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Accurately responding to the questions posed should include a more fundamental question: Should a governmental entity have in its agenda the goal of increasing or stabilizing its future revenues?
If the answer is "yes", doesn't it follow our City government should be engaged in economic stimuli intended to increase sales taxes? And labor force enhancements for better private sector growth?
"but would not do anything to decrease density in the sending zone."
Maybe that is a typo Eric. I thought decreasing allowed density in the sending zone was the whole point.
This is a bit confusing. Also in the news is an article about easier UGB expansions to facilitate easier annexations. I do not understand our re-tooling for easier annexations at the same time new TDR policies will rely on a healthy market for infill density. Here again, it will be good to hear from the developers interested in buying infill density rights.
Begs the question; Did our recent Area Plan Update create clear direction for infill or annexation?
Routt County recently explored a similar venture with the PDR, Purchase of Development Rights. From my reading of the County effort, the idea of "sending density" away from sensitive areas was a good concept and got the whole thing started, but the other end of the deal, "receiving density", was where the problems arose. "Receiving" end problems were large enough that the County PDR effort was abandoned. One of those County planners would be a smart addition to this City team. Perhaps Rebecca Bessy, who previously worked at the County, is that person.
I would like to see TDR succeed. If indeed, where the density rights would be transferred to is the difficult part, that question should answered early rather than last. A better committee makeup would include interested "receivers", such as Wildhorse Meadows, base area owners, or whatever neighborhood City staff feels will have a demand for density.
From the view of one owner, yes this is great flexibility. From the view of existing and future neighbors it is too much. Over the years the parcel could become any of these Uses:
Child Care Center,
Bed & Brkfst,
Performing Arts Facility,
Day Care Home,
These Uses go well together? Given this parcel may at any time become one of the extreme Uses, I believe that will drive away interest in adjacent RR-1 properties. There is a reason most of the above Uses are prohibited on RR-1 parcels. Building resort condominiums next door to a nightclub or outdoor seating is less attractive if the latest Ski Time Square Dev Permit is any indication.
Wildhorse Meadows is mostly vacant land today, and Resort Ventures West creates good product. As an experiment, I expect Wildhorse Meadows will re-learn the market axiom that zoning certainty creates value for the whole. 2 or 3 of these PUDs will re-write owner's expectations in this district. Shifting zoning incrementally toward a new demand is a good thing. Shifting zoning in one district can be too. This new PUD ordinance goes much further. When the next investors don't know what to expect on any given (commercial) street corner, that is a bad thing.
in this PUD = 1/500 sqft
in RR-1 Zone = 1/300 sqft
in this PUD = 1/900
in RR-1 Zone = 1/300
in this PUD = 1/900
in RR-1 Zone = 1/150
“I’m not quite convinced that everything the applicant is asking for is necessary,”
Wow. They don't even need to build to reap a nice profit on these new Uses and parking reductions won. Good for neighboring investments? I doubt it. Many of the Uses granted below are not even compatible with each other, much less the neighboring RR-1 Zone. Each Use listed below will be permanently vested on this 3 acre parcel. From the packet:
Bed & Brkfst
Recreation Equipment Rental
Performing Arts Facility
Child Care Center, Small
Day Care Home
Transparency in the planning department process has seen other reductions over the past 2 years. This latest is simply part of a trend, described as cutting applicants' costs to achieve a permit.
For instance the planning director now approves more projects under his increased scope of administrative approval - fewer projects will have any hearing at all. In another code change, parts of projects will be missing from the public hearing altogether, and approved later by planning staff after any public hearing.
The rationale for both is this: much of a project's design is simply a matter meeting or not meeting the code, and trained staff professionals are the only proper arbiters of those project aspects. The previous approach - venturing the whole before the public - required an "all in" approach by the applicant on design and paperwork. The new approach saves the applicant wasting money on a project the public eventually rejects. But quite obviously, his savings correspond directly with less information being available to the public before approval.
It may be these are smart changes. There is a need to balance opposing needs. I spoke my piece at the PC hearings where these were approved - enough said. But one would think this topic would have seen more Pilot coverage and deserved more City outreach. Little to no detail of those transparency reductions were reported in the Pilot. The recent Pilot editorial interest in government transparency is good news. But it is also a bit overstated.
Who will be responsible for maintaining the ballot funded improvements?
I was following this discussion closely for awhile, and attended the early hearings. The rented, temporary facility many propose is not as simple as you would like. The use of the TIC building for instance, would require modifications to meet the special operational needs of the police. I believe that cost alone was said to be about $100,000.
And before one bothers with that one would need to consider the same code criteria that was overlooked while the Iron Horse was a contender as a temporary police facility. I'm referring to the code's "Importance Factors", i.e. the increased structural ability a building must have to house emergency service uses such as fire, police, and hospitals with surgery and emergency care abilities. For instance, the seismic (lateral) strength of any building housing the police would need to be 150% of that required in a typical office building. The idea is if we have an earthquake and there are building losses, we do not want our police, hospital or fire facilities among those losses.
Last login: Friday, October 25, 2013
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