Ford Site Design Standards

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Project Type: Design Standards

Client: City of Saint Paul

LHB worked with the City to develop design standards (“shall” statements) for the Ford Site to ensure that the public realm and public-private interface were appealing, function well for people, were built to last and enhance nearby development. Activation of public space (streets, sidewalks, and parks) and architectural diversity were key goals for the design standards. The standards were intended to be performance-based rather than prescriptive of building design.

The design standards were the final regulatory addition to the Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan that was adopted by City Council in 2017 and amended earlier this month. Design standards address the final increment of implementation for buildings, public spaces, streets, lots, and landscape. Specifically, the standards address how the built environment relates spatially and design-wise to the public realm. The standards focus on significant and high-profile areas of the site through the use of frontage types, a comprehensive composition of building type, façade, private yards/landscape, and the public realm (boulevards, streets, and open spaces). This was the first time Saint Paul adopted form-based standards as a component of their regulatory zoning controls. The LHB team worked closely with Saint Paul inter-department staff as well as an appointed focus group of external design and development representatives. After Planning Commission review, the standards were forwarded to the City Council for adoption.

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