Tiverton Visual Preference

This website contains information on the current draft of a new Form Based Code zoning regulation to replace the General Commercial district along the northern section of Main Road and the General Commercial district at Bliss Four Corners. Included with the information are questions for your opinions so that we may gauge public reaction to the concepts.

A Form Based Code (FBC) regulation is different than typical zoning in that it is intended to promote the coordinated design of infrastructure, sites, and buildings to create a character of development befitting the community. The draft FBC presented here includes the typical dimensional standards for buildings, but adds criteria that call for refinement of the designs for issues such as maximum instead of minimum setbacks, locations for parking, where to include pedestrian access, and the slope of the roofs according to height and location.

There are three subdistricts proposed; Traditional Main Street, Neighborhood Business, and Pedestrian Oriented District:

• Traditional Main Street – This is considered a typical New England configuration with zero front yard setbacks, pedestrian amenities such as benches and attractive plantings, and on-street and rear-yard parking. In this configuration the first floor is assigned for retail and restaurant uses and the upper floors may be residential and commercial office uses.

• Pedestrian Oriented Destination – These are focused clusters of commercial development where mixed use would be strongly encouraged, and where safe pedestrian and bicycle ways are required.

• Neighborhood Business – These are transitional areas identified by a character appearing as lower density residential where homes could be converted to small-scale commercial and mixed uses, or may remain as residential. Established residential blocks that are not expected to convert to any commercial uses are not included.

As examples of how the design standards will be applied, in the Traditional Main Street subdistrict proposed for the northern end of Main Road, buildings will be required to have entrances directly on the sidewalk, parking in the rear and enough building height to maintain the traditional New England ‘main street’ character. In the Pedestrian Oriented Development subdistrict the focus is on traffic and pedestrian comfort and safety, while in the Neighborhood Business subdistricts on Main Road and Stafford Road, a more residential character will be required.

Each of these is further explained in the sections that follow. You will be asked to consider these concepts and respond with your opinion.

While completing your comments please keep in mind what zoning can and cannot do:

– Zoning can provide a framework for site and building development.
– Zoning can specify expected outcomes for design elements.
– Zoning cannot predict or dictate the real estate market.
– Zoning cannot regulate building elements addressed in the Building Codes.

This project is being funded under a Challenge Grant administered by Statewide Planning. Additional information on this project may be obtained from the Tiverton Town Planner, whose email address is: planningboard@townoftivertonri.com
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