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Thread: Phrases that lead to bad planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Phrases that lead to bad planning

    Public input can be great. The trouble is that the general public are not planners. They only think they are. How many times have you heard somebody make a comment that sounds good to them, but makes you cringe. A favorite of mine is "We want to be just like fill-in-the-blankville". Yes, the nearby city has a successful downtown. But they also have a larger population or distinctive architecture or a better location or whatever else that has set them up to have that successful downtown. Those circumstances can seldom be replicated. Planning needs to be based on a place's own unique characteristics. Simply trying to emulate another community is a recipe for failure.

    So what are the top ten often-heard planning phrases that create a roadmap to failure?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    "I will hurt our property values!"

    Also:

    "We came out here for the peace and quiet of the country!"

    Mike

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    "We were never told that the field across the street would be developed".
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    "Big signs mean big business!"

    "We've got to be more developer|business friendly!"

    Buffalo-style denial; "We're more authentic than other places!", "Yes, we might have that problem, but so does [city X]."

    "There isn't enough parking. We'll attract more people if we make it easier for them to park."
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    "Big signs mean big business!"

    "We've got to be more developer|business friendly!"
    Yes, Mr. Councilman, removing all parts of the sign ordinance would attract a Google data farm or Big Engineering Co. XYZ. Our lack of skilled workers and increasing brain drain have nothing to with lack of high-paying jobs. They don't come here because our sign regulations are too tough!

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Honestly, the phrase "smart growth." I have never seen a phrase so meaningless in a plan. Every definition is different. Every side of the spectrum interprets it differently.

    I'll echo Cardinal's comment about comparing themselves to nearby cities. I want to grab the people and shake them, screaming at the top of my voice that they are not City X and that they are unique. In Texas, it is a problem with cities that have "grown-up" from being small towns and are yearning to return to the quaint little downtown full of tourist-crap wannabe antique/junk stores.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    We haven't done that around here before and we aren't ready to take that step.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    We haven't done that around here before and we aren't ready to take that step.
    We tried that before and it did not work...(17 years ago we tried it).

  9. #9
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    "Because that's the way we've always done it."
    I think that one of the great signs of security is the ability to just walk away.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    We tried that before and it did not work...(17 years ago we tried it).
    Oh yeah...

    Community I am working in had a great high-quality restaurant downtown. The owner retired after nearly 20 years. Well, that showed that a high-end restaurant won't work in that town.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Here are some of my favs...

    Design Review Board member says to architect (while possibly making a wavy hand gesture): "The building needs more articulation." In other words, I have no idea why I don't like your project but I don't and you should spend more money and time trying to figure out what's on my mind.

    "Hideous ridiculousness" as in, I REALLY don't like your project.

    "Ordinance Buster" as in, your variance request will destroy the Zoning Ordinance!

  12. #12
    "That street will look like a canyon if you build more than two stories high."

  13. #13
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    "All of these regulations are crippling and will run us broke...You (pointing to the dias) should be spending your time figuring out how to clean up all the trash in this community and make it a better place to do business..."

  14. #14
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Apartments, condominiums and town homes will bring in a negative element and ruin the quality of life here.

    Small lot single family homes will lead to rentals. That will destroy this area.

    Town homes will bring in crime and traffic problems. I thought that property was supposed to be a grocery store. I don't agree with this change.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Umm....

    We can't afford to NOT approve it

    Let me tell you how this is going to go...

    We will take care of any issues that come up....

    There is no need for (insert requirement here)
    Skilled Adoxographer

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    sustainable used and abused

    minutes from (fill in the blank) anything more than 59 minutes is an hour, and if it's less than that, you probbaly were pulled over for speeding at least twice

    good schools like I care, lol.

    artist lofts I do oil painting as a hobby in my well-manicured Pulte-esque apartment fortress surrounded by a forboding moat of asphalt . Maybe an exposed load bearing brick wall, granite countertops, hardwood floors, and Viking stainless steel appliances with no private parking will help me paint better, I don't know. I lump it in the same category as upscale furntiture stores promoting the "art of conversation."

    lifestyle center call it what it is: local outlet malls for grey-haired, Chicos wearing, yoga obsessed, retired homemakers.

    young professionals: please, I have plenty of non work-related hobbies and socializing that I enjoy doing with people I DON'T work with.

    fusion restaurants over-priced waterholes run by chefs who don't really know traditional forms of cooking. Since when did Japanese and Mexican go together?

    I AM intrigued by exclusive clubs/dive bars known just by their number: Club 524, The 723. True, it probably is just the street address, but maybe there is a hidden meaning, like the percentage markup on pricey drinks, the number of public health violations from sqeezing so many people onto a smoky dance floor, how many seconds it takes to shack up in the DJ booth, the yearly salary of its wait staff, etc.
    Last edited by nrschmid; 15 Jun 2010 at 5:18 PM.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    ...A favorite of mine is "We want to be just like fill-in-the-blankville"...
    I hear the opposite a lot - any little approval or regulation change would make this wonderful town like [garish sprawlville next door].

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Will someone please think of the children????

    Approving this will lead to THOSE people moving to town.
    JOE ILIFF
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Debt is normal . . . Be weird!
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    "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I AM intrigued by exclusive clubs/dive bars known just by their number: Club 524, The 723.
    Now I want to open a hipster bar and call it "the 700 club."
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Articulation

    Quote Originally posted by Kevin Colin View post
    Here are some of my favs...

    Design Review Board member says to architect (while possibly making a wavy hand gesture): "The building needs more articulation." In other words, I have no idea why I don't like your project but I don't and you should spend more money and time trying to figure out what's on my mind.

    "Hideous ridiculousness" as in, I REALLY don't like your project.

    "Ordinance Buster" as in, your variance request will destroy the Zoning Ordinance!
    We used the full magilla as in, "We need more articulation of the fenestration."
    I started working this phrase in as much as possible along with the word "bifurcation".

    My other favourite would be, from an applicant, something along the lines of, "But the XX franchise won't let us do anything other than this." Usually in reference to sign and/or building architecture.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I can believe no one has said.....

    'If you people would use just a little common sense."
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  22. #22
    New Urbanism.

    Suburban planners have been brainwashed into thinking that new urbanism is the answer to all of their "lack of community character" problems. Planners have pushed for 2-story buildings with 1st floor retail and 2nd floor residential or office in places where this stuff simply doesn't belong. The reason for 2-story in the City is because real estate is scarce. Not so in many suburbs.

    This has resulted in many developments with huge vacancy rates for 2nd story space or developers that just say screw it and decide to develop elsewhere.

    You can still incorporate great design principles and establish community character without making people build stuff there isn't a market for.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  23. #23
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    too complicated

    we need to simplify our ordinance

    can't be enforced

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