A type of zoning named for the Village of Euclid, Ohio where zoning was upheld in 1926 as a legitimate governmental power under the police powers of government. The zoning ordinance of Euclid, Ohio was challenged in court by a local land owner on the basis that restricting use of property violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Though initially ruled unconstitutional by lower courts, the zoning ordinance was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. (1926). In this way, Euclidean
Zoning set forth a legal precedent on regulating the use of land in the United States.
Euclidean zoning codes are based on the earliest comprehensive ordinances and the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act (1922). They are characterized by establishing and regulating land based on use. Typical types of land-use districts in Euclidean zoning are: residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial. Euclidean Zoning is also referred to as “Traditional Zoning” or “Building Block Zoning.”
Elements of a Euclidean Code:
Regulations and Atlas:
A plan and map of the regulated area indicating
the type of allowed activities and regulations
Special district regulations that address each problem individually
Class II permits, MUSP (Major Use Special
Permits) Overlay districts
Administration. Application and
lengthy project review process
Goals of Euclidean Zoning:
Reduction of density and the prevention of the
illegal overcrowding of land (goal was a
reaction to the historical conditions of cities)
Separation of uses based on size, height, noise,
pollution, parking requirements as only urban
Automobile-dependent, unsustainable development
patterns characterized by: long commuting distances, more trips per day for daily tasks, environmentally degrading, large streets built only for cars, lack of public places, separation of industry outside the city
Extreme, often unnatural, segregation of uses
Necessary creation of Special Districts to address areas which require mixed uses or other zoning configurations outside the standard “uses”
* CITY OF MIAMI’S
FORMER ZONING CODE 11000 WAS AN EUCLIDEAN CODE*
Form-Based Zoning Codes
Form-Based Zoning Codes are a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form. Form-based codes place an emphasis on the relationship between the street and buildings, pedestrian and vehicles, public and private spaces, and the relationship between multiple buildings, a block, a neighborhood and transitions in scale. They create a predictable public realm by controlling physical form of private developments, with a secondary focus on land use regulations.
Elements of a Form-Based Code: Regulation Plan and Atlas. A plan
or map of the regulated area indicating the type
of allowed activities and regulations Building Form Standards.
Regulations controlling the configuration,
features, and functions of buildings that define
an interaction between the public and private
realm to create comfortable spaces for people Public Space/Street Standards.
Specifications for the elements within the
public realm (e.g., sidewalks, travel lanes,
street trees, street furniture, etc.) Administration. A clearly defined
application and project review process Definitions. A glossary to ensure the precise use of technical terms
Goals of Form-Based Zoning:
Mixed-use activities within buildings and blocks
of the city—that are walk-able distances of
offices and residences
Promote walk-ability through a greater emphasis on the pedestrian spaces
Promote transit by establishing nodes of greater
Zoning areas with greater intensity
More transitional zones created by emphasis placed on form rather than use.
A more predictable physical result based on
prescriptive (state what you want) rather than
proscriptive standards (state what you don't
A zoning code that is pro-active rather than
Codes and regulations that are easier to read
for citizens and are more predictable
Differences between Euclidean Codes & Form-Based Codes
Euclidean Codes segregate uses where Form-Based Codes stress the importance of mixed-use areas.
Because Form-Based Codes are prescriptive (they state what you want), rather than proscriptive (what you don't want), form-based codes (FBCs) can achieve a more predictable physical result.
Form-based codes are pro-active, rather than re-active.
Form-Based codes are much shorter, more concise, and organized for visual access and readability.
This feature makes it easier for non-planners to determine whether compliance has been achieved.
FBCs work well in established communities because they effectively define and codify a neighborhood's existing structure and promote compatible infill with ease.
Euclidean zoning focuses on and regulates use, ignores design and human scale.
Euclidean zoning codes regulates use and
deemphasizes concerns for design and human