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Thread: You want ugly

  1. #1
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    You want ugly

    This is a townhouse zone in a new area in Brampton, Ontario.
    I guess they were trying to make them as much 'singles' as possible.

    You may have to adjust the picture balance. The last photo sucks, I was shooting into the sun.

    Fortunately the loophole in the by-law that allowed this has been closed. But that developers (builders, whatever) would go ahead and exploit it to this extent really does say something about that industry. That people would buy it says something else altogether.

    Bernie

  2. #2

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    You want Ugly

    You know, the sad thing is, this townhouse looks BETTER than many of our tracts.

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    It may look better than some townhouse developments, but the point is that the land was zoned for higher-density townhouse development, not single-family houses slightly connected.

    My bet is the "connections" are a sham, and will be removed eventually...

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The United States has the infamous "snout house." In Southern Ontario, though, it's not so much the protruding garage of the snout house, but rather that the garage occupies almost the entire frontage of the ground level.

    Toronto and Ottawa are wonderful cities, but IMHO Ontario suburbs tend to be far less attractive than their equivalent communities south of the border. Population density is higher and public transit is plentiful, but still, they leave a lot to be desired to the eye.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Typical new middle market American-style "snout house" - suburban Buffalo, New York
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Typical new middle market Southern Ontario house - suburban Toronto
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  7. #7
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    Myabe I should clarify this a bit, the ugly is not so much the protruding garages (they don't) but the fact that this is a townhouse zone and the builders tried to make them singles as much as possible by pushing the limits of the by-law.

    i have attached a better photo.( I think)

    This way, they can market them as "attached singles" or something. I guess that makes them more marketable than a townhouse, even if the connection looks ugly.

    The ugly part is those connections in the back that fulfil the by-law requirements (at the time) for townhouses.

    Who knows what is in those spaces.

    Even uglier is the way the 2-storey is connected to the 1.5 storey building.

    Imagine how those connections will look in a couple of years when some of the buildings settle and they are no longer level.

  8. #8
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    Here's another photo of the same development

  9. #9
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    And my third and final photo. This one is of poor quality, as I was shooting into the sun.

  10. #10

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    You win. These do have to be some of the ugliest "homes" that I have seen. Are the attachment wings just useless space, or are they storage or something.

  11. #11

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    Why are they attached like that? Is each one a sincle family home, or do several homes combine to make one? I am confused why they would do that.

  12. #12
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I think it might be a zoning district that permits townhouses, but not single family residences; or which permits detached single family residences but the developer wanted smaller setbacks between houses than permitted in the district, couldn't justify a variance, and didn't want to go through the red tape of creating a PUD. The definition of a townhouse in the Brampton zoning by-law probably reads something like this ...

    A single-family dwelling attached to one or more dwellings, with each dwelling located on its own separate lot.

    Hey ... they're attached, right? See, on the side ...

    :rolleyes
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    You have to admire the creativity of the developer, even if ugly. Is the market so tight that they sell?

  14. #14
    does anyone have or know of any good regulations to prohibit these garage dominated houses?

  15. #15

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    I know that the City of Portland, Oregon, recently adopted design regulations that limit "snout houses."

    Unfortunately, as neighborhoods become denser, and people still need/want two or three cars per household, some level of garage domination is inevitable.

    Alleys may be one solution, but developers, the police, and Public Works Departments hate them.
    Myself, I live in a small townhouse complex where all of the garages front on an adjoining alley and a private driveway. Facing the street are the ends of the two rows of units (with Bay windows), a row of trees, and our courtyard. Not a bad infill design.

    Of course, everyone enters their units through their garages, and I would be hard pressed to remember the names of a few of my neighbors (and there are only eleven units)

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    My draft snout house regulations, from the "Architectural Design" section of the draft land use regulations I'm working on.

    202 Single family and two family architecture

    202.05 Purpose. A home can be an expression of the owner’s personal tastes and individuality. Residential architecture in Florida towns is influenced by a number of sources, reflected in the wide variety of styles and themes encountered in residential areas developed before World War II. The intent is not tregulate or restrict particular residential architectural styles, but rather to preserve the Town's unique character by ensuring interesting, high quality residential architectural design.

    202.10 Facades. Facades must be articulated by using color, arrangement, or change in materials to emphasize the facade elements. The planes of the exterior walls may be varied in height, depth or direction. Design elements and detailing, including the presence of windows, window treatments, trim detailing, and exterior wall materials, must be continued completely around the structure. All doors and windows must be detailed to add visual interest to the facade unless such treatment would be incompatible with the architectural style of the building.

    202.15 Garages

    202.15.01 Avoiding garagescapes. New housing development should avoid front elevations that result in a streetscape consisting mainly of rows of garage doors ("snout houses,” tail pipe architecture," “garagescape”). A front-loading garage may occupy up to 50% of the house linear frontage, and may protrude up to 6’ (1.8 meters) from the longest front wall.

    202.15.02 Three car garages. Garages that are designed to serve more than two cars must be designed so garage bays beyond the first two are recessed by 4’ (1.25 meters) or more from the main garage frontage.

    202.20 Repetitive design. Development of ten or more single-family and two-family houses must have four or more different types of housing models. (Different trim levels on houses that have a nearly identical floor plan are not considered different models.) Houses with identical or similar building elevations and/or floor plans must not be located on adjacent lots or directly across the street from each other.

    202.25 Driveways. An impervious surface may cover up to 33% of the area between front building line and the front property line. Driveways from a street (not an alley) must be 20’ (6.1 meters) or more in length, measured from the property line, or the back of the sidewalk if the sidewalk is located outside the public right-of-way.

    202.30 Air conditioning. Residential air conditioning units must be located to have the minimum visual and noise impacts on adjacent dwellings.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  17. #17
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    These were supposed to be traditional townhouses. However, the by-law was not sufficently restrictive in how much of a common wall was required.

    Hence, the builder discovered that the could almost make the homes into single-detached, with just a portion connected to meet by-law requirements.

    What is in those connections, I have no idea. It is living space of some sort.

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