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Banning gated communities

green22

INACTIVE
Messages
101
Points
6
Is there any precedent for banning gated communities? Also I've heard alot about banning shopping centers in England, France etc. but any north american cities? Not including towns that ban all retail activity.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
34
Not sure about gated communities, but I know that Guelph, Ontario "banned" big box/power centre developments (though the "rebuilt" Canadian Tire slipped through). Last I heard they are still fighting it out with Walmart. I think the case is before Ontario Municipal Board.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
23
Why would you want to "ban" gated communities? Why limit the choice for people who desire this type of living?
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
I think you would meet some fierce resistance from the public trying to ban these communities. There is a growing population who want to live in this type of community. I don't see the reasoning behind banning them. No roads for the community to maintain, no trash pickup, etc.

Don't use the slowing emergency vehicles excuse either like so many people try. 50% of these communities have some sort of "guard" at the gate so the thing is already open when the trucks get there, and the other half, well they only take a few seconds to open. Not a big deal.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
29
OT ALERT

Tranplanner said:
Last I heard they are still fighting it out with Walmart. I think the case is before Ontario Municipal Board.
Having recently dealt with, been run over by wal-mart I have been following the Guelph case as closely as I can.

A recent September 12, 2002 talks about the OMB hearings and the amount of money that has been spent, so far. (millions)

OT ALERT END

Our Planning Act bans shopping centres, with an area in excess of 6000 square metres from areas without Land Use Planning without the permission of the Lt. Governor in Council(Cabinet).

Development on private roads is typical here, as people refuse to pay to construct roads to a suitable standard to be considered public. As a planner, and a tax payer (don't get to say that often) I resent the private roads in our area, as most of them are maintained by the provincial government, but the houses are taxed lower then those on a public road. Don't even bother asking why(political expedience)

Tranplanner, how does the City deal with the private road into teh old greenwood property that is south of Queen , by the parking garage?
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
34
donk said:

Tranplanner, how does the City deal with the private road into teh old greenwood property that is south of Queen , by the parking garage?
I must admit, I'm not familliar with that road. If it's accessing a public parking garage, we probably have a right-of-way or something over it to ensure public access.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
29
The public parking spaces are accessed from the private raod that in turn looks like it services a series of town houses. the only reason i know this is that i was lost in that neighbourhood and had to get turned around and that was the easiest spot. More of an example of private roads then anything.
 

green22

INACTIVE
Messages
101
Points
6
gkmo62u- Gated communities are the result of individuals watching our scandal packed news programs and wanting to shut themselves off from the world. Unfortunately as gated communities proliferate the public sphere of the city shrinks. Even a shopping center lets the majority of people on to it's property, while gated communities are guarded turf that no longer is accessable to the city's residents. While the city may be happy that it gets taxes for selling off chunks of it's fabric, the citizens get more metal fenced off boundaries. If a resident feels so uncomfortable with a city that they want to be walled off from it , wouldn't it be better if they went to a different city, than to erect their barriers in stable communities. I've studied gated communities in Coney Island and in Newark. People who live in these communities do not walk out of these places, they come out of their guarded garage entrances. Unlike the buildings next to them where residents walk to neighborhood stores adding people on the street and increasing safety. All you get in the developments I've seen are high walls, making the neighborhood more dangerous, and traffic heading to those power centers. Imagine going to Paris as a tourist and finding a city of gated communities, would you ever go back?
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
23
I actually do not disagree at all with your characterization of these types of communities. However, I do not feel that any government has the right to "ban" this type of development.

IMO it goes well beyond the "public purpose" doctrines.

As I said, I just think that we should not be advocating removing choices for citizens. If there is a market for the gated community product, so be it.
 

green22

INACTIVE
Messages
101
Points
6
Citizen' of towns have decided all kinds of things, i don't see it impinging on someone's rights to say to a developer if you want to build a gated community you can do it in the next community. There are places that have banned rental housing, multiple unit housing and all forms of retail. Why is it alright to be exclusionary, but not ban being exclusionary.
 

OhioPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
304
Points
11
A suburb of Dallas in Texas effectively banned gated communities by requiring that all streets be public. If someone put a gate up it would have to be a private street, which are not allowed.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
There are legitimate reasons for banning them and there are no studies that I'm aware of that can actually prove that gated communities are more safe in terms of incidents per 1000 population.

Heck, our public safety officials get bent out of shape about individually-gated residences.

Gated communties were tried in the Milwaukee 'burbs in the '80s. The only large scale one actually went belly-up before its completion. The development was finished by a handful of individual developers that respected the condo association's architectural requirements, but to this day the gate house is empty and the gates are always open. I think it scared the buh-jeezus out of developers from doing it again.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,347
Points
53
We've got two gated communities, but they're in areas that are not connected to the town grid. Otherwise, gated communities are prohibited. A street pattern providing good interconnectivity with the rest of the town grid is required, and a gated commuity wouldn't comply.

There's also a very poor African-American commuity on the far southwest corner of the old grid; it's about an eight block area. Beyond that is prime undeveloped real estate, most zoned residential. Proposing a gated community near there would, in the eyes of that neighborhood's residents, be the equivalent of donning a white robe and hood for the Planning and Zoning Board meeting.

The "town next door" has plenty of gated communities, where streets inside the gates are public right-of-way. How they got away with it, I don't know.

'Round here, gated communities are primarily a marketing technique. Crime is low, and few people fear intruders; it's just a status symbol.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,347
Points
53
green22 said:
Also I've heard alot about banning shopping centers in England, France etc. but any north american cities? Not including towns that ban all retail activity.
In Europe, suburban retail development is called "out of town development." In England and France, US-style suburban development is becoming more commonplace. Remember ... the hypermarket was a French invention. I've seen images of French retail sprawl, and it makes most American strips look downright quaint in comparison.

In Germany, it's still relatively rare, although it's more common in the old East Germany than the West.



Quaint British sprawl



More quaint British sprawl



Bremen, Germany



Berlin, Germany
 

Terraplan

Cyburbian
Messages
23
Points
2
Our cities are becoming increasingly characterised by smaller isolated development referred to as security developments. Some larger gated communities even include smaller gated villages within them.

As a consultant 80% of my residential development applications involve gated developments, with one 1000 unit development comprising six smaller "villages"

Whether this is good for urban form is debatable, particularly when one consider that integration is one of the most important components of our MSDF.

While new developments are accepted, the privatisation and gating of existing private roads has met with great power struggles between the various political parties fighting for power - with the current government arguing that gating communities is merely a perpetuation of apartheid policy.

While I don't support gating from a planning perspective, banning it I also wouldn't support.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
If not make them illegal it certainly would be wise for a society as a whole to discourage them as much as possible. Certainly the use of the word "community" is a misnomer when describing such a place.

Better would be to encourage more healthy development. For example those with better connectivity (bring back the grid) and an avoidance of single use development pods.

This weekends Houston Chronicle had extensive coverage on the plague of obesity among our young and the formerly adult illnesses that they are coming down with due to lack of exercise.
Gated communities are just another pathology of which one of their results is fat sick kids. Add to that their neurotic "soccer moms" who would be more aptly referred to as overworked suburban cabbies as they franticly cart around their protege. Children who are physically limited by such developments from transporting themselves, by bike or foot, to most of their activities.

Ho Hum, in a perfect world...
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
What if?

Just for grins; what if the Reformed Holy _________ Church wanted to construct a gated community? They tell your staff and zoning board that restricting daily contact with non-believers is part of their official doctrine. All members of the church want to reside there. They believe that a gated community would allow them to practice their religion to its fullest. They will construct and maintain all infrastructure at their expense. Allowing for all necessary inspections. Could you then still prohibit it if it met all other parts of your development requirements? Do we have the right as planners to tell them no?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
Re: What if?

El Guapo said:
Just for grins; what if the Reformed Holy _________ Church wanted to construct a gated community? They tell your staff and zoning board that restricting daily contact with non-believers is part of their official doctrine. All members of the church want to reside there. They believe that a gated community would allow them to practice their religion to its fullest. They will construct and maintain all infrastructure at their expense. Allowing for all necessary inspections. Could you then still prohibit it if it met all other parts of your development requirements? Do we have the right as planners to tell them no?
I wouldnt consider that a "gated community". I would consider it a "compound".
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Re: What if?

El Guapo said:
Just for grins; what if the Reformed Holy _________ Church wanted to construct a gated community?
If it was allowed by the locals, me thinks the Feds might come in and burn their house down...
 
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gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
23
Hold the phone Runner. I can't let this get by.

You can't just make a leap that says gated communities make fat kids.

i have seen the cdc numbers and their measure of "obesity" is skewed. In fact I believe I am "obese" according to their numbers at 5'6 155 lbs.

There is no sound non-agenda driven evidence to support claims that suburban development or sprawl or gated communities have a direct causal effect on obesity.

Are our kids healthier? Maybe not. But there is no scientific evidence that says city kids are healtier than suburban kids or or rural kids or vice versa. If there is I would love to see it. (Now if there is you are probably going to find it and link it. fine)

Their are a million and one reasons I imagine as to why...x box, mtv, mcdonalds, coke...

Don't be so derisive about "soccer moms" some of us are married to them.

What is wrong with giving your kids the opportunity to go to Dance class or soccer practice or cub scouts?

What type of things do your kids participate in?
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
gkmo62u said:
There is no sound non-agenda driven evidence to support claims that...
Ditto global warming, right... :(

Not sure if this link will work for you (if not check Sunday's Houston Chronicle):
A Childhood Epidemic...

Then go check the waist lines at your local school.

gkmo62u said:
What is wrong with giving your kids the opportunity to go to Dance class or soccer practice or cub scouts?
Nothings wrong! We should encourage it, celebrate it, and send them on their way riding their bikes or walking. What's wrong is when we link these activities to momma taxi exclusively.

No, its not gated communities specifically that cause these problems but they are a typology of single-use pod development which in general lead to these problems. Development patterns that prevent most if not all forms of transportation, other than the private automobile.

Denying that there is a link to health (physical and mental) is just like the frog in the water slowly rising to a boil. Its a problem and is unhealthy
. Denying the problem doesn't make it go away.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
gkmo62u said:
What type of things do your kids participate in?
Well, lets see Maggie was into track, swiming, and wrestling. Unfortunatley she passed away of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) almost two years ago. Bandit is more into hiking/walking so is less active but we watch his diet and he stays trim.



Jack is more into debating and does a little flying.

 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
We need another Karen Carpenter so the media can have a field day with the evils of dieting and being thin.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
But they have been PROVEN to raise property values. That is one of the major reasons.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Re: Exactly

[ot]
El Feo said:
Even the respected scientists at Woods Hole can't make up their minds on whether it's warming up or cooling down.
Or if it's human induced or nature induced.. I just can't believe that the IPCC disregards studies that link solar activity with earth's climate... it's simple logic! without the sun... earth would be a cold pebble in the universe...[/ot]

BTW I hate gated communities... There are quite a few in Santiago and a few are starting to appear here.. in what could be called suburban lands, in the middle of farmland, following the road to Niebla (which alone could be considered as a suburb of Valdivia)
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
23
FEAR

Gated communities deprive the larger community of wealth in multiple formats.

1) Gated communities condense real, intellectual, and cultural wealth into localized nodes. If you are behind a gate, you are not going to accidentaly help the person next door who might need some help, like older people etc.

2) The node once created draws the wealth from the local community at large, separating the remaining community from the benifits of this wealth.

3) The community at large has fewer resources to improve as a whole. If you are afraid of leaving your compuond, you are not donating time or resources to make your community better.

4) The residents in the gated community now have a REAL reson to be afraid of thier former citizens as they have given thier fellow residents a big FU to chew on.
 

Dignan

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
The muncipality I work for has banned private streets, which effectively bans gated communities. Arguments regarding community cohesion and obesity nonwithstanding, there are other reasons for the ban.

We're in a situation now where a Homeowner's Association (for a development approved approximately 10 years ago, before the ban) has attempted to convert its streets from private to public to avoid repair costs. If the city doesn't step in, the HOA will obviously be left with the bill and a rash of owners trying to sell their way out of the mess.

Also, our Police and Fire dept's take the "slowing emergency vehicles excuse" very seriously.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
23
Duke that is sheer speculation without an ounce of proof.

Who says people who live in gated communities do not donate time and resources to the community?

Once again it appears that the Planning profession is gung ho to take away choice.

Why?

Well for purely social engineering reasons.

And a lot of regulars here hate it when folks like me bring to their attention this aspect.

But boy does it keep repeating itself.

Gated communities are no different really than any other typical development that carries higher price points. The community without gates but with 700,000 pluse homes is no more isolated, detached or otherwise exclusive of the community.

If dignan wants to bring up safety issues, fine, we can have that discussion.
 

jmf

Cyburbian
Messages
594
Points
17
Here is a link to a research project being done at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS, Canada) about Canadian gated communities. I saw a presentation by the prof and some of the students who are working on this at the CIP conference in Halifax, it was interesting. Here, 'gated' can be very different from what I imagine gated is in the US, as can be seen in some of the pics.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Dignan said:
The muncipality I work for has banned private streets, which effectively bans gated communities. Arguments regarding community cohesion and obesity nonwithstanding, there are other reasons for the ban.

We're in a situation now where a Homeowner's Association (for a development approved approximately 10 years ago, before the ban) has attempted to convert its streets from private to public to avoid repair costs. If the city doesn't step in, the HOA will obviously be left with the bill and a rash of owners trying to sell their way out of the mess.

Also, our Police and Fire dept's take the "slowing emergency vehicles excuse" very seriously.
Same case in our town. We've had too many cases of homeowners associations complaining to the City Council that their private streets are falling apart and not getting garbage pickup and snow removal. The Council agrees to service their development because these places are wealthier and more influential than the rest of the town.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
34
Seabishop said:
Same case in our town. We've had too many cases of homeowners associations complaining to the City Council that their private streets are falling apart and not getting garbage pickup and snow removal.
We haven't banned private streets, but our new official plan is definitely geared to the provision of public streets, especially on larger development sites - mainly for the reasons stated above. Where a developer insists on private streets, we're ensuring that they are built to public street standards.
 

pandersen

Cyburbian
Messages
243
Points
9
Tranplanner said:
Not sure about gated communities, but I know that Guelph, Ontario "banned" big box/power centre developments (though the "rebuilt" Canadian Tire slipped through). Last I heard they are still fighting it out with Walmart. I think the case is before Ontario Municipal Board.
You are correct, sir! I seem to recall a website that provided an updated blow by blow update of the ongoing battle.

The result of this type of development bias in Guelph has been an explosion of big box type development in Cambridge, Ontario.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
I disapprove, for mainly reasons already discussed (no surprise, I am sure).

But are they any different conceptually of apt/condo buildings where you need a key / code to get in the lobby?
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,387
Points
25
Seabishop said:
Same case in our town. We've had too many cases of homeowners associations complaining to the City Council that their private streets are falling apart and not getting garbage pickup and snow removal. The Council agrees to service their development because these places are wealthier and more influential than the rest of the town.
Isn't the provision of public services on private property illegal in Rhode Island? If so, have these property owners committed financially to defend the City from the impending lawsuits?
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
SGB said:
Isn't the provision of public services on private property illegal in Rhode Island? If so, have these property owners committed financially to defend the City from the impending lawsuits?
This was a while ago and I'm not sure if any special arrangements were made but its one reason why we don't allow them anymore.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
27
The intent of gated communites is for one group of people (in the USA, typically white and rich people) to keep out "those people." (typically black, or Hispanic people).

Which makes me wonder if the gates keep out the "bad" people or keep in the "bad" people. In 1970 my family moved into a subdivision north of New Orleans. At first the gate was only closed at late at night. Soon, we had our own sheriff's deputies monitoring the comings and goings of everyone, and making sure only "those people" who cleaned our houses, delivered our goods and tended our yards got in. I did not feel safer because of it. I felt confined and ashamed.

In Lewis and Clark County we recently had a case where a developer of an approved subdivision requested putting up locked gates at the entrances to the subdivision. The purpose was to cut down on through traffic on the subdivision roads between two collecor streets. The County turned down a request because we require all subdivision roads have legal and physical access, and legal access is partially defined as a public access easement. The Commission did compromise by allowing the developer to put up an unlocked gate on one side to cut down on through traffic.
 
Messages
1
Points
0
otterpop said:
The intent of gated communites is for one group of people (in the USA, typically white and rich people) to keep out "those people." (typically black, or Hispanic people).

Which makes me wonder if the gates keep out the "bad" people or keep in the "bad" people. In 1970 my family moved into a subdivision north of New Orleans. At first the gate was only closed at late at night. Soon, we had our own sheriff's deputies monitoring the comings and goings of everyone, and making sure only "those people" who cleaned our houses, delivered our goods and tended our yards got in. I did not feel safer because of it. I felt confined and ashamed.

In Lewis and Clark County we recently had a case where a developer of an approved subdivision requested putting up locked gates at the entrances to the subdivision. The purpose was to cut down on through traffic on the subdivision roads between two collecor streets. The County turned down a request because we require all subdivision roads have legal and physical access, and legal access is partially defined as a public access easement. The Commission did compromise by allowing the developer to put up an unlocked gate on one side to cut down on through traffic.
This may be true in many cases but there are also many other reasons that Gated Communities exist, including special interests. like golf, boating, and certain sports or social activities.
 

solarstar

Cyburbian
Messages
207
Points
9
jmf said:
Here is a link to a research project being done at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS, Canada) about Canadian gated communities. I saw a presentation by the prof and some of the students who are working on this at the CIP conference in Halifax, it was interesting. Here, 'gated' can be very different from what I imagine gated is in the US, as can be seen in some of the pics.
Actually, the photos look exactly like the gated communities here in Florida. My brother-in-law lives in one in London, ON, and except for the two-story homes (rare in this neck of the woods) it could be in Florida. Most developers here prefer privately maintained roads so that the community can be gated, and we've adjusted to them. If the gate isn't manned 24 hours, we require siren-activated gates or a key pad with a code provided to EMS, sheriff, etc. We also require a turn-around area right before the gate (for those "where are we?" people). While I'd love to have a neighborhood where kids could walk and ride their bikes to school, there aren't any such neighborhoods in this area and demanding them from developers now would be politically suicidal. (sigh)
 

thinknik

Cyburbian
Messages
92
Points
4
In my Florida town the term "gated community" is tossed around as an object of scorn. The property rights people love to throw this in the face of historic preservationists. Like when preservationist tried to get some conservation overlays regulating height and appropriate building size in established neighborhoods -- they cried "you want to turn our whole city into one gated community! "

Truth is we ALL sneer at them, just like we do at SUV's with flag stickers on 'em -- they lack diversity and streetlife and they are BORING to live in.



Has anyone read:
Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States
by Mary Gail Snyder, Edward J. Blakely

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amazon.com review...

In their efforts to find a safe, quiet, traffic- and crime-free place to live, more and more Americans are turning to gated communities--self-enclosed developments barricaded off from surrounding neighborhoods, often using security guards to prevent intruders and screen visitors, sometimes even privatizing services traditionally left to local government. In Fortress America, authors Edward Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder analyze what this gating trend--what they call "forting up"--portends for America as a whole. "What is the measure of nationhood when the divisions between neighborhoods require guards and fences to keep out other citizens? When public services and even local government are privatized, when the community of responsibility stops at the subdivision gates, what happens to the function and the very idea of a social and political democracy? Can the nation fulfill its social contract in the absence of social contact?"
Their answer, unfortunately, is no. Blakely and Snyder argue that gating further divides our already fragmented society; it isolates segments of a community from one another and does nothing to address the social problems that barricades attempt to shut out. Instead, they suggest using crime prevention, traffic control, and community-building efforts to achieve the same effects. In Fortress America, Blakely and Snyder have produced a trenchant analysis that's only slightly marred by its wooden prose. Anyone concerned about the future of American communities should read this book.
 
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