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Thread: Infill development in an older area

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Infill development in an older area

    If you have an infill development proposal in an older area of town with a myriad of existing home sizes (900sf-2000sf) on average 1/3 acre lots, how much are you comfortable asking for when the applicant proposes lots half that size? All brick? Larger square foot averages on the homes? Building articulation? What is the tipping point between building homes that far exceed average property values in the neighborhood and just getting silly because you want something better? Is there always the first development that creates a redevelopment surge in an area, or will it stick out like a sore thumb because the streets aren't in great shape, the other homes are mostly siding, etc. you know, asking for a friend.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    The problem I see, infill is not as profitable as normal development so just let the guy build and be happy the place is getting used. At the same time, try not to let the new houses look like slums or mini houses that just don't fit in. I'd ask for the moon and let my standards slide knowing I'm not going to get it.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Quote Originally posted by Habanero View post
    If you have an infill development proposal in an older area of town with a myriad of existing home sizes (900sf-2000sf) on average 1/3 acre lots, how much are you comfortable asking for when the applicant proposes lots half that size? All brick? Larger square foot averages on the homes? Building articulation? What is the tipping point between building homes that far exceed average property values in the neighborhood and just getting silly because you want something better? Is there always the first development that creates a redevelopment surge in an area, or will it stick out like a sore thumb because the streets aren't in great shape, the other homes are mostly siding, etc. you know, asking for a friend.
    I will be asking the questions 1) whether the existing service infrastructure (water, wastewater, stormwater etc.) can cope with the proposed infill development. 2) What percentage of infill will be sustainable. I have listed below some of the design principles that you may consider:
    •Ensure that new development positively responds to the context of the development and respects the scale and form of surrounding development where this is a valued feature of the neighbourhood character.
    •Ensure that new development makes a positive contribution to the streetscape through high standards in architecture and urban design.
    •Limit the impact of new development on the amenity of surrounding residential areas.
    •Design buildings to increase the safety, convenience, attractiveness, inclusiveness, accessibility and walkability of the streets and public spaces.
    •Create a positive interface between the private domain and public spaces.
    •Encourage environmentally sustainable development.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    As I keep telling staff in the office: "what do the regulations and ordinances say?" If they allow for that, we are hard pressed to say no. If they need a zone change or such, that's a policy matter and then we can get into the thick of it.

    Generally 1/3 acre lots are not that common around here, so you may be handling a totally different environment. Lots here are between 2,000 sf. and 1/4 acre. We just lowered the minimum lot size in our densest residential neighborhood from 1/10 acre to 1/20 acre to match the built form that already exists.

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