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Big Box Design Standards/Fort Collins

Otis

Cyburbian
Messages
5,165
Points
28
The big box ("large commercial structures") design standards developed by the city of Fort Collins, CO seems to have become a de facto standard for such standards. My city is considering them. Obviously Fort Collins has adopted them, and Virgina Beach, VA has adopted a version of them. Do any of you know of other cities that have adopted standards similar to those of Fort Collins? If so, please tell me what they are.

Planning is plagarism,
Rich Townsend
Lincoln City, OR
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,682
Points
57
Fort Collins always had tough architectural design regulations, even before the sacred texts of Land Use Code Section 3.5.4 made its way into the hands of practically every planner in the US.

Louisville, Colorado, adopted its Commercial Development Design Standards and Guidelines in 1997, a couple years before FC's big box standards were adopted. Nonetheless, it's still very Fort Collins-ish, and a good model to follow for all aspects of commercial development -- architecture, site planning, landscaping, circulation, and so on.

Clarion Associates drafted the FC regs, and incorporates similar concepts into many of the land use codes that they've had their hands in in the past few years ... Jefferson County, Kentucky; Cary, North Carolina, and Henderson, Nevada are a few I can think of. (I'm still peeved at Clarion's "we only hire planners with law degrees" policy, but I digress. Grrrrrr ....)

The draft land use regs I'm working on incorporate some Fort Collins/Louisville concepts, but I'm cleaning up the language. The FC LUC has some wonderful ideas, but it's written in the Planner dialect of Legalese ... one of my pet peeves.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,682
Points
57
Rich Townsend said:
Planning is plagarism,
Rich Townsend
Lincoln City, OR
[slight hijack]

I just saw the "Lincoln City" blurb. I applied for a planning job there several years ago. I got an offer for an interview, but when I found out that about 15 other prospects were going to be interviewed too, I backed out. Too much risk ($800+ interview expenses for a job I'd have a 7% chance of getting).

How do you like it?

[slight hijack]
 

Otis

Cyburbian
Messages
5,165
Points
28
I like it fine. I've benn planning & community development director for about three years, but I've lived here for eleven. We moved here from the Washington D.C. area. It's a small town with 7,500 permanent residents and about 15,000 visitors on weekends and in the summer. Right now things are a little slow, but that's giving me time to work on things like big boxes.

The built environment here is somewhat ugly, but has improved markedly over the past ten years. The natural envirnment is great. There's seven miles of beaches in the city (there's a mile-long beach near our house where we walk regularly and if I see twenty people on it I think it's crowded), a 680-acre lake (draining to the ocean via the world's shortest river), and miles and miles of places to hike. We moved into town a couple of years ago, and we still get deer in our yard, but when we lived outside of town we had elk, bears, and bobcats too.

Because it's such a small city there are lots of opportunities for involvement in a lot of different things. We have an active urban renewal program going and I'm also involved in housing issues, economic development, and anything else I or the city manager think I'd be useful at. The city staff is good and supportive (I went to performance of a local production of Godspell last night that had two city staff people in the cast. There were at least five other city employees in the audience of about a hundred, specifically to see the city's actors).

One down side with being in a small town is that nothing happens in a vacuum, and every decision ends up being personal. There are the usual squabbles and issues and it all gets played out in the local papers and on the local public access TV station. A leading form of entertainment here is to tune in the city council and planning commission meetings on TV. The last P&CD director denied a billboard permit and the billboard was changed for a while to read "I think Lincoln City has the worst planning director in the state of Oregon." I'm dealing with the same guy over the same sign and I expect the same message to go back up. Another example: I'm hiring a planning tech and decided to let others make the selection because several of the applicants are friends, including a close relative's girl friend.

By the way, we've got an opening for a senior planner.
 
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