Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Incentive/Performance Zoning for Arch. Design

  1. #1
    Cyburbian oulevin's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    The Burg
    Posts
    178

    Incentive/Performance Zoning for Arch. Design

    I'm grasping at straws here. Has anybody heard of incentive zoning or performance zoning being used to yield design preferences? I know both are more quantitive in nature than design review, but I think they can be applied to stylistic characteristics as well. What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Where ever you go, there you are
    Posts
    276
    What is the desired affect you are trying to achieve? From the opposite side of the table I have had to make changes in design for a kind of a trade off deal (limit the amount of EIFS to get a curb cut) - but that came from the city council, not P and Z.
    She has been a bad girl, she is like a chemical, though you try and stop it she is like a narcotic.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian oulevin's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    The Burg
    Posts
    178
    It's a hypothetical. Let's say that buildings in a historic district have not yet received HP status, yet the community wants to make sure any new development is consistent with the style of the rest of the district. Is the local government confined to development agreements, special districting, or using architectural review boards -- or can it somehow use the flexible types of zoning such as performance or incentive?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    As I understand it remmebr, Toronto proposed something similar about 15 years ago to preserve some properties along Front Street. The city was going to allow for a taller building to be built, if the existing structures were incorporated in an atrium. Don't know all of the details and am pretty sure this did not happen as the commecial real estate market collapsed.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Where ever you go, there you are
    Posts
    276
    Your best bet would probably be a talented architectural review board, even though these can be political monsters if you have a strong and ethical personality to take the reigns they are the best vehicle for maintaining an aesthetic balance.

    Believe me, I have seen the results and the unfortunately been involved with some incredulous clients, who can turn P and Z by-laws and ordinances on their ear and still maintain the letter of the law, if not the intent.

    Remember, most people’s taste is in their mouth, if you do go the by-law, you are going to have to do a meticulous survey of the area, and get photos from other cities of proper and improper application of the standards, for a nice big fat “how to” book. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

    Boston has a very good preservation code from what I understand. Some nineteenth century buildings there are maintained as facades while high rises soar out the tops, yet not seen or perceived from street level.
    She has been a bad girl, she is like a chemical, though you try and stop it she is like a narcotic.

  6. #6
    Member Wulf9's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Near the Geysers
    Posts
    922
    I think it's best to have design standards and apply them, rather than using incentives to get the desired design. What about the person who wants inappropriate design and chooses not to take the incentives. One bad building can ruin the whole reason you wanted to achieve with design standards.

    A comment on the 19th century building facade and a highrise behind (called a facade-ectomy by historians). A building face without the rest of the building is not really historic. The purpose of preservation is to allow future generations to see what buildings and cities were like in the past. A free-standing facade is like looking at a photograph of the building's exterior. You can't really get the feeling of what it was like to be inside the building or how people lived or functioned in the building.

  7. #7

    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    1,371
    Breckenridge CO has achieved its historic preservation and design goals using performance zoning since 1978. Fort Collins CO also achieved many design goals with performance zoning until it was clear that it worked too well (neither neighbors nor developers could use emotion to sway the process as effectively as with conventional zoning). It takes hard work to write good performance standards, but it can be done. Design standards work best where the neighborhood or community to which they will apply has a strong theme that can be reduced to a relatively small number of specific design elements. Performance zoning doesn't take all judgement out of the process, but it is far less arbitrary than many design review boards.

  8. #8
    Member Wulf9's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Near the Geysers
    Posts
    922
    Incentives are excellent for historic preservation because preservation usually results in less development than the maximum allowed under zoning. Incentives allow a city to balance the economic return. But, you don't have the option not to preserve in a good preservation ordinance. Monterey CA has a good set of incentives, including land use flexibility, economic incentives, grants, fast track processing, and CEQA compliance if standards are met.

    It seems to me that incentives for design would not be the same because they leave the room open for bad design if you choose not to use the incentives. This is just a theoretical position, so I could be wrong.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian H's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    MKS
    Posts
    2,847

    Good example

    Coral Gables, Florida has design incentives for “Mediterranean” style buildings. For example, if your building is “Mediterranean”, you can exceed the height limit by 3 stories (assuming your in an area zoned high rise), there are also other incentives as well.

    Here is their website: http://www.citybeautiful.net/index.html

    I am not sure exactly where it is on the site (or if it is on the site), but should you be interested you should call and ask for the ordinance approving the Board of Architects (this was passed around 1986).

    Have Fun!

    *****By posting this example does NOT mean I support this, because I don’t.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Where ever you go, there you are
    Posts
    276
    Sorry to vere a bit off topic here but I had to comment on this -

    Originally posted by Wulf9
    A comment on the 19th century building facade and a highrise behind (called a facade-ectomy by historians). A building face without the rest of the building is not really historic. The purpose of preservation is to allow future generations to see what buildings and cities were like in the past. A free-standing facade is like looking at a photograph of the building's exterior. You can't really get the feeling of what it was like to be inside the building or how people lived or functioned in the building.
    OK, don’t want to ruffle any fur here, but this type of thinking (which is preferred by the Nat. Park Service) is disastrous and has actually caused the destruction of fine architecture.

    Under no condition of preservation is it possible for you to “get a feeling” of what the past was like by building representation. From a comprehension point of view it is the 21st century, it is highly improbable that one could “understand” the 19th century in day-to-day life in an urban environment, outside of a total emersion museum a la Williamsburg Virginia.

    Do we forego modern HVAC systems in lieu of coal fired boilers or wood stoves? No, but we waste millions on wood reproduction windows that weather poorly and are not environmentally sound (no thermal breaks). Wood clad aluminum or vinyl would achieve the same look without the waste.

    This policy has hastened the destruction of some buildings when well meaning owners are unable to develop historic structures do to constraints proposed by some state and local agencies and the NPS, who have the ultimate approval on historic tax credits, which are the ultimate preservation incentive. Some good buildings have gone to the headache ball because the original design if preserved was not adaptable (H.R. recognizes the fact that not all developers of historic buildings are well meaning, but many are)

    Case study – The new Renaissance Grand hotel in St. Louis is a new structure attached to the 20 story Gateway hotel built in the 1920’s. The original plan by RTKL called for a 35 story addition that would contain ballrooms and suites. This was rejected by the park service because it was feared that the new building would overshadow the original structure. As you probably have observed you only experience or aware of bout 40’ feet of a building façade at street level (about 3 stories) That’s right no one would have noticed the building. Instead the developers took 15 stories off the top to match the height of the adjacent building, the ballrooms went across the street via a tunnel, adding cost to the project, and tearing down a structurally sound and occupied 19th century warehouse – way to preserve there fellas.

    How about this, a warehouse built in 1920, in 1986 Richard Haas the acclaimed mural artist paints an incredible, and much loved (an oddity for modern public art) mural on three of the 4 walls, the park service was going to demand the removal of the mural before tax credits were to be issued, reasoned prevailed, but only after much wringing of hands.

    How about a building built in 1900 with a great 1930’s art deco façade renovation that replaced a lifeless original facade, do you tear off the good addition in the name of stylistic purity?

    Go to Europe and will find the magic word adaptive reuse exercised in smart fashion. That is buildings that still retain their historic flavor but logically adapted for the way we live today, Norman Fosters brilliant Reichstag is an excellent example, burned in the late 30’s by the Nazis, further decimated by the allied bombing and the Russians, it classically restored façade and new high tech glass dome says more about the German people and the last century than a perfectly restore replica could. As they should, these buildings belong to the current and future generations as well as the past.

    Obviously certain historical architecture should remain period, Monticello, Mt. Vernon, and Falling Water and the like need to look pretty much as their designers intended them to, the circa 1900 warehouse down the block needs to adapted to todays stadnardes for offices or living, I am not talking about tearing off a façade, but give the architect some freedom in design, we are talented people, honest.

    My intent is too save as much of the past as possible, not to create museum pieces. Those purists who wring their hands over so called “façade-ectomies” miss the point, would they rather the office buildings sprawl over the countryside leaving the center city with beautiful abandoned architecture destined for the wrecking ball?

    We cannot replicate the past, and we cannot let it rot. Museums are for the dead and archaic, architecture is alive and breathing and needs to be teaming with 21st century life.

    Howard Roark is now off his soapbox.
    She has been a bad girl, she is like a chemical, though you try and stop it she is like a narcotic.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    OK, don’t want to ruffle any fur here, but this type of thinking (which is preferred by the Nat. Park Service) is disastrous and has actually caused the destruction of fine architecture.
    Excellent point. I live in an 80 year old building, and I love it, but I'd hate to have the original single-pane windows, ungrounded power outlets, a wood stove, and no refrigerator just to make the building "authentic." Buildings survive through adaptation.

    That said, one of the reasons why people are so keen to keep old stuff around, I think, is because the new stuff we build tends to be pretty horrible. We know that if a building goes down, it'll be replaced by something far inferior because we no longer have the ability or drive to build buildings to the same calibre as our grandparents.

    Wood clad aluminum or vinyl would achieve the same look without the waste.
    This is exactly the thing I'm talking about. Vinyl and aluminum are cheap materials. They are obviously cheap. They have a "design life" and don't age very well at all over it. Anyone looking at the building will recognize its cheapness if you feel content to build it with those materials. Real wood does age of course, just like everything else, but with proper maintence it has the capability of aging beautifully, which aluminum and especialy vinyl do not.

    As you probably have observed you only experience or aware of bout 40’ feet of a building façade at street level (about 3 stories) That’s right no one would have noticed the building.
    Oh, you mean like how you don't even notice any problems with this? Assertions like that are exactly what get architects in trouble.

    I wouldn't reject their need to add more stories out of hand, but it must be considered with how it will disrupt the continuity of the neighborhood (architects have to quit pretending that their buildings exist in a vacuum), and how well the new stories are done. If they're tacked on as a hideous modernist glass tower, they were rightfully rejected. If they were built to exactly the same style as the existing facade with exactly the same materials, then they would have been unlikely to detract anything.

    I am not talking about tearing off a façade, but give the architect some freedom in design, we are talented people, honest.
    Architects have generally not shown themselves to be talented at anything other than building hideous "bold" structures and then expect us normal people to live and work in them. I remember a student a bit ago stressing how ugly his campus is by pointing out that it won many architectual awards. Until architects quit doing that and start designing structures that people 100 years from now will want to preserve, they don't deserve any freedom of design.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,938
    Originally posted by jordanb
    This is exactly the thing I'm talking about. Vinyl and aluminum are cheap materials. They are obviously cheap. They have a "design life" and don't age very well at all over it. Anyone looking at the building will recognize its cheapness if you feel content to build it with those materials. Real wood does age of course, just like everything else, but with proper maintence it has the capability of aging beautifully, which aluminum and especialy vinyl do not.
    Let me add something more. Vinyl and aluminum do not support the same level of detail you can achieve with wood. I just watched a fairly nondescript bungalow get covered with vinyl. The first thing they did was remove the decorative molding strips on the porch columns, around the windows and doors, and where the eave meets the siding. They were small details, but helped to tie the building together and give it some character. With the vinyl, that is all lost.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Where ever you go, there you are
    Posts
    276
    Originally posted by jordanb
    That said, one of the reasons why people are so keen to keep old stuff around, I think, is because the new stuff we build tends to be pretty horrible. We know that if a building goes down, it'll be replaced by something far inferior because we no longer have the ability or drive to build buildings to the same calibre as our grandparents.

    Sounds vaguely “Kunstleresque”, not that you don’t have a point, but there are good and bad examples of 19th century architecture, just as there are good and bad examples of modern, post-modern, deconstructionist, etc..


    Originally posted by jordanb
    This is exactly the thing I'm talking about. Vinyl and aluminum are cheap materials. They are obviously cheap. They have a "design life" and don't age very well at all over it. Anyone looking at the building will recognize its cheapness if you feel content to build it with those materials. Real wood does age of course, just like everything else, but with proper maintence it has the capability of aging beautifully, which aluminum and especialy vinyl do not..
    Check out the new historical vinyl lines from Marvin, wood profile coated in vinyl. Newer vinyl and aluminum have a longer life than wood in most climates though vinyl has problems w/ UV in the long (very long) run, check out the ASTM tech notes. For siding I agree w/ you 100%. I prefer the new cement boards that hit the market about 10 years ago, Historic thin profiles, solid, real laps, paint it, or repaint at your discretion, brillant.

    Originally posted by jordanb
    Oh, you mean like how you don't even notice any problems with this? Assertions like that are exactly what get architects in trouble. .
    Yeah, my friends in Chicago are horrified, its new, people were horrified at the Effile Tower, etc..., I am reserving judgement till its built, will be ther later this summer.

    I
    Originally posted by jordanb
    wouldn't reject their need to add more stories out of hand, but it must be considered with how it will disrupt the continuity of the neighborhood (architects have to quit pretending that their buildings exist in a vacuum), and how well the new stories are done. If they're tacked on as a hideous modernist glass tower, they were rightfully rejected. If they were built to exactly the same style as the existing facade with exactly the same materials, then they would have been unlikely to detract anything..
    No glass tower on the hotel, all brick construction w/ cast stone accents at the same levels as the old buildings detail, trust me this one was a huge dropped ball

    Originally posted by jordanb
    Architects have generally not shown themselves to be talented at anything other than building hideous "bold" structures and then expect us normal people to live and work in them. I remember a student a bit ago stressing how ugly his campus is by pointing out that it won many architectual awards. Until architects quit doing that and start designing structures that people 100 years from now will want to preserve, they don't deserve any freedom of design.
    Yikes! A stereotype and sweeping generalization all in one! You sound intelligent, so I am sure you don’t mean this. If you are in the profession you know that most design is client driven, we may be guilty of not standing up for good design, but we are the sole source of the problem.

    Trust me I have put together applications for historic tax credits, and waded through the minefield that is the official process. Rehabbing is a costly, time consuming affair, much more than new construction. The relaxing of some of the rules (that is enforcing the intent not the letter) would result in more preserved buildings, is that not the goal? Even a self absorbed, Corbu styled, megalomaniac, like my self hates to see things destroyed, for my all concrete 60’s era, brutalist mega-structure.
    J/k
    She has been a bad girl, she is like a chemical, though you try and stop it she is like a narcotic.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Where ever you go, there you are
    Posts
    276
    Originally posted by Michael Stumpf
    Let me add something more. Vinyl and aluminum do not support the same level of detail you can achieve with wood. I just watched a fairly nondescript bungalow get covered with vinyl. The first thing they did was remove the decorative molding strips on the porch columns, around the windows and doors, and where the eave meets the siding. They were small details, but helped to tie the building together and give it some character. With the vinyl, that is all lost.
    Check out the new historic line from Marvin, they have typ. profiles that are real nice, there are some smaller high end reproductions also. Avoid your local "Joe Blow Window" Co.
    She has been a bad girl, she is like a chemical, though you try and stop it she is like a narcotic.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 10
    Last post: 15 Apr 2012, 11:17 PM
  2. Incentive zoning
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 19 Oct 2006, 5:25 AM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last post: 02 Dec 2005, 12:33 PM
  4. Bonus / incentive zoning
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 14 May 2001, 9:43 AM