John Fielding

John Fielding 4 hours, 22 minutes ago on Steamboat Planning Commission favors extending worker housing at downtown motel through April 2016

There is still vacant space on Lincoln, despite a lot of recent new remodels, some at Old Town Square and much of the Old West building for starters. And since retail and restaurant space is more valuable than lodging, when the demand is there the conversions will happen without being pushed that way. But predicting or directing trends is tricky. The present boom on Yampa St would not have been expected by many just a few years ago. That is where much retail and restaurant is heading, should we try to stop it, keep it on Lincoln?

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John Fielding 4 hours, 46 minutes ago on Megan Walker: Clearing the air

No, I think that is the carbon emissions injection into old wells you describe. I like it too. What John described is changes in agricultural practice that allows more carbon dioxide to be converted into organic compounds, and more of that retained in the soil.

Here is one link of many under building soil carbon.

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John Fielding 7 hours, 53 minutes ago on Megan Walker: Clearing the air

Hey Harvey, there is some very promising R&D on biological carbon capture, John Weibel has commented here about it. My understanding is that it enriches soils substantially, can help reclaim exhausted soils or give vitality where none existed before. The processes remove much greater quantities of carbon from the air to the soil than traditional agricultural techniques.

If we pursue such practices, the problem that motivated the change could be a blessing in disguise.

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John Fielding 11 hours, 49 minutes ago on Man who drove wrong car suspected of DUI

It can happen, I almost got into the wrong plain white pickup truck yesterday, perfectly sober, parked next to mine. Even had similar upholstery, same ice scraper on the seat. It was the height of the step in that alerted me, different size wheels.

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John Fielding 12 hours, 49 minutes ago on Dave Peregoy: Historical atrocities

ISIS aspires to be a worldwide threat. On a small scale they have acomplished it by prompting lone wolves to commit terrorisim. If they can obtain powerful WMD the lone wolves may kill thousands in an attack. Such weapons are not entierly beyond their reach, with enough money and members willing to die for the cause.

So not yet able to achieve their stated goal of killing us all makes them not an existential threat?

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John Fielding 14 hours, 51 minutes ago on Steamboat Planning Commission favors extending worker housing at downtown motel through April 2016

Note:

I have submitted an application to serve on the City Planning Commission. Persons who feel strongly about the positions put forth here, favorable or otherwise, may wish to make that known to the Council members prior to my interview with them Tuesday evening.

John Fielding

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John Fielding 15 hours, 26 minutes ago on Steamboat Planning Commission favors extending worker housing at downtown motel through April 2016

But there is much that still regulates by the Euclidean model, and the two are not fully reconciled, leaving far more open to differing interpretations. Perhaps it is as well that there be substantial flexibility, to allow entrepreneurs, residents and developers to respond as needs evolve. But the same flexibility can also be used to make such adjustments more difficult. The Alpiner is a classic example of that.

It is time to make thoroughgoing revisions to the CDC, beginning with a close examination of the basic philosophy of zoning. The very specific differentiation of variations in classes of use, between a hotel and a hostel for example, are beyond what ought to be subject to regulation. Enforcement policies that attempt to drive out or exclude uses that are not patently incompatible with other existing activities in a zone should be discontinued. Interpretations should be generous in favor of allowing activity as opposed to prohibiting it.

And numerous examples of regulations that seem to have been crafted to favor or prevent a very specific situation in the past need to be revised. A good example in the lodging venue is that one which stipulates that a large old home, the kind typically considered most suitable for a B&B, may not be approved for that use if a very small home is in proximity. That would appear to have been crafted based on a specific situation, but has the effect of generally curtailing that activity.

I reiterate my call for a citizens commission to be impaneled for a complete revision of the CDC.

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John Fielding 15 hours, 27 minutes ago on Steamboat Planning Commission favors extending worker housing at downtown motel through April 2016

"The Alpiner, located in Steamboat’s historic retail and restaurant district on Lincoln Avenue,,,,

From a historic perspective, the description should include "Lodging" district as well. There have been lodging businesses of various kinds there for over a century, there still are several.

The town planners are operating within a policy that seeks to change that historic use, to exclude short and long term residential uses unless they are confined to the upper floors of the buildings. Eventually that would close most of the operations of the Rabbit Ears, The Nordic, The Western, and impact the Bristol.

There is a perceptible logic if course, that of making more space available for restaurant and retail, concentrating this activity into a compact and defined area. It also is presumably the intent to keep such activity out of other areas. That fits the old school concept of zoning regulation, keep things rigidly segregated by hard lines, advancing a master plan for the city conceived by urban planners following the Euclidean concept (similar to Euclidean geometry, parallel lines never meet).

But there has been a significant shift over the past decades in the school of thought in urban planning. Now zones are considered to be "transects", or transitional areas between higher concentrations of different activities.

"New Urbanisim" promotes decentralizing activities, keeping often frequented businesses within walking distance of most residences, ideally a pub, grocer, cafe, etc, every few blocks, a sprinkling of other light commercial uses throughout mostly residential zones and a mix of residences in mostly commercial zones. There is much in our CDC that reflects these trends.

continued....

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John Fielding 2 days, 13 hours ago on City of Steamboat Springs set to review use of downtown motel as workforce housing

Hotel, motel, lodge, dorm, B&B, vacation rental, part time residence. Most resembles one thing, somewhat resembles something else. Some pretty fine shades of grey here. First floor, second floor, long term, short term, encourage, prohibit. How precisely should these activities be controlled?

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