WEC Analysis Committee/Intensify development appropriately

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Contents

Overview

This is one of eight integrated design issue clusters being developed by the WEC Analysis Committee starting mid-June, 2008.

Eight draft clusters... Intensify Development, Relocate Land Uses, Increase Public Transit, Enhance Pedestrian and Bikeways, Connections to Natural Resources, Enhance Natural Resources, Natural Watershed, Transportation Network

Description

Land use designations in the focus area should reflect which areas cannot be developed at all and which areas can be developed at a higher density than their current designation. This cluster assembles all related ideas.

Key Parameters and Rules of Thumb

  1. There are properties that are not developed. [RD-, or underutilized base on a visual inspection of aerial photos. These observations are evident by overgrown vegetation and/or stockpiles of debris.](vague)
  2. Many properties are being used differently than they were originally intended. [RD- Visual inspection of the West Eugene Industrial area revealed numerous quasi-commercial uses on industrial zones site.] (vague)
  3. The number of jobs per acre in the industrial areas are not increasing. (reference)
  4. There are many opportunities for redevelopment in the focus area. [RD- Many of the improvements are near the end of their economic live. An example is the shopping center which includes Staples. The owners are starting on a redevelopment of the entire property. Another is the Cole property along the Amazon, which has been used simple as storage for two decades or more.](such as)
  5. The character of commercial and industrial uses are changing. [RD-The texture of the old commercial strips are changing and becoming more responsive to changing consumer preferences, more mixed-use areas. Timing of the change is dictated by market conditions and government policy; i.e. zoning. Ref: Urban Land Institute (ULI) “Ten Principles for Reinventing America’s Suburban Strips”](how much, how fast?) [RD_Should the commercial and industrial use item be split into 2 separate items??]
  6. We need to provide increased opportunities for walkable mixed-use development.
  7. Low VMT areas are those which are inside the metropolitan average VMT contour [ref], plus those which are within 1/4 mile of a full-service fixed transit corridor [ref].
  8. To accommodate projected growth within low-VMT areas, extensive and intensive development of mixed use in the form of residential uses over commercial uses is probably necessary.
  9. Nodal development within low VMT areas is key to helping reduce VMT.
  10. Nodal development outside the low VMT areas will actually tend to increase VMT, negating a primary reasons for doing nodal development.
  11. In order for Eugene to meet state-adopted greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets [1], densification must be prevented outside of low-VMT areas, because, as calculations show, to plan to meet the targets, we need to plan for large reductions over time in VMT. [2], [3], City GHG Report, City GHG Memo.
  12. Encourage development that is rersponsive to the State & Federal emmission goals
  13. Promote mixed-use-developments in focus area (may need more detail)
  14. "...Catch basins of shopping centers are not circles, as one might naively suppose, but half-circles, with the half-circle on that side of the center away from the central city, because people always go to that shopping center which lies toward the center of their city, never to the once which lies toward the city's periphery." ...Therefore: "Encourage growth and the accumulation of density to form a clear configuration of peaks and valleys according to [a set of compatible rules related to the eccentric nucleus]." [Pattern Language Pattern 28 - ECCENTRIC NUCLEUS] [4]
  15. Create noes of activity throughout the community, spread about 300 yards apart. First identify those existing spots in the community where action seems to concentrate itself. Then modify the layout of the paths in the community to bring as many of them through these spots as possible... Then, at the center of each nodes, make a small public square, and surround it with a combination of community facilities and shops which are mutually supportive. [Pattern Language Pattern 30 - ACTIVITY NODES] [5]
  16. Each subculture needs a center for its public life: a place where you can go to see people, and to be seen." ...Therefore: "Encourage the gradual formation of a promenade at the heart of every community, linking the main activity nodes, and placed centrally, so that each point in the community is within 10 minutes walk of it. Put main points of attraction at the two ends, to keep a constant movement up and down." [Pattern Language Pattern 31 - PROMENADE] [6]
  17. Shopping centers depend on access: they need locations near major traffic arteries...." [Pattern Language Pattern 32 - SHOPPING STREET] [7]
  18. A multiway boulevard or other form of concentrated transit-oriented development (TOD) can help support intensification of multiuse development along a transit corridor. (See Multiway Boulevard info)

Key Questions

  1. Does this cluster imply that current traffic patterns may need to be changed, and if it does, then how does it imply they should be changed???
  2. The general areas for densification and non-densification should be shown on a map.
  3. Could a node help to reduce VMT? (answered in Key Paarameters and Rules of Thumb above)

Community Design Implications

The intensifying of development closer in might have a positive impact on the environment.

  1. Densification should occur within low-VMT zones.
  2. Densification should be prevented outside low-VMT zones.
  3. Introduction of mixed-use development that allows industrial, residential and commercial development. (disagreement here)
  4. Residential infill will not encounter neighborhood concerns of incompatible infill. (unclear)
  5. The area contains underutilized land, due to old style industrial development. (disagreement here)
  6. The eastern portion of the area of interest is likely to be the more dominant area for early redevelopment. (reference?)
  7. The low land values within the industrial area may well be a good area in which the introduction of good affordable housing can be mixed with work, live and shop environments. (disagreement here)
  8. The Royal Node Special Area Plan should be retired as it is a specific instance of densification in a high-VMT area.

Implementation Process Comments

  1. Review building codes to allow other use.
  2. Review zoning codes to allow other uses.
  3. Consider the “S-W Whitaker Special Area Zone” as an overlay that would allow better utilization of the property. A similar “S-W Whitaker Special Area Zone” overlay would increase land value and entice property owners to utilize the land for more intense development.
  4. Abandon that current small node process in Eugene realizing that large areas must be allowed to redevelop as property owners recognize the economic benefit to a more intense use.

References

External Links

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