The Urban Land Institute published a book titled "Flexible Zoning" in 1988 that introduces the concept of flexible zoning (i.e., "performance zoning") and examines 7 examples from around the country.
The introduction describes the genesis of traditional zoning and the segregation of uses (a place for everything and everything in its place) and the eventual realization that this does not always work, hence variances, special exceptions and rezonings.
It states that "(T)he conceptual heart of performance standards is that regulation of land uses is based not on use categories determined at the time zoning ordinances are adopted but on their actual physical characteristics and functions - their ‘performance’ - measured against predetermined criteria and standards. Performance standards can include traffic generation, noise, lighting levels, stormwater runoff, loss of wildlife or vegetation, or even architectural style. Theoretically, in a regulatory system based solely on performance standards, any use could locate adjacent to any other use, provided that it could satisfy the criteria and standards contained in the ordinance. Questions of potential uses are wide open, whereas site planning, building design, and facility operation, among other factors, may be strictly controlled. Only a few regulatory systems even approach such flexibility. Nevertheless, virtually all contemporary zoning codes contain, to varying degrees of ‘purity’, elements of performance standards."