An updated draft of the form-based code and associated revisions to the South District Plan are now available for public review. All draft documents are available on the project webpage.

City staff would appreciate any comments to be submitted by Friday, July 23, 2021, but will continue to accept feedback throughout the formal approval process.

Comments on the draft can be submitted to Kirk Lehmann at

Staff will present an introduction and overview of the draft form-based code to the Planning and Zoning Commission at their July 1 and July 15, 2021 meetings. Please join the meetings to learn more about the draft. Staff will ask the Planning and Zoning Commission to make a recommendation to the City Council at its Aug. 5, 2021 meeting.

If you cannot attend, you can watch the meeting videos at your convenience on City Channel 4's website

The City has been working with Opticos Design since January 2019 to develop a form-based zoning code for the undeveloped portion of the South District. The project has focused on the creation of new zones and standards that will regulate future development projects. Unlike conventional zoning which focuses on the separation of land uses (e.g. single-family and multi-family), form-based codes focus more on the scale of the development (e.g. bulk and height) and its relationship to the street and sidewalk. The goals of the project include: 

  • Creating neighborhoods that are safe for pedestrians and encourage walking
  • Preserving important environmental resources
  • Ensuring a highly interconnected network of streets and paths
  • Allowing for a variety of housing types
  • The ability to apply these regulations to other undeveloped portions of Iowa City

Date of publication

Monday, June 21, 2021