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Thread: Banning gated communities

  1. #1
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    Banning gated communities

    Is there any precedent for banning gated communities? Also I've heard alot about banning shopping centers in England, France etc. but any north american cities? Not including towns that ban all retail activity.

  2. #2
    maudit anglais
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    Not sure about gated communities, but I know that Guelph, Ontario "banned" big box/power centre developments (though the "rebuilt" Canadian Tire slipped through). Last I heard they are still fighting it out with Walmart. I think the case is before Ontario Municipal Board.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Why would you want to "ban" gated communities? Why limit the choice for people who desire this type of living?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    I think you would meet some fierce resistance from the public trying to ban these communities. There is a growing population who want to live in this type of community. I don't see the reasoning behind banning them. No roads for the community to maintain, no trash pickup, etc.

    Don't use the slowing emergency vehicles excuse either like so many people try. 50% of these communities have some sort of "guard" at the gate so the thing is already open when the trucks get there, and the other half, well they only take a few seconds to open. Not a big deal.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    OT ALERT

    Originally posted by Tranplanner
    Last I heard they are still fighting it out with Walmart. I think the case is before Ontario Municipal Board.
    Having recently dealt with, been run over by wal-mart I have been following the Guelph case as closely as I can.

    A recent September 12, 2002 talks about the OMB hearings and the amount of money that has been spent, so far. (millions)

    OT ALERT END

    Our Planning Act bans shopping centres, with an area in excess of 6000 square metres from areas without Land Use Planning without the permission of the Lt. Governor in Council(Cabinet).

    Development on private roads is typical here, as people refuse to pay to construct roads to a suitable standard to be considered public. As a planner, and a tax payer (don't get to say that often) I resent the private roads in our area, as most of them are maintained by the provincial government, but the houses are taxed lower then those on a public road. Don't even bother asking why(political expedience)

    Tranplanner, how does the City deal with the private road into teh old greenwood property that is south of Queen , by the parking garage?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  6. #6
    maudit anglais
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    Originally posted by donk

    Tranplanner, how does the City deal with the private road into teh old greenwood property that is south of Queen , by the parking garage?
    I must admit, I'm not familliar with that road. If it's accessing a public parking garage, we probably have a right-of-way or something over it to ensure public access.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    The public parking spaces are accessed from the private raod that in turn looks like it services a series of town houses. the only reason i know this is that i was lost in that neighbourhood and had to get turned around and that was the easiest spot. More of an example of private roads then anything.
    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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    gkmo62u- Gated communities are the result of individuals watching our scandal packed news programs and wanting to shut themselves off from the world. Unfortunately as gated communities proliferate the public sphere of the city shrinks. Even a shopping center lets the majority of people on to it's property, while gated communities are guarded turf that no longer is accessable to the city's residents. While the city may be happy that it gets taxes for selling off chunks of it's fabric, the citizens get more metal fenced off boundaries. If a resident feels so uncomfortable with a city that they want to be walled off from it , wouldn't it be better if they went to a different city, than to erect their barriers in stable communities. I've studied gated communities in Coney Island and in Newark. People who live in these communities do not walk out of these places, they come out of their guarded garage entrances. Unlike the buildings next to them where residents walk to neighborhood stores adding people on the street and increasing safety. All you get in the developments I've seen are high walls, making the neighborhood more dangerous, and traffic heading to those power centers. Imagine going to Paris as a tourist and finding a city of gated communities, would you ever go back?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I actually do not disagree at all with your characterization of these types of communities. However, I do not feel that any government has the right to "ban" this type of development.

    IMO it goes well beyond the "public purpose" doctrines.

    As I said, I just think that we should not be advocating removing choices for citizens. If there is a market for the gated community product, so be it.

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    Citizen' of towns have decided all kinds of things, i don't see it impinging on someone's rights to say to a developer if you want to build a gated community you can do it in the next community. There are places that have banned rental housing, multiple unit housing and all forms of retail. Why is it alright to be exclusionary, but not ban being exclusionary.

  11. #11
    A suburb of Dallas in Texas effectively banned gated communities by requiring that all streets be public. If someone put a gate up it would have to be a private street, which are not allowed.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    There are legitimate reasons for banning them and there are no studies that I'm aware of that can actually prove that gated communities are more safe in terms of incidents per 1000 population.

    Heck, our public safety officials get bent out of shape about individually-gated residences.

    Gated communties were tried in the Milwaukee 'burbs in the '80s. The only large scale one actually went belly-up before its completion. The development was finished by a handful of individual developers that respected the condo association's architectural requirements, but to this day the gate house is empty and the gates are always open. I think it scared the buh-jeezus out of developers from doing it again.

  13. #13
    http://recenter.tamu.edu/tgrande/vol6-3/1323.html

    The link is to a brief article I wrote several years ago about gated communities. It has some interesting stats on the # of gated communities.

  14. #14
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    We've got two gated communities, but they're in areas that are not connected to the town grid. Otherwise, gated communities are prohibited. A street pattern providing good interconnectivity with the rest of the town grid is required, and a gated commuity wouldn't comply.

    There's also a very poor African-American commuity on the far southwest corner of the old grid; it's about an eight block area. Beyond that is prime undeveloped real estate, most zoned residential. Proposing a gated community near there would, in the eyes of that neighborhood's residents, be the equivalent of donning a white robe and hood for the Planning and Zoning Board meeting.

    The "town next door" has plenty of gated communities, where streets inside the gates are public right-of-way. How they got away with it, I don't know.

    'Round here, gated communities are primarily a marketing technique. Crime is low, and few people fear intruders; it's just a status symbol.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Re: Banning gated communities

    Originally posted by green22
    Also I've heard alot about banning shopping centers in England, France etc. but any north american cities? Not including towns that ban all retail activity.
    In Europe, suburban retail development is called "out of town development." In England and France, US-style suburban development is becoming more commonplace. Remember ... the hypermarket was a French invention. I've seen images of French retail sprawl, and it makes most American strips look downright quaint in comparison.

    In Germany, it's still relatively rare, although it's more common in the old East Germany than the West.



    Quaint British sprawl



    More quaint British sprawl



    Bremen, Germany



    Berlin, Germany
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  16. #16

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    Our cities are becoming increasingly characterised by smaller isolated development referred to as security developments. Some larger gated communities even include smaller gated villages within them.

    As a consultant 80% of my residential development applications involve gated developments, with one 1000 unit development comprising six smaller "villages"

    Whether this is good for urban form is debatable, particularly when one consider that integration is one of the most important components of our MSDF.

    While new developments are accepted, the privatisation and gating of existing private roads has met with great power struggles between the various political parties fighting for power - with the current government arguing that gating communities is merely a perpetuation of apartheid policy.

    While I don't support gating from a planning perspective, banning it I also wouldn't support.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    If not make them illegal it certainly would be wise for a society as a whole to discourage them as much as possible. Certainly the use of the word "community" is a misnomer when describing such a place.

    Better would be to encourage more healthy development. For example those with better connectivity (bring back the grid) and an avoidance of single use development pods.

    This weekends Houston Chronicle had extensive coverage on the plague of obesity among our young and the formerly adult illnesses that they are coming down with due to lack of exercise.
    Gated communities are just another pathology of which one of their results is fat sick kids. Add to that their neurotic "soccer moms" who would be more aptly referred to as overworked suburban cabbies as they franticly cart around their protege. Children who are physically limited by such developments from transporting themselves, by bike or foot, to most of their activities.

    Ho Hum, in a perfect world...
    Cheers,
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    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    What if?

    Just for grins; what if the Reformed Holy _________ Church wanted to construct a gated community? They tell your staff and zoning board that restricting daily contact with non-believers is part of their official doctrine. All members of the church want to reside there. They believe that a gated community would allow them to practice their religion to its fullest. They will construct and maintain all infrastructure at their expense. Allowing for all necessary inspections. Could you then still prohibit it if it met all other parts of your development requirements? Do we have the right as planners to tell them no?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Re: What if?

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    Just for grins; what if the Reformed Holy _________ Church wanted to construct a gated community? They tell your staff and zoning board that restricting daily contact with non-believers is part of their official doctrine. All members of the church want to reside there. They believe that a gated community would allow them to practice their religion to its fullest. They will construct and maintain all infrastructure at their expense. Allowing for all necessary inspections. Could you then still prohibit it if it met all other parts of your development requirements? Do we have the right as planners to tell them no?
    I wouldnt consider that a "gated community". I would consider it a "compound".

  20. #20
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    You say compound like it is bad thing.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Originally posted by El Guapo
    You say compound like it is bad thing.
    Only becasue I mentally link the word to the Kennedy family.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Re: What if?

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    Just for grins; what if the Reformed Holy _________ Church wanted to construct a gated community?
    If it was allowed by the locals, me thinks the Feds might come in and burn their house down...
    Last edited by Runner; 08 Oct 2002 at 8:14 PM.
    Cheers,
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  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Hold the phone Runner. I can't let this get by.

    You can't just make a leap that says gated communities make fat kids.

    i have seen the cdc numbers and their measure of "obesity" is skewed. In fact I believe I am "obese" according to their numbers at 5'6 155 lbs.

    There is no sound non-agenda driven evidence to support claims that suburban development or sprawl or gated communities have a direct causal effect on obesity.

    Are our kids healthier? Maybe not. But there is no scientific evidence that says city kids are healtier than suburban kids or or rural kids or vice versa. If there is I would love to see it. (Now if there is you are probably going to find it and link it. fine)

    Their are a million and one reasons I imagine as to why...x box, mtv, mcdonalds, coke...

    Don't be so derisive about "soccer moms" some of us are married to them.

    What is wrong with giving your kids the opportunity to go to Dance class or soccer practice or cub scouts?

    What type of things do your kids participate in?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Originally posted by gkmo62u
    There is no sound non-agenda driven evidence to support claims that...
    Ditto global warming, right...

    Not sure if this link will work for you (if not check Sunday's Houston Chronicle):
    A Childhood Epidemic...

    Then go check the waist lines at your local school.

    Originally posted by gkmo62u
    What is wrong with giving your kids the opportunity to go to Dance class or soccer practice or cub scouts?
    Nothings wrong! We should encourage it, celebrate it, and send them on their way riding their bikes or walking. What's wrong is when we link these activities to momma taxi exclusively.

    No, its not gated communities specifically that cause these problems but they are a typology of single-use pod development which in general lead to these problems. Development patterns that prevent most if not all forms of transportation, other than the private automobile.

    Denying that there is a link to health (physical and mental) is just like the frog in the water slowly rising to a boil. Its a problem and is unhealthy . Denying the problem doesn't make it go away.
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
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  25. #25
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Originally posted by gkmo62u
    What type of things do your kids participate in?
    Well, lets see Maggie was into track, swiming, and wrestling. Unfortunatley she passed away of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) almost two years ago. Bandit is more into hiking/walking so is less active but we watch his diet and he stays trim.



    Jack is more into debating and does a little flying.

    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
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