Lacey’s Woodland District Development Guidelines Receive National Recognition

Community members attend a public meeting regarding the strategic plan for the City of Lacey's Woodland District.

Submitted by The City of Lacey

The Washington D.C. based Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI) recently announced the City of Lacey, Washington, has won the distinguished Driehaus Award in recognition of the community’s new Woodland District Hybrid Form-Based Code.  FBCI is a non-profit professional organization dedicated to advancing the understanding and use of form-based codes.  

The award was presented last week by the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) during the association’s annual conference in Detroit.  The CNU encourages creation of vibrant and walkable cities, towns, and neighborhoods where residents and visitors have diverse choices for living, working, shopping, and getting around.

Attracting more residents and increasing the foot traffic are goals of the 10-year plan to revitalize the Lacey Woodland District.
Attracting more residents and increasing the foot traffic are goals of the 10-year plan to revitalize the Lacey Woodland District.

Form-based codes regulate development to provide unity, efficient organization, social vitality, and walkability.  The codes create high-quality public spaces by using physical form as the primary organizing principle, addressing the relationship between building facades and the public realm, as well as scale and types of streets and blocks.

Driehaus Award Chairman Joseph Kohl identified several elements which led to the selection committee’s decision.  “Lacey’s code offers exemplary provisions for transitioning an auto-oriented suburban area into a walkable urban and transit-ready environment,” said Kohl in the institute’s award announcement, citing Lacey’s code as “an excellent example of how land-use and form regulations can be successfully managed.”

Consultants on Lacey’s form-based code project include the SCJ Alliance, Bainbridge, Community Attributes, Inc., and Urbsworks, Inc.  The new code is a major component in implementing the city’s Woodland District Strategic Plan, which received the Washington State Governor’s Smart Communities Award in 2015.

City of Lacey Woodland District
City of Lacey Woodland District

Created in 2007, the Driehaus Award is sponsored by the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust.  The foundation supports preservation and enhancement of the built and natural environments through historic preservation, encouragement of quality architectural and landscape design, and conservation of open space. 

Delray Beach, Florida, was the only other city to receive the award this year.  Past winners have included Denver, Colorado; Miami, Florida; and Fort Worth, Texas. 

For more information, please contact Ryan Andrews, Planning Manager, at or (360) 491-5642.


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