The Deerfield Form-Based Code is a locally-calibrated SmartCode created to support the vision of the Highway 9 Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Study, which calls for transforming the collection of office parks, shopping centers, and housing pods at exit 11of Georgia 400 into a compact and walkable activity center. The code was created via an eight month process that brought together residents, businesses, and property owners to understand local entitlements, clarify the LCI plan vision, and created zoning regulations that would support it.
To meet the specific needs of Milton, the code includes several notable elements not found in a typical SmartCode. These include:
- Standards for the gradual retrofit of existing legal-conforming buildings and sites;
- Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) that allow higher density development in Deerfield while preserving open space in the rural parts of Milton;
- Standards for apartments that ensure that they are high-quality and do not negatively impact the tax base;
- Provisions for the retrofit of Highway 9 from its current auto-oriented state into a more walkable future;
- Density and land use patterns that will support future rail transit along Georgia 400;
- Techniques for achieving limited frontal parking along Highway 9 through slip-roads, street parking, or screened parking; and
- The designation of a street hierarchy that will allow drives through parking lots to define the edges of future development blocks as the area grows.
The code also includes design standards specially created so that they would not contradict private covenants that were implemented when the area was originally developed.