2009) LEED for neighborhood development. U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, DC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=148
  79. Walters D (2007) Designing community: charrettes, master plans, and form-based codes. Elsevier Ltd., Burlington, VTGoogle Scholar
  80. Wise J (2008) Citizens pay as lake suffers, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.newsobserver.com/978/story/1083805.html
  81. WRRI (2009) Research and reports. N.C. Water Resources Research Institute, Raleigh, NC, [Online] Accessed on: 7/31/09. Available: http://www.ncsu.edu/wrri/index.html
  82. Yin RK (2008) Case study research: design and methods, 4th edn. Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  83. Zielinski J (2000) The importance of better site design in residential subdivisions. In: Schueler TR, Holland HK (eds) The practice of watershed protection. Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, MD, pp 11–24Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of City and Regional PlanningUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations