Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Getting rid of undesirable land uses

  1. #1
          Downtown's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Under a pile of back issue Plannings
    Posts
    3,174

    Getting rid of undesirable land uses

    I'm in need of some help from the throbbing brain...

    A section of one of our main commercial corridors has fallen onto hard times. There is a concentration of motels that have become housing for 99% of the town's registered sex offenders, and the main locus of prostitution and other criminal activity.

    We're doing a complete overhaul of our town's zoning and development standards. The current plan is to rezone from a suburban style business zone to a new-urban "Commercial Office Residential" district with accompanying stricter regs on design and architecture.

    But what more can we do to be pro-active about cleaning this strip up?

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,207
    Increased code enforcement for voilations and leeve the steepest fines possible. And get the police department involved with the criminal activity mitigation.

    Or a more soft handed approach would be to work with the property owners to see whether they are willing to sell for redevelopment or whether you have grant/loan money available for them to update their facilities.

    Or you could drop the hammer and call the area "blighted" condemn it, and retain it until the code changes are made and then RFP it for development.
    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!

  3. #3
          Downtown's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Under a pile of back issue Plannings
    Posts
    3,174
    I think redevelopment might be our best bet....

    We're having a meeting after the holidays with the Police Chief, Building Dep't Director, and 2 Town Board members, and Planning Staff to talk about what issues need to be addressed.

    Even though we're doing a rezoning of the area, maybe doing a redevelopment plan for this area might be the way to go.

    Would the town then shop this location for a developer to come in and do the kind of development that we're looking for, providing the property owners are willing to sell?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Planner Hottie's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    under a pile of unmailed thank you cards
    Posts
    110
    Our zoning ordinance specifies "hourly rate motels" and does not allow them in our lighter commercial districts.

    (Off-topic)
    I had questioned this approach - isn't that regulating the operation of the business, not the use, and therefore outside the purview of zoning?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Increased code enforcement for voilations and leeve the steepest fines possible. And get the police department involved with the criminal activity mitigation.

    Or a more soft handed approach would be to work with the property owners to see whether they are willing to sell for redevelopment or whether you have grant/loan money available for them to update their facilities.
    Isn't it always do B, then A? First have the economic developer come and they all sit around the table like buisnessmen and he makes them an "offer," a "proposition" if you will. And then if they aren't receptive he could "mention" that there have been some "disturbing reports" about building violations, and it would be a shame if they were to get inspected because you know the buildings department is getting very strict about those things these days.

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,207
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Isn't it always do B, then A? First have the economic developer come and they all sit around the table like buisnessmen and he makes them an "offer," a "proposition" if you will. And then if they aren't receptive he could "mention" that there have been some "disturbing reports" about building violations, and it would be a shame if they were to get inspected because you know the buildings department is getting very strict about those things these days.
    Ideally, that would the best timing. That way, if the property owner is unwilling, it makes the muni. look better, because [lawyerese]at least they weren't being confrontational[/lawyerese].
    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!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Upper left edge
    Posts
    3,825
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    First have the economic developer come and they all sit around the table like buisnessmen and he makes them an "offer," a "proposition" if you will.
    That would be Vinnie "The Developer" Scarducci?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,934
    My experience with this type of situation has been that you will find some property owners who are interested in making positive changes, and then others who have no interest in doing anything. I think you might begin by documenting the problems and making the community aware of them. This should help to build public support for some kind of action. That action is first a redevelopment plan, which should meet all of the statutory requiremetns to set you up for financing options like TIF, or to pursue eminent domain. In other words, you will want to have a finding of blight clearly stated in the plan.

    I generally recommend strategic assembly and city-initiated redevelopment, accompanied by cooperation with existing property owners to redevelop their properties. There is less work involved in assembling fewer properties, it is more politically palatable, you will see more variation (diversity) in what is built, and you won't have the problem of one owner holding most of the space.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 4
    Last post: 05 Apr 2011, 7:28 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last post: 02 Dec 2008, 10:29 AM
  3. Land use mix
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 12
    Last post: 13 Feb 2006, 2:30 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last post: 18 Aug 2003, 7:53 AM
  5. I'm geographically undesirable
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 25
    Last post: 07 Sep 2001, 1:42 PM