A Browner Shade of Green


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How stormwater regulations can hamper smarter growth, infill and redevelopment - and what to do about it

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A Browner Shade of Green

  1. 1. A Browner Shade of Green<br />Good intentions, half measures, and why that path to Hell is not paved with pervious concrete ……<br />
  2. 2. About this Presentation<br />Bad Cop – Lisa Nisenson<br />Good Cop – Dan Slone<br />Good Cop – Dave Sargeant<br />Themes<br />Just because there is green language in the plan and code…..<br />How language gets watered down<br />It’s not just the code – other factors<br />What to do about it<br />
  3. 3. A quick review on why we are here<br />How do new urbanism and smart growth support the environment?<br />Prevents pollution through vertical density and compact design.<br />Responds to the interlinking aspects of place-making with mutually supportive policy bundles, economic development support and codes.<br />Orchestrates the public and private elements of place-making to exploit shared amenities and efficient use of land.<br />Promotes reuse of existing built-upon areas of a city, county or crossroads.<br />Facilitates tripmaking by multiple modes of transportation.<br />
  4. 4. 90 Seconds on what conventional codes and plans give us…<br />
  5. 5. Let’s look at common green elements of plans and codes….<br />Clustering<br />Access <br />Impervious cover limits<br />Mixed Use<br />
  6. 6. Clustering<br />
  7. 7. Clustering<br />
  8. 8. "Environmentally Sensitive Development" Qualifications: houses that cover 15% or less of the site on at least two acres or clustered housing in subdivisionsSource – Note zoning code, but stormwater permit – grants credits against stormwater requirements.<br />
  9. 9. ACCESS and the end of the cul-de-sac<br />Planning with Power<br />
  10. 10. Impervious Cover Limits<br />Source: www.Sprawlaction.org<br />
  11. 11. Simi Valley Town CenterLifestyle center with connection to apartments<br />Walkway with stairs to the Town Center here<br />At the bottom of the stairs closest to apartments – Candy store and Abercrombe and Fitch<br />
  12. 12. Planned Development Mixed Use<br />“It is further intended that PDMU development shall be in complexes with carefully located buildings, parking and service areas, open space and use mixtures which are scaled and balanced to reduce general traffic congestion, by providing interdependent uses and uses which are compatible with adjacent and surrounding land uses.”<br />CVS<br />Starbucks<br />Grocery Store<br />
  13. 13. Understanding Reality – the Policy Environment<br />Obsession with Zoning<br />Just put it in codes and developers have to do it<br />Reinforces the Euclidian focus on individual sites<br />The Clean Water Act’s slow morph into Land Use Planning<br />Not altogether a bad thing<br />“By ordinance or other regulatory mechanism” zoning<br />Planning outcomes focus on a handful of “reportables” such as runoff, sediment removal, stormwater rate of release.<br />Maintains CWA emphasis on mitigation – not prevention<br />Power of smart growth & new urbanism lost - both are largely preventative in nature.<br />Areas most in need of planning not regulated by CWA<br />Makes the uneven playing field between new development and compact/redevelopment more uneven.<br />
  14. 14. Understanding the Policy Environment<br />How to Pay for It<br />Development-specific<br />When mandates hit the Nolan/Dolan buzzsaw<br />Proportional share – cover impacts that are most readily measured<br />Nexus – easy to favor capacity in proximity to project<br />Cities/Counties are broke – don’t have the resources to do plans at the important “middle” scales<br />Single Action Bias – “Why Isn’t the Brain Green?”<br />Tendency to engage in one single action to remove threat or hazard<br />Menu of Best Management Practices less of menu, more like “pick one”<br />