Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Design standards of selected areas of a city

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Heartland of America
    Posts
    248

    Design standards of selected areas of a city

    Our Comp Plan draft was done by one of our universities. One of the things they recommended for our small central business district was design standards. They only spoke about it in vague terms.

    My question is, would that be hard for a town that is still part farm town? Too much to swallow? Also, are these sorts of things hard to enforce?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2007
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    32
    Where are you at? I'd say yes for Central Iowa, but no for Eastern Iowa, based on my perception of city character and attitudes in the regions.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    608
    I do not think it is too much to swallow.... Design standards do not have to be mandatory, they can be incentive based. But the biggest incentive may be that over time the following may be accomplished:

    A sense of the towns history (this can be part of the standard), which can lead to community pride, that can produce a sense of place, that attracts economic development in the form of attracting residents and the businesses that support those residents needs.

    It is a shame that they only vaguely threw the idea in the recommendations. There is so much about revitalization, and downtown building that can be ignited with the right design standards that fit your community. My advice (as always take with caution) is to look to the town’s history and any historic assets still standing to build your design standards. There is much good literature on this and I will get some titles for you, and others may have some recommendations.

    The alternative is strip-shopping hell with a side of glass office buildings.
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2007
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    32
    I should clarify my previous post - I meant that Central Iowa would be more likely to go for enforcing design standards in their CBD than Eastern Iowa. I think this for two reasons:

    The Des Moines region is economically on the up and up, whereas places like Davenport might be considered relatively stagnant, and more likely to entertain the perception that they can't afford to drive away development of any kind. Additionally, the vibe in downtown Iowa City is decidedly more eclectic and less conducive to enforcing design standards than a downtown like Ames.

    Since you said in a different thread that you were on the outskirts of a growing economic area, I'm inclined to think that might be good motivation for your citizens to accept a plan that preserves their community identity.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,953
    It is still uncommon in your area to have site design requirements, much less design standards. Things are starting to change, though. I'm doing work for a community not far from you, and larger, that is moving in that direction. Design standards do not have to be onerous. Many people will agree on some level of improvement. The important thing is not to push for too much at once.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Heartland of America
    Posts
    248
    I think it is only realistic in our small central business district, which is just a few blocks long at this time. I am not really that happy with the Comp Plan process. I came in just as they were presenting their draft. The University did do zoning map changes, but I thought were a little weak in some areas. For a lot of towns it comes down to cost on these plans. So, I am playing with the hand we have been dealt.

    There is a desire to bring in more retail services. We have a larger neighbor with box stores, etc. Perhaps something like this to make it a little different area might be positive. Our council has some long time residents, many going back years, this would be a departure for them, so we will see how far it goes.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Big box design standards
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 22 Feb 2010, 4:29 PM
  2. Pioneer design standards
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 17 May 2009, 1:45 PM
  3. Parking standards in heritage areas
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 07 Feb 2006, 10:07 PM
  4. Cul-de-sac design standards
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 12 Jul 2000, 7:44 PM
  5. Community design standards
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 12 Dec 1997, 2:40 AM