Downtown Neighborhood Area Sector Plan Update Jim Strozier, AICP Western Planner Conference 2012
Presentation Outline/Approach A case study Context/Problem Definition Process Outcomes/Solutions Lessons Learned Discussion Points Built In – Participate!
Location Adjacent to Downtown Impacted by new Courthouses Stable Population, but not a lot of young families Strong Neighborhood Association, but known for fighting everything.
1976 Conditions Housing – mostly in poor condition Trend – lack of maintenance Zoning – Almost entirely Office People – moving out to new suburban locations Some office conversions had happened Investment – not much
1976 Plan Purpose Stop the Blight Promote Redevelopment Promote Higher Densities Don’t Compete with Downtown Promote New Investment Increase Amenities
1976 Plan – What did it do? Rezoned the bulk of the neighborhood to Townhouse Rezoned areas adjacent to Downtown to the highest residential densities allowed Identified a new park and other Amenities
What Happened? Nothing Planned! – No redevelopment, or very little – Reinvestment in existing houses – Office continued to creep into the neighborhood – Courthouses moved from Downtown to the area just east of the Neighborhood – Neighborhood Park and other amenities constructed
What Happened? (cont.) Preservation – Value of Existing Historic Houses Realized – New Investment in the Older Homes – 5 Historic Districts Established – Historic Register Nominations Bail Bond Offices – Old Houses – Near the Courthouses
Process Establish Steering Committee: DNA Board Public Involvement Process: Steering Committee Meetings Walking Tours Public Meetings Outreach to Property Owners Approval Process: EPC City Council
Walking Tours Gets people out on the street. A photo safari. Discussion occurs as a group. See the good, bad, and the ugly. Make a movie, post it! Real projects, what they like, what they don’t.
Purpose To update the original Plan (1976) Sector Plan Seeks To: Preserve what’s best with the neighborhood Make zoning and existing land uses consistent Make the neighborhood more walkable Remain respectful of the neighborhood’s historic context and character Encourage appropriate infill development
Planning Themes Matching the zoning with the existing land use for properties within the DNA. Preserving and celebrating the historic buildings and character of the DNA. Reinforcing the DNA as primarily residential, with mixed-use corridors. Creating a walkable, bike-friendly community that connects the DNA with Old Town and Downtown.
Planning Themes Allowing for appropriately-designed and scaled infill development, while respecting the historic character of the DNA. Creating tree-lined streetscapes throughout the DNA. Calming traffic speeds and reducing cut-through traffic on local streets through the DNA.
Goals and Objectives Developed as a result of the 1st public meeting and ‘tested’ at the 2nd meeting: Land Use and Zoning Historic Preservation Community Character Transportation Quality of Life
Analysis Changing Demographics Community Perspective Existing Land Use & Zoning Comprehensive Plan Goals and Policies Historic Districts and Buildings Transportation Systems
Zoning - Framework Match zoning to existing land use Ensure new development responds to and complements existing character Respect existing zoning/property rights Address problem land uses: Commercial Parking Lots Bail Bond Offices Office intrusion into the neighborhood Bus Terminal
Zoning – Special Considerations Landscape – Street Trees Demolition – Adds review to protect historic buildings Non-Conforming Uses Character Elements: Massing Height Entries/porches Façade articulation Windows and doors Building placement
Zoning - Categories SF – Single Family Based on the R-1 zone Exceptions – setbacks, garages, façade articulation, secondary dwelling units are permissive Add Secondary Dwelling Allowed TH – Townhouse Minimized, purpose is limited in the updated plan Exceptions - setbacks, garage placement, curb cuts, secondary dwelling units, etc. Minimum lot size has stayed the same as the current Sector Plan MR – Mixed Residential Replaces the existing HDA and MDA zones Based on the R-2 zone Exceptions - building height, parking, no maximum floor area ratio, and allows senior housing as a conditional use
Zoning - Categories OR – Office/Residential Transition zone between the commercial zone along Central Ave. and the single family core of the neighborhood No commercial uses are allowed Strict criteria for new office development MUM – Mixed Use Medium Replaces the existing RC zone Allows mixed use with no min. or max. requirements for residential Permissive uses include R-G zone, institutions, professional office, limited retail and services uses Building heights can go above 26 feet if certain conditions are met MUL – Mixed Use Light Replaces the existing MRO zone Allows mixed use with no min. or max. requirements for residential Strict criteria for new non-residential development
Zoning - Categories CC – Central Corridor Based on the C-2 zone Exceptions related to land use, building heights, setbacks, parking, façade articulation, etc. Residential use based on R-3 zone, but with no maximum floor area ratio NC – Neighborhood Commercial Based on the C-1 zone Exceptions related to land use, building articulation, entries, lighting, etc.
Action Agenda The Action Agenda: Critical component of the Sector Plan Determines the timing for specific strategies Identifies the primary responsible party Provides linkages to the Capital Improvement Program
Albuquerque Oddities Zoning Changes and Plans done simultaneously Quasi-Judicial Process – Councilor Can’t Participate City Council has their own planners Neighborhood Association Led – Need to fight to have property owners and businesses included
Lessons Learned Trust the process (grocery store upgrade – citizen led initiative) Make sure that all are given the opportunity to participate Analysis is hard, but needs to be done – in older neighborhoods it can be a real challenge
Lessons Learned (cont.) Property rights are important – figure out a way to make it a win-win Be creative, think of new ways to accomplish the same goal (demolition ordinance) Make sure the process is transparent