Farmers Branch, Texas


Project: A master plan with a Form-Based Code for the 100-Acre DART Station Area outside of Dallas

Client: City of Farmer’s Branch, Texas.

Contact: Michael Spicer, Community Services Director, 972.919.2531

Status: Form-Based Code and Master Plan adopted by City Council June 2005; Phase One projects now in planning.

The Station Area is located in an underutilized industrial and commercial district (used car lots, aging strip malls, and parking lots) with a rail line and interstate highway interchange. The City of Farmers Branch initiated the planning effort to prepare for the anticipated redevelopment of the district in conjunction with the extension of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail line to the city. Building on public meetings and workshops that took place during 2001 and 2002 and the adoption of the Station Area Conceptual Master Plan by the City, the Form-Based Code was drafted as the implementing ordinance for the Station Area district in late 2004.

The Code prescribes and fosters a lively, flexible mix of uses—with shopfronts, sidewalk cafes, and other commercial uses at street level overlooked by upper story residences and offices. FML provided the Coding for this project, translating the Station Area Conceptual Master Plan into an implementation tool to foster transit- and pedestrian-oriented infill redevelopment. This effort involved extensive work with City Planning, Public Works, and Community

Development staff, developers & their design team, large and small property owners, and meetings with members of the Planning Commission and City Council.

The Code regulates development and ensures a variety of street-space types (with wide sidewalks and canopy shade trees) and broad categories for uses, including housing, retail, and office. It also specifies the general architectural parameters—including building materials and architectural detailing— that are important to the quality and character of a vibrant new downtown for this Dallas bedroom community.

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