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Covington Downtown Form-Based Code

Project Information

Location: Covington, WA


Services Provided

  • Remote community engagement
  • Form-based code writing
  • Best practice research

We crafted a hybrid form-based zoning code to guide downtown Covington’s transition from a disjointed super-block commercial center into a more dynamic, walkable, mixed-use district.  The new code integrates greater predictability with strategic flexibility, while calibrating ground-level use requirements with market realities and local priorities. Other notable features included a height bonus system replacing a challenging floor area ratio-based incentive system, simplified use charts, updated internal open space standards, electric vehicle parking standards, and new self-service storage facility standards to help end a moratorium.


  • Facilitation of 20 stakeholder interviews by phone or video call and well-attended online workshop (with instant polling and more than 60 attendees)
  • Delivered a flexible code and more predictable design standards that can be updated when conditions change
  • Through block-frontage maps and zoning standards, accommodated the community’s long-planned civic campus in the heart of downtown