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Thread: High density residential/industrial mixed-use

  1. #1
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    High density residential/industrial mixed-use

    One of the major factors behind modern planning and zoning was the desire to separate residential and industrial land uses.

    However, now that the country is experiencing a decrease in heavy industrial and an increase in industrial development that is often focused on high-tech, R&D, information technology, and light industrial, I wonder how we may begin to mix higher-density residential and industrial land uses.

    By higher-denisty residential, I'm thinking of multi-story apartment buildings as well as some 1-2 story townhouse style buildings. No single-family.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this mix? Do you know of any land use designations/zoning districts that incorporate these? What would be some of the challenges and opportunities?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    There have been talks of this type of thing in Oakland, CA:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...9/ai_n18719165

    The proposal has died down over the last year, but I always thought that it was intriguing.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  3. #3
    I live in a mixed office / light industrial area with a lot of residential. I think it has to be very carefully done and needs a lot of special code/design issues addressed. There have to be clearly no hazardous chemicals involved, there are issues with truck noise and deliveries, diesel use. etc.

    But I love my neighborhood.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Interesting article, CJC - thanks for the link.

    I agree that this concept is intriguing. The trick is to sustain the balance of uses so that the neighborhood doesn't become all residential, or residential + retail.

    I've seen a couple of mixed-use campuses and research parks that combine R&D, light industrial, and facilities for higher education with some housing. In these cases the housing is more of a secondary use, an amenity for the people who are working or studying there.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The Steelyards in Boulder is an example. Most of the "industrial" tends to be small distribution operations, offices, contractors, etc. It really is not so much industrial as it is service/commercial. When you think about it, the same thing exists in countless locations across the country, where a contractor has a garage on their lot, an artist has a kiln in the back yard or a loom in the basement, or a woodworker has a shop in the back yard.

    There are pictures of The Steelyards in my folder in the gallery.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    The Steelyards in Boulder is an example. Most of the "industrial" tends to be small distribution operations, offices, contractors, etc. It really is not so much industrial as it is service/commercial. When you think about it, the same thing exists in countless locations across the country, where a contractor has a garage on their lot, an artist has a kiln in the back yard or a loom in the basement, or a woodworker has a shop in the back yard.

    There are pictures of The Steelyards in my folder in the gallery.
    The Steelyards look pretty good. I think the difference between what I was thinking of in regards to the original post and what you described above (contractor with a garage, artist with a kiln, etc) is that the residential and industrial areas would likely not be owned/operated by the same person. This raises a lot more potential concerns in a high density environment, since homeowners or renters may not fully understand the noises, smells, deliveries, etc that would be present with normal light industrial, where you can assume that the owner/operator in a lower density area would (and the distance to other neighbors is a little greater).
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Just as long as it is not a stamping plant, a distribution point, or a butcher. I'm all for it.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    This is one area where I think architecture and planning intersect in a big way. At least construction materials. If everything is built of masonary, impacts from noise are much reduced. Typical stud construction for residential does not block sound much at all. The often used steel building for industrial uses block sound even less.
    I noticed when walking around Szeged Hungary that rather heavy industry was woven right into the midst of the city. There is a hemp cordage factory that takes up the better part of a city block only a block or so from the main market square. I was surprized to see through the gates a truck unloading the hemp (which by the way is a common "weed" there.

    The trick is that there is a brick wall around the compound except for the buildings which are brick as well and abut the sidewalk. The same with a furnature factory.

    I also remember somewhere in PA, maybe Pottstown or Redding seeing Brick row houses right across a city streat from a large railroad shopcomplex. again, the structures were heavy masonary and the industrial buildings formed a wall between the residences on one side of the street and the large open doors and the outside industrial area.

  9. #9
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    Minneapolis has an Industrial Living Overlay that allows medium-density residential as CUs under some conditions:
    551.370. Conditional uses. In addition to the conditional uses allowed in the primary zoning district, the following conditional uses may be allowed in the IL Overlay District, subject to the provisions of Chapter 525, Administration and Enforcement.
    (1) Dwelling units and supportive housing, subject to the following conditions:
    a. Supportive housing shall be subject to the requirements of Chapter 536, Specific Development Standards.
    b. Alterations made to the exterior of an existing building shall maintain the architectural integrity and character of the building and surrounding area.
    c. The maximum height of single and two-family dwellings and cluster developments shall be two and one-half stories (2.5) or thirty-five (35) feet, whichever is less.
    d. No vibration, excessive dust, noise, light, glare, smoke, odor, truck traffic or other substance or condition, shall be generated by uses in the building that will have an adverse impact on the residential use of the building.

    That said, I'm not sure how well it has worked. I'm currently developing just such a district for a client city with several older formerly industrial corridors now ready for redevelopment for cool new "creative class" type uses, and would love to hear some suggestions from this forum!

  10. #10
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    Industrial / Commercial Mixed-Use Development

    I am working on a 2,600 acre mixed-use development that will incorporate regional recreational areas, commercial areas, light and heavy industrial. We plan to incorporate residential areas via pedestrian, bike and multi-use paths as well as traditional road connectors. There will be a lot of natural buffering by using naturally occuring wetlands and heavily wooded areas with some berms where necessary. No smokestacks, no outlet pipes, no vibration or loud noise in areas where heavier industry is adjacent to non-industrial areas. Trucks and employee traffic will be tricky.

    I invite comments. See our preliminary plan at http://www.effinghamindustry.com . The project is the Research Forest Tracts. We want to do something that is revolutionary, smart, well planned, safe and environmentally friendly. We believe that if you put enough thought into something really nice, it will be appreciated, respected and successful.

  11. #11
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    Looking for litterature on industry-led mixed-use development

    Hi All,

    I'm just researching on the topic but hardly find interesting literrature on that.

    The link mentionned by CJC above doesn't seem to work anymore.

    Any update would be greatly appreciated.

    Vincent

  12. #12
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    Mixing Residential into land areas reserved for Airport uses

    I realize this thread was active three years ago, but in my mind, it's still a stimulating issue for lively conversation.

    I am starting a similar project, but its challenging because the land in question is generally reserved for the following:
    "The primary development objective in this area is to encourage a wide range of industrial and related uses, including services related to the Airport and other business and service/employment opportunities compatible with existing and future airport operations and related uses in the area. The addition of airport-related service uses and activities as allowed uses serves and strengthens the International Airport as the primary air transportation hub within the region."

    Additionally, zoning prohibits the following uses:
    • Household Living;
    • Group Living;
    • Self Service Storage;
    • Commercial Outdoor Recreation;
    • Community Service;
    • Schools;
    • Medical Centers;
    • Religious Institutions;
    • Vehicle Repair; and
    • Detention Facilities.
    There was significant development in the area roughly 15 years ago, but nothing has happened since. Frankly, the land is not in a great location for industrial uses, and apparently, the local port authority has no immediate plans for the site. So, my thoughts are is there a way to combine residential and commercial mixed uses with industrial/airport supporting uses? Bringing mixed use to the site may stimulate development on what will likely remain barren land for the foreseeable future. Does anyone have thoughts on this matter?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CMacFergus View post
    I realize this thread was active three years ago, but in my mind, it's still a stimulating issue for lively conversation.

    I am starting a similar project, but its challenging because the land in question is generally reserved for the following:
    "The primary development objective in this area is to encourage a wide range of industrial and related uses, including services related to the Airport and other business and service/employment opportunities compatible with existing and future airport operations and related uses in the area. The addition of airport-related service uses and activities as allowed uses serves and strengthens the International Airport as the primary air transportation hub within the region."

    Additionally, zoning prohibits the following uses:
    • Household Living;
    • Group Living;
    • Self Service Storage;
    • Commercial Outdoor Recreation;
    • Community Service;
    • Schools;
    • Medical Centers;
    • Religious Institutions;
    • Vehicle Repair; and
    • Detention Facilities.
    There was significant development in the area roughly 15 years ago, but nothing has happened since. Frankly, the land is not in a great location for industrial uses, and apparently, the local port authority has no immediate plans for the site. So, my thoughts are is there a way to combine residential and commercial mixed uses with industrial/airport supporting uses? Bringing mixed use to the site may stimulate development on what will likely remain barren land for the foreseeable future. Does anyone have thoughts on this matter?
    I don’t know the particulars of your airport siting, but there may be reasons for these restrictions. The FAA has specific criteria for land uses that are compatible with airport operations and failure to honor those can result in the pulling of funding for what are called “federally obligated airports.”

    There is more information in this document.

    But again, not knowing the particulars of your situation, I can’t really express my opinion on why the zoning regulations are the way they are.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    The IMS-X zone adjacent to downtown Boulder CO permits both residential above retail and industrial above retail as-of-right.. I'm unclear whether or not you can all three uses in one building though.. or otherwise combine residential and industrial. They have at least one completed project done under this designation.

    The IC 1/2 zone in Burrard Slopes (fronting False Creek and Granville Island) in Vancouver is a very successful loft/light-industrial/retail mixed-use zone, and I believe as-of-right for residential too... I believe has been at least a half dozen vertically mixed-use projects.

    The M-SI zone in San Diego permits mixed-use industrial-residential by discretionary review, provided that an industrial use package has been agreed for that area... basically a plan to ensure that industrial uses are not displaced or priced out by other forms of development. Several successful projects have been built under this designation but more horizontal parcel-based use-mixing rather than vertical, although there are vertically mixed-use projects on the books.

    Cambridge, MA has several PDO-like zones that have mixed industrial-residential zoning by discretionary review.. most notabaly the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District, including the very successful University Park devlelopment. Use-mixing is horizontal, not vertical though.

    The SOMA district of San Francisco has an incipient SLR (service, light-industrial, residential) designation near SOMA, permitting residential by discretionary review. There are several projects on the books that are looking promising for it - most notably the Chronicle Building conversion. I don't think you can do vertical-mixing with residential and industrial though, but I may be wrong.

    Glendale CA has an IMU zoning designation for a series of parcels adjacent to the LA river, but it hasn't been that successful in getting people to build mixed-use product there. Not sure what it does or limits.

    Los Angeles was considering an Industrial Mixed-Use designation that would permit residential development for its Fashion District and Arroyo Seco neighborhoods.. I don't know whether they actually enacted it or whether that proposal fell by the wayside when the redevelopment agency was shut down.

    NYC is now considering what they're calling "Hybrid Zoning Plans" http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/2012...id-zoning-plan. NYC also has an existing MX designation for industrial/residential mixed-use in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, but I don't think it's been that successful.

    I believe Pittsburgh may have such a zone too...
    Last edited by Cismontane; 17 Dec 2012 at 6:37 PM.

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