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Thread: architectural standards

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    architectural standards

    Does any one have examples of strict development and architectural standards for suburb communities (around 45,000) to promote smart growth and pedestrian friendly design? I was thinking about how limited we are in development and placement regulations. One thing I have also noticed, some communities require the front door to be closer to the street than the garage door, or even side facing garages… does anyone have any of these?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Narrow lots, mixed neighborhood oriented uses, and small setbacks are my keys to encouraging effective pedestrian travel.

    we don't have any officially adopted, but one day....
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

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    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Look for for and dimensional requirements, not necessarily architectural.

    Diverse architecture is the stuff new urbanism/smart growth/traditional neighborhood design (blah, blah, blah, etc) is made of.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    We do have dimensional regulations as per residential districts, but it does not dictate all that much when it comes to appearance. I have seen several communities that prohibit the garage door from facing the street, as well as places that require particular architectural materials. We currently do not have any mixed use zones, but we do have a few cases where I would wonder if it is spot zoning…
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Michael - Many of the regulations are centered around the garage door. Often, it can't face the street, or can't make up more than a certain percentage of the front facade, or must be set back from the mass of the house, etc. I think you will find that covenants deal more often with the issue than do zoning and subdivision codes. One of the questions I have to ask, though, is to what extent modern residential designs are making it difficult to create good neighborhoods. Bland architecture and cheap materials certainly don't provide much of an excuse to stroll. To me anyway, the same is true of most of the "high-end" houses, with their brick veneer and tacked-on details. Boiker's first suggestion, narrow lots, might address much of this problem.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    I know that both Fort Collins and Brighton, Colorado have specific design standards for subdivision development, and both can be found on the respective city websites. Like most people are saying, there is specific language in there dealing with the garage door (only 1 in 4 can have the garage sticking out from the front of the house,etc...) . Additionally, it seems that a lot of people incorporating design standards give a "menu" approach- you've got maybe nine choices for different attributes to the design, but no two houses in a row can share the same ones (or some such variation).

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I was thinking about how limited we are in development and placement regulations.
    All I can say is welcome to southwest Michigan. Around here 'zone' is a four letter word, a necessary evil to be tolerated in the smallest doses possible (much like taxes). This is a very conservative area and property rights are the order of the day (a view supported by the local courts as well). Until there's some kind of mass paradigm shift, you aren't going to find many politicians willing to support adoption of MORE development and placement regulations. Those who do so run the risk of being labelled 'not in touch with their constituency' and shown the way out. Don't worry, in about 20 years time we may be willing to consider ideas that east coast communities are already implementing today.....
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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