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Thread: Preemptive street/subdivision platting: Does it happen?

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Preemptive street/subdivision platting: Does it happen?

    This is inspired by the statement below from the "Coherent argument about cul-de-sacs" thread:
    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    Require connectivity and stub-outs to adjacent properties. Adopt a collector street plan before development occurs. Plat paper streets.
    .
    Has anyone ever encountered a locality that preemptively plats or designs subdivision plats for undeveloped raw land within or adjacent to the corporate limits.

    Example: a municipality has alot of annexed but unplatted raw land that will surely be developed in the near future. Instead of or in addition to establishing subdivision regulations and leaving to the whims of individual developers, the municipality either formally plats all the raw land or has a plan for a plat of subdvision ready when a specific piece of land develops and requires the developer to use the plat design the muni wants.

    This could allow for comprehensive coordination of street networks and connectivity and perhaps minimize problems with individual developer egos and desires.

    I understand the potential problem certain developers and landowners would have with this type of system, but it seems like a true example of planning a specific place.

    But could the outcomes be good? Could a modified grid with multi-modal transport network occur or would we get more Brazilias or New Delhis?

    What are people's experiences or comments?
    Last edited by mendelman; 09 May 2007 at 9:47 AM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Example: a municipality has alot of annexed but unplatted raw land that will surely be developed in the near future. Instead of or in addition to establishing subdivision regulations and leaving to the whims of individual developers, the municipality either formally plats all the raw land or has a plan for a plat of subdvision ready when a specific piece of land develops and requires the developer to use the plat design the muni wants.
    How could the municipality plat someone else's property?

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    How could the municipality plat someone else's property?
    Perhaps not actually platting the property, but have a plat ready to be used when the property proposed developing. Is doesn't seem any different that telling a person the size and use of their property through a zoning code.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
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    My community actually has this in place. We have undeveloped land with in City boundaries with street platted out in grid format. Some of it actually connects to the existing grid network too! Some of it doesn't...but there may be work-arounds. Now, I'm not sure if the City will actually hold the developer to those street patterns. We have a PUD going in for a hospital run retirement community, and they didn't use the existing platted streets, though it is understandable since the development is not based on single family dwellings.
    You're more boring than you know.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    There is a rarely used "Official Map" statute here in NH that would allow for something similar:

    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...674/674-10.htm
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 11 May 2007 at 1:40 PM.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    We have a special process we use. We only process plans of sub that are within an approved block/tertiary plan. A block plan is a full concession block (1000 acres) and we make sure that all of the roads and services line up correctly and that suitable locations for public infrastrucuture are provided prior to the approval of any plans of sub.

    in my previous jurisiction, we always made sure that future streets were left so that adjacent property owners could gain access to services and the transportation network.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    No....

    Almost always show's up on the Transportation Master Plan Map of the jurisdiction that is interested in having a road on the property. I think this is the best place for roads that don't yet exist. In order to plat the property, the owner would need to sign the plat in most states I'm aware of.....and they will want $$cash to give that land up without something in return.... Such an action would prompt a takings claim....me thinks.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Wisconsin law allows "official mapping" of planned streets and parks. Once mapped we can force a developer to follow that pattern. Typically it is only used for arterials and major collector streets, and major park sites.

    I did work for one community that had detailed street patterns that essentially laid out the development pattern of even minor streets and cul-de-sacs. I think my predecessor had too much time on his hands.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I've done several subdivisions with stub outs to adjacent ground and concept drawings of the adjacent ground. It helps with stormwater management and utility design. None of the concepts have become a reality yet, but not that much time has passed since the first ground was developed.

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    Bottom line is that the spaghetti-bowl cul-de-sac neighborhood design is inefficient - both in terms of time and energy use - for both pedestrians and cars.

    Using rear garages and alleys in combination with traffic circles, narrow streets, on-street parking, and other calming (not humps) makes the grid pattern much less noisy and much more safe for kids than cul-de-sacs. Studies show that the #1 cause of injury and death of children due to car collision is by run-over while backing out of front garages, not speeding cut-through traffic.

    The only time the cul-de-sac design should be used is in extremely low-density development when there is significant topographic challenges, hillside or wash corridors/natural vegetation that needs to be designed around sensitively.

  11. #11
         
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    I have seen communities do an area plan using a public process and providing uses and streets connections for a larger vacant property but I have never seen them actually plat the property except when needed to build a street to address traffic congestion.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Perhaps not actually platting the property, but have a plat ready to be used when the property proposed developing. Is doesn't seem any different that telling a person the size and use of their property through a zoning code.
    I disagree, this seems to cross the line towards intruding on property rights. Now amending the subdivision regulations (strategically) may be an option.

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    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Is this not the purpose of the "Official Map" ??

    I have come across alot of munis that have paper streets, the only time they ever really came into play is when I received a plan to abandon the paper street

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    I've designed a few conceptual residential subdivision lotting plans for a client (about 100 acres). However, it is within the corporate limits; some of the parcels are owned by the municipality and some are privately owned. I am not sure what they are intending to do with these designs. They anticipate re-development in the near future. I guess the designs will be saved as part of design guidelines and as a graphic portion of a PUD agreement. However, I think it is more representative of what would like to be done rather than what is required to be done (hence, the paper streets).

    However, if the community bought up unimproved land from private owner(s) then it has ownership of the land and can do what it wants.

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    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    My old boss use to really gun for ROW acquisition (through cornfields) whenever somebody was doing a little land split out in the county, because he felt the area was where a road shoud go through someday, if it were developed. There was never any public input, it just seemed to be his arbitrary opinion. He was not a popular guy.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I disagree, this seems to cross the line towards intruding on property rights.
    Not really. The streets would only be built when the owner goes to develop the property. It does not affect his or her current property rights.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    Not really. The streets would only be built when the owner goes to develop the property. It does not affect his or her current property rights.
    If there are other options available to the developer under the current code I think that forcing them to accept the city's plat would amount to an intrusion on property rights.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    If there are other options available to the developer under the current code I think that forcing them to accept the city's plat would amount to an intrusion on property rights.
    You could allow them to propose and amendment to the street network as long as the same general connections are maintained. You could also allow for hardship appeals/amendments. This is what we recommend in our collector street plans.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    You could allow them to propose and amendment to the street network as long as the same general connections are maintained. You could also allow for hardship appeals/amendments. This is what we recommend in our collector street plans.
    Interesting approaches. I think you could only get away with such a policy through annexation, where the municipality would have a big stick and could dictate design through annexation policies/criteria (at least theoretically; we know that most local governments don't do this).

    When you are talking about incorporated land within city limits this becomes more problematic. There are usually precedents that have been set for other subdivisions and the applicant could claim that they are being deprived of equal protection due to the new subdivision regs.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    When you are talking about incorporated land within city limits this becomes more problematic.
    Cities in NC, including ours, do it all the time. You just need to have an adopted plan that is referenced in the subdivision ordinance.

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    Power of Eminent Domain

    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    How could the municipality plat someone else's property?
    I would say Cities and Counties as agents of the State should and are empowered by the State Planning Code to develop plans for land use within their jurisdiction by the Power of Eminent Domain, which is reserved in the U.S. Constitution to the State. That is the logical and legal basis for all land-use planning and it is intrinsically the Will of the People in order to assure orderly and systematic development. That is the only way the State Planning Code can be implemented.

    Once a good plan is worked out, there will never be the threat to privacy and security of citizens on the land they occupy. As things are the threat is constant and their dwelling place always uncertain and subject to the whim of developers.

    Waiting until the need for land development is so critical that it has to be "condemned" is, I think, mindless and certainly more expensive in the long-run.

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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    How could the municipality plat someone else's property?
    Zoning effectively does the same thing by drawing up a list of allowable uses with yard and bulk regulations. I feel that proactive platting by the community (actually what urban planning used to be from antiquity to the early 20th century), is the ONLY way to plan. Anything else is just reacting to development proposals.

  23. #23
    We have an offical map that developers must generally follow when platting land. While they can alter streets that are interal to their development and don't connect to adjacent lands, we require that the roads that connect to adjecant properties must dead end (with a temp. cul-de-sac) at the point where the official map shows. This ensures that one property onwner cannot cut off the development potential of another property owner.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steveh0607 View post
    Zoning effectively does the same thing by drawing up a list of allowable uses with yard and bulk regulations. I feel that proactive platting by the community (actually what urban planning used to be from antiquity to the early 20th century), is the ONLY way to plan. Anything else is just reacting to development proposals.
    Platting (as in recording an official plat map) requires the consent of the owner. Zoning does not. This is an important distinction.

    Quote Originally posted by bud View post
    I would say Cities and Counties as agents of the State should and are empowered by the State Planning Code to develop plans for land use within their jurisdiction by the Power of Eminent Domain, which is reserved in the U.S. Constitution to the State. That is the logical and legal basis for all land-use planning and it is intrinsically the Will of the People in order to assure orderly and systematic development. That is the only way the State Planning Code can be implemented.
    Aren't you aware of the fact that a number of states (including FL) struck down or severely weakened eminent domain enabling statutes as a backlash to the Kelo decision? Do you think E.D. represented the "will of the people" in New London or in other examples where it was abused? Does it represent the "will of the people" for any reason other than because some politicians say it does?

    off-topic: Jaws is probably crapping himself now
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 15 May 2007 at 4:09 PM. Reason: double reply

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    I've been wondering about this....

    because without a connective street network, its hard to get a lot of other good planning ideas accomplished. So from the preceding discussion, it sounds like the devloper has to agree to the platted street plan. What happens if they disagree? Is the idea to make disagreement very costly for them?

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