The City of Modesto downtown area has been rezoned using form-based code principles. Form-based codes emphasize the building form whereas conventional zoning codes emphasize land use. The emphasis on building form will help create a more predictable environment where buildings are closer to the street and will focus on the interface between the public and private spaces.
While land uses are secondary to building form, land uses are still important. One important land use aspect of the form-based code is that greater mixture of land uses are allowed. The overarching objective the code amendment is to enhance activity and encourage downtown development. The rezone of the downtown area was approved by the City Council and became effective on June 25, 2015.