Chapel Hill awarded grant from Mayors Innovation Project

Post Date:05/24/2012

The Town of Chapel Hill has been awarded a technical assistance grant from the Mayors Innovation Project.

The award will allow the Town to pursue an innovative way to turn the ideas of Chapel Hill 2020 into next steps. The $20,000 grant will provide the Town of Chapel Hill with technical assistance toward the development of a hybrid form-based and performance-based zoning district, an idea that came out of the Chapel Hill 2020 visioning process. Form-based codes are an innovative alternative to conventional zoning that focus on the form of buildings rather than the land use (e.g., the physical character of buildings, and the relationship of buildings to each other and to the street). They are regulations, not mere guidelines. They are adopted into city or county law. Form-based codes are an alternative to conventional zoning. Performance-based zoning measures regulate effects such as traffic, density, noise and density. Performance measures typically support other types of zoning.

“This grant will allow us to pursue a promising policy innovation,” said Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. “We are grateful to be among only six member cities to receive much needed technical assistance from the Mayors Innovation Project.”

The assistance to the Town of Chapel Hill could involve basic assistance such as gathering information on examples of other municipal governments that are using form-based or performance-based zoning and providing sample metrics and information on comparable metrics with other communities. The Town may also receive templates and decision support tools for use in appropriate areas of Chapel Hill. Other tools that could include a data base with sample metrics, specifications for a scope to produce a full blown code, a webinar for introduction and training purposes, and a powerpoint presentation to explain Chapel Hill’s potential use of form-based codes.

The Mayors Innovation Project (MIP) is a learning network among American mayors committed to “high road” policy and governance, shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. The Mayors Innovation Project Technical Assistance Program was launched in 2011 to provide more customized and hands-on assistance to mayors and their staffs on particular innovations or problems through a combination of applied research, policy analysis, evaluation, and recommendations for action.

For more information the Mayors Innovation Project, visit

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