St. Louis Park, Minnesota Logo


printer friendly version Contact by Phone 952.924.2500

Form-Based Code Development Underway

updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017
St. Louis Park is utilizing a Livable Communities grant from the Metropolitan Council to develop a form-based code for the three Southwest Light Rail Transit station areas located in the city - near Beltline Boulevard and Wooddale and Louisiana Avenues - to foster and encourage transit-oriented development.

What are form-based codes?
Form-based codes are regulations that focus on the form or design of the public realm. Rather than focusing on a separation of uses as conventional codes do, like commercial versus residential uses, form-based codes focus on the relationship between buildings and the street, pedestrians and vehicles and public and private spaces. 

The Form-Based Codes Institute, the leading national organization committed to the development of such codes, suggests that form-based codes:

  • foster PREDICTABLE built results
  • foster a high-quality PUBLIC REALM
  • use physical FORM as the organizing principle for the code
  • are REGULATIONS, not just guidelines, adopted into city ordinance

What process will St. Louis Park use to develop its code?
The city has contracted with CodaMetrics to guide the city through the development process, which is expected to be complete in May 2015. As part of the process, residents and business owners will be able to engage in the process through a variety of public platforms. Details about the opportunities for public involvement will be posted on this site when available. 

To learn more details about the approach CodaMetrics and the city will use, click on the link to the Nov. 25, 2013 City Council report below:

City Council Reports
Nov. 25, 2013 City Council Report
Feb. 10, 2014 City Council Report


Community Workshops
The following link shows the results of Image Preference Surveys from two community workshops convened to inform the development of St. Louis Park’s station area form-based code. The first workshop, on May 6, 2014, focused on the future Wooddale Station, Louisiana Station, and the Lake Street area adjacent to both of these areas. Two weeks later, on May 20, 2014, another workshop was held for three areas within the future Belt Line Station area.

Image Preference Survey Results

An Image Preference Survey (IPS) is a powerful tool used for eliciting group preferences on community character and appearance. It can help create a visual vocabulary to enhance discussion of image and definition of place. In our IPS, participants were shown a series of PowerPoint slides, each containing photographs related to geographic areas within the station areas. To offer a full range of options, images were drawn from local, regional, and national examples. Participants scored each image from -5 to +5 (most negative to most positive), and then images with the highest and lowest overall scores were discussed at smaller table gatherings.

This summary shows the average score for each image, as well as comments from participants recorded during the discussions following the survey. These results will be used to help establish preferred building and street types to write the form-based code.

Metropolitan Council Logo
Financing for this project was provided by the Metropolitan Council Metropolitan Livable Communities Fund.

More Links

St. Louis Park City Hall
5005 Minnetonka Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: 952.924.2500 Email: