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Thread: defining priorities within a major redevelopment plan.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    West Valley, AZ
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    defining priorities within a major redevelopment plan.

    I need to pick The Throbbing BrainTM.

    We had a consultant generate a plan for the redevelopment of 1/3 of the community. Mostly, pre-1920 construction, old urban form. Now, we have this plan and a commission assigned to put the pieces together to develop form-based new urbansim based codes and design guidelines. This overhaul is signifcant in that we are abandoning our euclidian zoning on the old portion of town and identifying design specs for roads, sidewalks, and private sites. The commission is interested in showing an immediate progress and is torn between tackling the entire study area at once or choosing those districts that have the most momentum. One school of that wants a comprehensive and seemless set of design rules, developed all at once for the entire area, one school wants to tailor the design code for each district and work on the districts piece by piece eventually tying the whole study area together.

    I'm having trouble convincing the commission that before they issue an RFP to get guidelines made, they need to understand what they need. They need to understand what specific solutions they are looking for each district. Right now the commission believes, "Staff is incapable of delivering these guidelines. We need a high-profile consultant to do the work. We already know what we want... good design guidelines."

    I keep thinking the commission should be educating themselves on what each districts unique built design is... I even encouraged the commission to perform a survey, develop built-as guidelines and have architecture students develop sites based upon the built-as guidelines. It was ignored. I just need help to get them to understand their request better and be able to critically select the proper consultant.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    South Milwaukee
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    I'm confused - Is this commission torn, or is staff torn, on the approach? What public dialogue have they had on it so far?

    My feeling is that incrementalism always yields a better product. Bit off the smaller peices or the areas that have mementum, and tie it all together in the end.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    I'm confused - Is this commission torn, or is staff torn, on the approach? What public dialogue have they had on it so far?

    My feeling is that incrementalism always yields a better product. Bit off the smaller peices or the areas that have mementum, and tie it all together in the end.
    I guess for me it's two-fold. The commission is undecided, staff is unable to respond to demands for both comprehensive and small bites, and staff has been unable to coerce the commission to move in one direction or the other.

    This is a public commission, public meetings, well reported on by the local media. There is a lot of community intrest in seeing this succeed.

    I am personally frustrated because I believe there needs to a be a community self-assessment before we prepare an RFP. I don't believe the commission knows the details of what they want. I think that if they did the self assessment, they'd understand which approach (comprehensive or small bites) would be the one to take.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    Where 8 Mile hits Lake M1
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    I guess for me it's two-fold. The commission is undecided, staff is unable to respond to demands for both comprehensive and small bites, and staff has been unable to coerce the commission to move in one direction or the other.

    This is a public commission, public meetings, well reported on by the local media. There is a lot of community intrest in seeing this succeed.

    I am personally frustrated because I believe there needs to a be a community self-assessment before we prepare an RFP. I don't believe the commission knows the details of what they want. I think that if they did the self assessment, they'd understand which approach (comprehensive or small bites) would be the one to take.
    Write the RFP and make the successful firm facilitate an assessment process before they start in on the design guidelines. Any good RFP will have milestones for completion, make those milestones fit the process (in small bites) which you think might work. The final objective and deliverable is a complete set of design guidelines. Give yourself a number of outs, certain points in the process when the commission may review the work achievements and may cancel the remaining work if it is not proceeding as hoped. He who writes the RFP controls the process, take advantage of it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Bingo. Munibulldog has hit the nail right on the head.

  6. #6
    Member JasonLB's avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    Reston, VA
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    I would make a visual survey a definite piece of the puzzle. You can help guide or control the visual process while involving the community and the commission.

  7. #7

    Registered
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    Williston, VT
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    You are probably correct in thinking that you need "internal" discussion before you start spending $$ on consultants, or at least on the project consultants. Depending on the skill sets you have on staff, you may need a facilitator. Consultants can't give you a vision for a project, they can only show you how to implement the vision you give them.

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