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Thread: Do you practice what you plan?

  1. #26
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bentobox34 View post
    It is ironic that planner's salaries are not sufficient to afford housing in the types of communities that many planners advocate for (particularly the historical examples that serve as inspiration).

    Many of us got into this profession because we wanted to see a change in our community - so it makes perfect sense if we are not already living what we are planning for.
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    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bentobox34 View post
    It is ironic that planner's salaries are not sufficient to afford housing in the types of communities that many planners advocate for (particularly the historical examples that serve as inspiration).

    Many of us got into this profession because we wanted to see a change in our community - so it makes perfect sense if we are not already living what we are planning for.
    Going back to my original post, a couple of weeks ago, when I asked another planner about how this particular planner was concerned about losing alley loaded homes to front loaded but then just bought a snout-house, I received a similar response, basically: "About all an entry-level planner can afford is a snout-house. We can't afford the type of house we advocate for."

    I see this point of view. But then I ponder how it implies that our regulations regarding aesthetics are then driving up the cost of a home, verses allowing the market to decide whether it wants to build a snout-house or not. If snout-houses are more affordable, is it a worthy trade-off to the perceived aesthetic concerns? Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with regulations that build a safer home (i.e., improved building codes) but are there requirements (like banning snout-houses) that ironically, indirectly make it more difficult for a planner to live in the town they work?

  3. #28
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by UrbaneSprawler View post
    Going back to my original post, a couple of weeks ago, when I asked another planner about how this particular planner was concerned about losing alley loaded homes to front loaded but then just bought a snout-house, I received a similar response, basically: "About all an entry-level planner can afford is a snout-house. We can't afford the type of house we advocate for."

    I see this point of view. But then I ponder how it implies that our regulations regarding aesthetics are then driving up the cost of a home, verses allowing the market to decide whether it wants to build a snout-house or not. If snout-houses are more affordable, is it a worthy trade-off to the perceived aesthetic concerns? Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with regulations that build a safer home (i.e., improved building codes) but are there requirements (like banning snout-houses) that ironically, indirectly make it more difficult for a planner to live in the town they work?
    I don't know for sure and surely someone like Cardinal et al will come along and correct me, but I suspect that regs for aesthetics are a small fraction of the total cost of a parcel and construction and paper and carrying costs. Surely streamlining plan review while ensuring compliance is a bigger savings.

    Here on the Front Range, builders have been slowly chipping away at one town's codes for requiring a %age of brick-stone on the envelope. This saves a few $ for the builders up front, but greatly increases maintenance costs for the owner. Which often leads to deferred maintenance and then overall reduced property values. Meaning: whose costs? A few $ up front can be carried on the mortgage and amortized over time. Much better IMHO to have a quality product up front. Builders always adjust.

    .02
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    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  4. #29
    Working in housing\community development, I try to encourage mixed-income developments for a number of reasons. I also try to encourage "green" developments, such as developing near transit, where possible. Of course the best I can do is encourage, not require. I take the bus to work every day (something I'm proud about considering that my metro is very auto oriented). However, there is definitely a lack of affordable housing in my immediate area. It's a cool neighborhood, but the rents aren't worth it so I'll probably be moving to someone more affordable, less desirable in the fall.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    I don't know for sure and surely someone like Cardinal et al will come along and correct me, but I suspect that regs for aesthetics are a small fraction of the total cost of a parcel and construction and paper and carrying costs. Surely streamlining plan review while ensuring compliance is a bigger savings.

    Here on the Front Range, builders have been slowly chipping away at one town's codes for requiring a %age of brick-stone on the envelope. This saves a few $ for the builders up front, but greatly increases maintenance costs for the owner. Which often leads to deferred maintenance and then overall reduced property values. Meaning: whose costs? A few $ up front can be carried on the mortgage and amortized over time. Much better IMHO to have a quality product up front. Builders always adjust.

    .02
    I don't know, does a brick-stone facade slapped on to a stick built house really save more on maintenance costs for the homeowner over vinyl siding the entire thing like typical JA (one initial off) Homes throughout the front range? I've seen brick facades fall apart due to the mortar not lasting. More expensive to put back together (as the average person doesn't lay brick) than taking some weathered siding and either repainting it or slapping some new vinyl siding and painting. Clearly, most anyone would find all vinyl siding homes to be aesthetically less pleasant than a home with brick and/or stone treatment. Not sure it saves on maintenance when you need to paint the vinyl siding everywhere else that doesn't have brick/stone anyway and it doesn't add structural support to the house (possibly detracts from it?)

    Going back to snout-houses, for front loaded homes, they theoretically allow more home (non-garage area) to be built on a given lot than what can be built with a non snout-house since space isn't eaten up by putting the garage behind the front face of the house. Someone who wants a front loaded 2K SF of home on a 5K SF lot will find that the snout-house has more area that can be built behind the garage for part of home's the square footage. There's potentially more value for the square footage dollar (and less driveway to pour).

    Do I think snout-house look less appealing? Yes. I'm not sure if the general public cares as much though, especially if it potentially reduces the cost per square foot to buy. And whenever I'm shoveling the extra 300 square feet of snow on my driveway in January (admittedly snow may be a thing of the past in Colorado) that a person with a snout-house doesn't, the snout-house somehow gets more appealing to me.

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