The Design Excellence Initiative was created by a council motion that directed staff to provide recommendations to help increase the predictability of the discretionary review process, improve the public realm and lead to the design of better buildings.
On Jan. 15, 2015, Dover Kohl & Partners (the firm hired by the city to provide consulting services for the Design Excellence Initiative) provided recommendations for short- and long-term actions the city should undertake to address concerns with design outcomes. The key components of the recommendations included:
- Putting a hold on height modifications in all areas except those that have established community vision until a clear guidance is confirmed through policy revisions;
- Piloting a form-based code as a new tool to improve design outcomes and to create more predictability;
- Applying a form-based code to other areas, once detailed plans for those areas are created; and
- Reforming the city’s development review procedures and Site Review criteria.