Cherry Hill Village: new urbanism in Canton, Michigan

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#41
How so? As long as the city isn't a private property, it won't work efficiently.

Choices are always logical to people. If the economic models fail, they need to be adjusted. It's time we rethought the system of political democracy, it is clearly not working.
Try running your sewers and local roads as privately run corporations. These are money losing ventures. Govt provides these mainly as a service to its citizens, and more importantly private development. Without acccess to these things development would stifle. Under privte control, the only way to provide the service is through a monopoly, which is also not a very effective way of running things (for the guy who owns it it is, but for everyone else they are screwed).

Economic models fail because people do as they are told. They are told to buy these homes on the fringe to make the most money. They are told to fear the inner city or poor as if it is some sort of inheirent evil. How do you readjust the mindset without government intervention? Surely the private developers are not going to do this, they make money off of peoples dreams of prosperity and fears of the poor.

I fully agree that the model is broke and needs to be fixed. What can we as planner do to fix this model?
 
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#42
You've never really been in Detroit, have you? I like your positive attitude, but it's not enough to overcome Detroit's very real and serious neighborhood blight and continual decline. Sure, there are pockets of improvement, funded both through public and private investments, and yes those areas are rays of hope, but if you've been following the news over the past couple of years, you know the headcounts in Detroit schools are in a massive downward spiral, which can only mean more folks are leaving the City. And recent Census numbers don't help either.
Yes, I have been “in” Detroit last fall I went over there for a weekend to visit some friends. We drove down the street that my Mom use to live on not too far from City Airport, and several areas closer to downtown. As for downtown it’s self, there has been quite a bit going on the past few years. Schools and census may show that people are moving out (which they are) but there are also people moving in. These people are helping to begin the revitalization process. www.mlui.org has several articles showing the slow but notable progress in Detroit.
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
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#43
These people are helping to begin the revitalization process. www.mlui.org has several articles showing the slow but notable progress in Detroit.
I don't doubt the facts of your post, but I am skeptical. A quick look at www.housingmaps.com shows there aren't too many homes available in the price range for average Michiganders in Detroit. There's practically nothing in the $150k-$300k range.



Yes, the above information is biased toward craiglist users, but contrast that to the Royal Oak and Ferndale area.



I do hope there is some progress in Detroit, but man, from what I've seen, the most optimistic I can get is "five steps foward, five steps backward." I hope I am wrong.
 
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#44
Try running your sewers and local roads as privately run corporations. These are money losing ventures. Govt provides these mainly as a service to its citizens, and more importantly private development. Without acccess to these things development would stifle. Under privte control, the only way to provide the service is through a monopoly, which is also not a very effective way of running things (for the guy who owns it it is, but for everyone else they are screwed).
I think you have a confused perception of what a monopoly is. Running the only bakery in town does not make you a monopoly. Obviously it is not a money losing venture to run sewers and roads, there are a lot of people in government who get paid handsomely to do it, not even counting all the parasites extracting taxes from the process.
Economic models fail because people do as they are told. They are told to buy these homes on the fringe to make the most money. They are told to fear the inner city or poor as if it is some sort of inheirent evil. How do you readjust the mindset without government intervention? Surely the private developers are not going to do this, they make money off of peoples dreams of prosperity and fears of the poor.
What if they don't like living in rundown, poverty-afflicted areas? Have they simply been brainwashed to dislike this kind of environment? As so many metropolitan cities have shown, bourgeois people will live in bourgeois neighborhoods of the inner city. To make it that attractive is the city's job, and no one else's. If the city fails, don't blame the people looking for alternatives.
I fully agree that the model is broke and needs to be fixed. What can we as planner do to fix this model?
Privatize, it is the only way. Socialism has never successfully produced any capital. It is only a fool that believes it can be fixed in this situation.
 
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#45
So it is the City's job to make things look attractive, but the city should be powerless? If we cannot have a government to take control of the situation, then how are we going to make a city more attractive than a greenspace to this segment of the population. Not everyone wants a house out there, just too many people do. Just a circular logic check. I guess I'm not getting the whole concept.

Your friendly neighborhood parasite :-D
 
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#46
I'm a Planning Director in Howell, MIchigan and we also have neo-traditional development called Town Commons (I can't post a URL until I"ve had more posts!! Sorry). I lived in Town Commons for a year until moving to a condo in downtown. There's lots of wonderful things andmany negative aspects to the development.

Home sales have been completely disappointing in Town Commons. Houses start at $250,000 -- which is the same price as the Pulte schmalz in the Townships where you can get 50% more house because you pay less in taxes. [until you get the special assessment bill for your roads and sewers] Roads are too wide (thanks Fire Department), there are drainage issues with the small lots, they are separated from the City proper by M-59 - a four lane highlway, they have trouble keeping retailers and blame the lack of signage for the problem, and the apartments are mismanaged.

But I have to say that I've never seen such a vibrant neighborhood in terms of neighbor to neighbor connections and community spirit -- they play sports together, have once a month parties, and seem to enjoy the proximity. I have a few friends that have homes in Town commons and they enjoy the neighborhood more than they enjoy their homes.

I'm not sure what the long term will hold for the development. Rumor has it that the development is up for sale. The Michigan economy, which is impacting Cherry Hill Village, is also sluggish here in Livingston County.
 
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#47
So it is the City's job to make things look attractive, but the city should be powerless?
Separate the government from the city. Make the city a private enterprise. It will be significantly more powerful and more efficient than before. Then it will naturally try to improve its environment and lure back residents.
 
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#48
Separate the government from the city. Make the city a private enterprise. It will be significantly more powerful and more efficient than before. Then it will naturally try to improve its environment and lure back residents.
How is this different from the representative democracy we have now? The citizens for on their leadership. If they do not like the way things are going they can be voted out.
 

jaws

BANNED
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#49
How is this different from the representative democracy we have now? The citizens for on their leadership. If they do not like the way things are going they can be voted out.
There's a different between a horribly poor mayor that finally gets voted out and an enterprising competitive mayor that runs the city productively. Representative democracy will never get you the latter.

Please read my essay, I already explained all the details.
 

Big Red

Cyburbian
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#50
3). A few miles from this location are naturally occuring historic downtowns including Belleville, Ypsilanti and Plymouth. These areas have real character and charm. The cost of the housing is less to boot, and the materials used far better.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y21/BIGREDPHOTO/thAvatar_18.gif

Yes, Please folks let's not trample each other on the way up to the alter of the new golden calf. TND, New Urban, Smart Growth:victory: Greenfield developments are not helping the already declining suburbs, they simply seek to replace them with a new vernacular much as the suburbs replaced urban centers 40 years ago. The smart money is headed back into real places like the aforementioned Plymouth, Ypsi, etc. This souless pastel crap will be the bane of future planners as tract housing and cul-de-sacs are to us today. This sort of design is more appropriate as re-development for existing suburban regional shopping mall areas. If it's built on a farm or agricultural land that provides current benefit to the community how do you reconcile that loss against what you have "gained"??? :s:
 
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#52
Craigslist/Detroit analogy is sort of biased. Most of the Craigslisters are independant folks doing a FSBO, while Detroit's homes are mostly done using MLS, as they are generally harder to sell, so they need to get the word out to as many folks as possible. Royal Oak is the hot scenester area, and Craigslist is very scenserterist (sp?).

I bought my Detroit home some 12 years ago and it is now worth three times what I paid for it. Homes in Detroit appreciated nicely for several years. By suburban standards this is still cheap, but next to homes in Northern Michigan (outside of the traverse sphere of influence, it is quite expensive), I'm not sure what you are defining as a typical michigan house, as some are on 30 foot lots and others are on 40 acre parcels. In the areayou picked most of the new development is done by resoring existing buildings or by builders/developers as townhouses. While it has a long way to go to be Royal Oak you cannot discount some of the big changes in market value that many of the traditional neighborhoods within the city have made.

Whne you look at this in comparison to the city losing population at a rate of 1,000 a month it is remarkable.
 
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#53
Well, I'm not a fan of New Urbanism either. Cities usually grow organically, in predictable, yet chaotic patterns. "New Urbanism" towns simply lack history and the infrastructure that comes with it. How about this as a question: Why do people move to places like this, and still keep cars? If there is a close downtown and employment center, why still keep your car?

Also, I've got a feeling those houses are not well constructed. I live in a poor, underdeveloped neighborhood in Albany, NY, and my house, while not as big and impressive as these houses, will still be around in 200 years.

PS: Privatization is clap-trap. I don't want my city taken over by a self-selected bunch of rich people who live in the suburbs or expensive penthouses. I'll take it over myself, thanks. However, the current situation of political corruption won't work either. The reality is that our cities are in fact "privately" owned in the sense that wealthy people call the shots anyway, and look at what has happened.
In fact, true community action, participation, and ownership might turn blighted urban areas around.
 

Luca

Cyburbian
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#54
Well, I'm not a fan of New Urbanism either. Cities usually grow organically, in predictable, yet chaotic patterns.
WRONG. Some of the greatest neighbourhoods grew along planned liens. Edinburgh New Town, many parts of London (including Richmond, a gem), some fot he prettiest parts of Paris. One could go on. ONLY 20th century planned towns stink.

"New Urbanism" towns simply lack history and the infrastructure that comes with it.
New Urbanism isn’t only (or even mainly) about TNDs. You need to research the subject a bit before spouting off, mate.

How about this as a question: Why do people move to places like this, and still keep cars? If there is a close downtown and employment center, why still keep your car?
To drive to other places?? It’s not about NEVER driving or hating cars. It’s about not having to drive EVERYWHERE.
 
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#55
Insiders view to Urban Development

I live near Canton and this new urbanism development. However, I do see a great potential in building this downtown area. I am considering opening a restaurant in this area. What are your thoughts as urban developers? How do I attract people to this "vacant" location? The lease is very high, which I plan to NEGOTIATE. How can I improve the foot traffic? How successful would this endeavor be? At this point, there is only a Cold Stone and a coffee shop (opening soon) that will only serve coffee and donuts. I am going more towards upscale but very personalized. Seating will be less than 45. I am very open for ideas. I have looked in Ann Arbor - which I love and still have the opportunity, just not sure if I want to play the politics game that is so prevalent.
 
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#56
How do I attract people to this "vacant" location? The lease is very high, which I plan to NEGOTIATE. How can I improve the foot traffic? How successful would this endeavor be?
Did you know that last year they had an auction to get rid of homes from this development??

Did you know that besides the couple hundred houses/condos apartments at Cherry Hill and Ridge there is NOTHING else out there? Do you think that with the downturn in the economy people are still looking for upscale housing at the fringe of the urban area??

Why do you think there are no other businesses out there if it is such a good market? My gosh some of the worst neighborhoods in Detroit have better retail than this place.

I would suggest you look elsewhere. You seem to be looking in some very high dollar areas. You should look at places like Manchester, Chelsea, Ypsi, Plymouth, heck even tried and true Detroit or Dearborn. These areas have a lot of traffic and by you being there you can generate additional traffic.

If you're hot on Canton, maybe you should be over by the IKEA, no body moves to Canton to walk places. If you think you can increase pedestrians where there are generations of people who would not know a pedestrian if it walked out in front of them, you really need to think about this before sinking $$$ here. If people wanted walkable neighborhoods and be by Canton they would live in Plymouth, Wayne, Ypsi.....

BTW, I just noticed the crappy pavement of both the streets and sidewalks in the pics ski's originally posted. The streets gat harly any traffic, are only a few years old, yet riddled with potholes. The sidewalks are built wrong, with lines set up in ways that will gaurantee cracking and deterioration. Does this sound like they were using new urban principles when building this?
 
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#57
Wow, I was there last about 6 years ago and it was nothing but a church and an old general store, and farms for as far as the eye can see.
That answers my only peeve that it looked like the land for the housing development was cleared of any mature trees and the new development put in its standard of "one tree every 25 feet." The homes will definitely fit better in 40 years when the trees are large enough. ;-)
 
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#58
Wow...very nice.

And also one thing I hope NU projects will be able to master is to include the necessary big-box retail (grocer, home center, electronics) into their projects (and do it well), that will both serve its community and the existing area.

Otherwise, a good project.
I would hope that big box retailers would be incorporated without the big box look - especially without the acres of wasteful surface parking. It is possible to incorporate big box chains into typical urban buildings - I've seen it done in both Pasadena and San Francisco (Target, Marshalls, etc).

Not too many tornados here, but when they hit.. youch!

I suppose what bothers me most about this development is the fact that it is sucking up prime farmland while other parts of metro Detroit empty out. It makes little sense, but hey its based on the priniple of reducing the risk of your return when you sell your home, not based in creating a real livable area where people will live for years to come. Every five years properties on the fringe turn over like clockwork.
Very good point. I think the future lies in revitalized urban neighborhoods. Americans need to place more value on our precious farmland, especially as it gets more expensive to transport industrially-grown produce from across the globe.
 
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ovi

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#59
Cherry Hill looks good on paper and looks good in photos but when you consider the context of the site, I think it falls flat on its face. It's a subdivision in the middle of farmland and traditional subdivision development. Sure, the lots are smaller and the setbacks are smaller, but it just doesn't make sense. I found it completely bizarre to drive past a traditional subdivision development (large homes on large lots with large garages, etc.) to get to Cherry Hill Village. I wasn't impressed with the quality of the construction, either.
 
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#60
There is a very similar development being built in Markham, Ontario. The developer is trying to recreate a Victorian era community of big Victorian manors surrounding a central square which will include a church, a library and a few other amenities. It is being built to encourage community-building and make a pedestrian-friendly environment.

Of course on a social and aesthetic level these developments are a vast improvement on traditional low-density suburban development. But I can never help but think that it is just a nice way of covering up the relentless urban sprawl that we see all over North America. The development in Markham is being built on prime farmland and on an environmentally sensitive glacial landscape. Although these "new urbanist" developments are intriguing I still believe more needs to be done to curb low-density development on the fringes of cities.
 
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