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Mobility and Community Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Mobility and Community Form Guide?
A: The Mobility and Community Form Guide (MCFG) is a guide created by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to help municipalities and counties plan transportation and land-use within their municipal and county master plans. The MCFG helps communities create comprehensive master plans.
Q. What is the Mobility and Community Form Element (MCFE)?
A: The Mobility and Community Form Element is the product of the MCFG. The MCFE combines the land use and circulation elements of the master plan into one document. By combining land use and transportation, the MCFE seeks to influence the built form of the community. Form Base Codes (FBC) is an essential tool of the MCFE.
Q. What are Activity Patterns?
A: Activity Patterns in the Mobility and Community Form Guide show certain characteristics that influence a community’s accessibility and sense of place. Although there are various activity patterns within a community, the MCFG highlights seven essential activity patterns: These activity patterns are accompanied by guiding principles that help measure current conditions and create ideas for change or development.
Q. What is the Activity-Based Transect?
A: The Activity-Based Transect is a diagnostic tool for understanding community form. The Activity-Based Transect can be read from left to right as a progression from rural highlands and agricultural areas through towns and suburbs to a central city, then to the port industry and seaside towns of the New Jersey shore. The transect, along with the activity patterns, helps to identify the main characteristics of each place type, visualize the types of development appropriate at each scale, demonstrate how different pieces fit together, and determine which activities might take place there.
Q. What are Form Based Codes?
A: Form Based Codes are a method of regulating development to attain a specific urban form. Form Based Codes concentrate on creating functional relationships between public space and buildings, with a lesser focus on land use, through city or county regulations.

Form Based Codes address the relationship between building facades and the public area, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in Form Based Codes are presented in both diagrams and words. The plan designates the appropriate character of development. This contrasts with conventional zoning, but should not be confused with design guidelines. Form Based Codes are regulatory, not advisory.

Form Based Codes are drafted to achieve a community vision based on time- tested forms of urbanism. The quality of development is dependant on the quality and objectives of the community plan that a Form Based Code implements.
Q. What is Euclidean Zoning?
A: Euclidean Zoning is a term named after the zoning code of Euclid, Ohio. The landmark 1926 U.S. Supreme Court decision Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co. established the separation of land uses to manage nuisances and protect the public welfare. The separation of land use into distinct separate zones, such as residential, commercial, and industrial, has become the known as Euclidian zoning. This type of zoning is used by the majority of New Jersey’s municipalities. Euclidian zoning is increasingly scrutinized for its inability to address contemporary growth management conflicts.

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  Last Updated:  November 3, 2008