Approved Downtown Form Based Code! 

Link to Approved Ordinance 

​The Downtown District Amenity Zone Form-Based Code Overlay (DDAZ FBC Overlay) has been established to implement the 2015 Central Rohnert Park Priority Development Area (PDA) Plan’s vision to create an attractive and vibrant mixed-use downtown for the heart of Rohnert Park. It provides regulations that govern the form, use, and character of private development, as well as public realm elements including thoroughfares and civic spaces. The new Form-Based Code will create broad and sweeping changes to the future of the DDAZ. Examples of what will change include:

Form Based Code Related to Station Avenue

Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, (e.g. sidewalks, streets and plazas), the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. Rohnert Park has established the Form Based Code for Station Avenue and the greater downtown area. Reasons why the City is pursuing a form-based code for downtown include:


  1. A form-based code is the best vehicle for securing consensus on the “look” of the future downtown area and ensuring that developers have clear guidance for implementing the City’s vision

  2. Developing the form-based code independent of a specific development project is the ideal way to ensure that the City’s vision is the primary driver for the code.

  3. Developing the form-based code provides an engaging, high-profile introduction to community vision setting and planning, which will help kick-start the update of the City’s General Plan.

  4. Implementing a form-based code is the City’s best tool to ensure it can control development within the downtown in a manner that is consistent with its vision.

The Rohnert Park City Council approved a contract with Opticos Design, Inc. in August 2017 to help develop a Form-Based Code for Rohnert Park’s emerging downtown. The process was centered on an intensive design charrette that took place over the course of a week in Rohnert  Park and was open to the public. The charrette utilized maps, visualizations, and a physical model of the downtown area to solicit input, refine proposals, and present final recommendations. The open and public nature of the charrette allowed for input by the community, property owners, council members, planning commissioners and staff. Upon completion of the charrette, the team distilled the results into code language, including appropriate visual guides, suitable for adoption into the Municipal Code. 


Downtown Design Charrette Results

Downtown  Downtown Model
Over four days in Fall 2017, stakeholders, property owners, the community, and officials came together to refine the PDA's version for downtown Rohnert Park and lay the groundwork for the Form-Based Code. The centerpiece of the charrette was a large 3-D printed model which allowed the consultants and the community to try out new ideas for the configuration of the downtown area.

Downtown Charrette