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Thread: Desertscape overlay?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
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    Utah
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    137

    Desertscape overlay?

    I am wondering about an overlay zone designed to protect a scenic view, and maybe 'overlay zone' is the wrong term, or the wrong approach altogether. The problem is, the highway entering our town from one direction has views that are visually fragile in the extreme, being treeless-but-spectacular desert. Some land along this part of the highway is zoned rural residential (one acre lots) and some commercial (in the general plan, I think it's all earmarked for future commercial). We already have some sore thumbs, and numerous proposals (all residential) are in the air. Would it be possible to have specific design standards addressing, for example, building heights and roof colors, without rezoning, and have it apply to everything within a certain area along the highway? In the past, the town has approved subdivisions partly based on CC&Rs which included these minimal protections, but they were not followed. It is difficult to imagine anything looking good in this strip- even the thought of trees seems ridiculous. I can't see walls helping much (this has been suggested for one subdivision which is apparently already a done deal) and berms with native plants seems more acceptable but more difficult and space-consuming. I would think that clustering could help the situation... any thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2

    Registered
    May 1997
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    Williston, VT
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    There is no problem in principal, or legally, with an overlay zoning district that adds design standards on top of the existing zoning. Development of appropriate design guidelines would be a great summer project for a student from the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning program at Utah State.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian thinknik's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2004
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    the yellow brick road
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    Does Utah have a state chapter of ScenicAmerica? Perhaps they know of some communities that have done this before.

    Also, the National Park Services has a section on preserving Cultural Landscapes check it out:http://www.cr.nps.gov/landscapes.htm

    You can do an overlay that protects the corridor.
    Here 's an example.
    http://www.ci.st-augustine.fl.us/pre...orstandrd.html
    If you want a copy of the overlay -- PM me and I'll get one in the mail to you.
    Last edited by thinknik; 19 Aug 2004 at 8:47 AM.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
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    Utah
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    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    Development of appropriate design guidelines would be a great summer project for a student from the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning program at Utah State.
    That is such a great idea. I have been saving contact info for them somewhere in case our PC became inclined to ask for some help on more general planning, but this seems like it would be perfect. I'll feel out the commission on it.

    Does Utah have a state chapter of ScenicAmerica?
    I still don't know the answer to that question, but did I ever find great stuff on their site! Am checking out the park service one, as well. I will PM you, thinknik.

    Thank you both.

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