CM10 Small and Sturdy Ed McMahon


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CM10 Small and Sturdy Ed McMahon

  1. 1. Small Town Design Community Matters Conference Denver, Colorado © Ed McMahon
  2. 2. What is so special about small towns?
  3. 3. Characteristics of Small Towns • Edge and Center • Walkable and pedestrian friendly • Mix of uses and housing types • Architectural coherent and interesting • Strong sense of community • Sense of Place
  4. 4. Characteristics of Sprawl • No edge and no center • Must drive everywhere • Segregation of uses and housing types • Architectural chaotic and ugly • Hard to have a sense of community • No sense of place (Everything looks the same)
  5. 5. The Patterns of Development • Where you put development • How you arrange development • What development looks like
  6. 6. The Problem
  8. 8. “How people think of a place is less tangible, but more important than just about anything else” Richard Florida, Author The Creative Class
  9. 9. Green Space & Property Values • “The relationship between rising property values and green spaces is well documented.” • “Some studies find as much as a 15 to 30 % increase in the value of properties adjacent to parks and open space.”
  10. 10. Where is the most valuable land in New York?
  11. 11. Houses next to golf course
  12. 12. Value of Open Space • Developers build golf courses because golf courses sell real estate at premium prices • Very expensive to design, build & maintain golf courses • Parks and open spaces also sell real estate at premium prices at lower costs to create and maintain
  13. 13. Community Amenities Sought by Homebuyers  Walking trails/bike paths - 36%  Parks/natural areas - 26%  Playgrounds - 21%  Daycare - 14%  Soccer Fields - 9%  Golf Course - 6% - April 2004 National Association of Realtors National Assn. of Homebuilders
  14. 14. Identify and preserve historic buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes
  15. 15. “Among cities and towns with no particular recreational appeal, those that preserve their past continue to enjoy tourism. Those that haven’t, receive Almost no tourism at all. Tourists simply won’t go to a city that has lost its soul.” - Arthur Frommer
  16. 16. New Construction Should Enhance Community Character
  17. 17. You Have a Choice! “When a chain store developer come to town they generally have three designs (A, B, or C) ranging from Anywhere USA to Unique (sensitive to local character).” “Which one gets built depends heavily upon how much push back the company gets from local residents and officials about design & its importance.” Source: Bob Gibbs, Retail Consultant, Birmingham, MI
  18. 18. “We’ve reached a stage Where we can be flexible. We no longer have to build a gray-blue battleship box.” Robert W. Stoker Wal-Mart’s Senior Real Estate Manager
  19. 19. The Changing Shape of Big Box Stores A growing number of big box stores are located in multi-story buildings, which means they use less land, fit better with the community and are accessible on foot or by transit. Typical Target Store Target, Stamford, Connecticut
  20. 20. Techniques for Achieving Architectural Design Excellence • Architectural Design Review • Corridor Overlays • Leverage • Architectural Design Guidelines • Form Based Codes • Just Ask
  21. 21. Design Review Alexandria, VA Key West, FL Palo Alto, CA Asheville, NC
  22. 22. Big Box Design Standards Fort Collins, Colorado Madison , Mississippi Bozeman, Montana Carmel, Indiana
  23. 23. Design Review – Sample Language • “Architectural Transplants from other locales are neither appropriate or desirable. • The natural environment deserves authenticity & integrity in the built environment. • Franchise/monoculture (corporate signature) buildings and shallow or artificial imitations of “western architectural styles are not desirable.” • Source: Design Review Manuel, City of Sedona , AZ McDonald’s , Sedona, AZ Sedona, AZ
  24. 24. Corridor Overlays • Overlay districts are special zones placed “on top” of existing zoning and planning regulations. • Corridor overlays frequently address landscaping, signage, building design, setbacks, curb cuts and other issues. • This technique is used to prevent a corridor from becoming cluttered, unsightly or blighted. It can also be used to redevelop older corridors. • Corridor overlays have been used successfully in hundreds of communities in all areas of the country Strip – Before Strip - After
  25. 25. Corridor Overlays Courthouse, Chesterfield County, VA Taco Bell, Chesterfield County Arby’s, Chesterfield County Burger King, Chesterfield County
  26. 26. Design Guidelines
  27. 27. Design Guidelines • Not a law/ Not Mandatory • A strong suggestion of what you want • And what you don’t want • Should be illustrated • Most effective when coupled with education and leverage • Often a prerequisite to legally binding design review
  28. 28. Design Guidelines McDonald’s, Shenandoah Valley, VA
  29. 29. Typical Super 8 Motel
  30. 30. Super 8 Motel – Goshen, IN
  31. 31. Taos, New Mexico Historic Buildings New Buildings
  32. 32. Leverage
  33. 33. Home Depot, New York, NY
  34. 34. Form Based Codes • Regulate Building Form not Use • Emphasize Appearance & Public Realm • Focus on Visual Aspect of: *Building Height & Bulk *Facade Treatment *Relationship of Building to Street *Location of Parking
  35. 35. Form Based Codes Gas Station/Convenience Store Chain Drug Store
  36. 36. Davidson, North Carolina
  37. 37. Lowes Charlotte, NC - New buildings must meet the sidewalk
  38. 38. * Advantages of Form-Based Codes 1. They are prescriptive (they state what you want), rather than proscriptive (what you don’t want). 2. They allow citizens to see what will happen, giving them more comfort with the future and density. 3. They regulate development at the scale of an individual building or lot encouraging independent development by multiple owners rather than large mega projects. 4. They result in a diversity of architecture, materials, uses & ownership but within an agreed upon vision. 5. They work well in existing communities by defining and codifying a neighborhood’s existing DNA. Vernacular architecture can be replicated promoting compatible infill.
  39. 39. Just Ask Plan A – Walgreens (Off-the-shelf) Plan B – Walgreens (Better) Plan C – Walgreens (Site specific) Plan C – Walgreens (Site Specific)
  40. 40. Here is the Problem • “The city should be happy that any commercial entity is willing to invest money within city limits. If the city sets its standards to high, then we’ll have to settle for empty lots.” • Source: Letter to the Editor, Youngstown, Ohio
  41. 41. Here’s the Solution • “We should not be so desperate for development that we approve whatever comes our way. We can set our sights higher and we’ll get better buildings. If CVS is willing to walk away we should let them.” • Source: Youngstown Ohio, Letter to the EditorCVS, Westerville, Ohio
  42. 42. Just Ask
  43. 43. Hardees – Red Wing, MN
  44. 44. Hardees – Asheville, NC
  45. 45. “People stay longer, spend more money and come back more often to places that attract their affection.” Source: Urban Design and the Bottom Line, ULI, 2009
  46. 46. Control Outdoor Signs
  47. 47. Oversized
  48. 48. Poorly Planned
  49. 49. Badly Located
  50. 50. Too Numerous
  51. 51. Image
  52. 52. Cost
  53. 53. Effectiveness
  54. 54. Sign Control Is Good for Tourism!
  55. 55. “The unique characteristics of place may be the only truly defensible source of competitive advantage for regions.” The Distinctive City Joe Cortwright, City Vitals
  56. 56. Secrets of Successful Communities • Develop a vision for the future • Inventory local assets and resources • Build plans around the enhancement of assets • Use education, incentives, partnerships and voluntary initiatives – not just regulation • Pick and choose among development proposals • Cooperate with neighbors for mutual benefit • Protect community character as well as ecology and economics • Have strong leaders & committed citizens
  57. 57. Thank You! Ed McMahon, Urban Land Institute