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Old 04-15-2013, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
What some of the apartmenters don't understand is that many people want to live in a place where they can have their own private (not shared) outdoor space called backyard, with plants like grass/trees/bushes. Especially in warm/sunny climates like California. For me it doesn't have to be large, just to have enough space for a family barbeque party and 2-3 smaller (fruit) trees.
You're right that some density advocates don't understand. Unfortunately, the same can be said of house advocates. But, bringing that up misses the reality that maybe it is, simply, untenable to own a home in some locations due to space constrictions, both natural and artificial. Sometimes, higher densities are just a fact of life.

That being said, I am disappointed with many of the "townhomes" that have gone up in the last 15 years. Higher density is natural, but lack of any kind of private outdoor space is not. Aside from a garage, these houses offer little benefit over a condo. In either case, you are bound by strict HOA rules.

But, going back to an earlier point about zoning, these are not the result of a free market. These perversions of houses are the result of artificially (via poor zoning rules) high land prices but a market push for the ability to own a "house," all within zoning regulations about how things can and cannot be built.

I'm all for houses, and I'd like to see more rowhouses in the vein of the outer neighborhoods of SF: long, thin, and tall, making better use of space without necessarily denying individuals private space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
Could you be more specific?
The BA governments already have a plan called "Plan Bay Area". Would this plan achieve these goals in your opinion? If not, then how would you change it? To me it looks like everything that is not in the PBA will be forbidden.
I've read the draft "One Bay Area" plan. It's long. It's boring. It's vague. It is, more than anything else, a mission statement to rally the 9-county Bay Area.

It is, unfortunately, specific on the UGB: all development should be within it. This unwavering support of our UGB is foolish; it would be very useful to allow some (thoughtful) outward expansion to pay for subsidizing infill elsewhere and taking away some of the upward growth in land prices.

Far more useful are area "Specific Plans" (eg, Moffet Park's) design guides (eg, North San Jose's), and a city's general zoning title (in SJ it's Title 20)

Zoning titles tell us how densely developers can build (units/acre, FAR, or both if the site is mixed-use), how much parking they are required to build, where they can build, how much sidewalk is required, how close a building can be to the street or the property line, etc.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
It is, unfortunately, specific on the UGB: all development should be within it.
If you didn't want a prison, you shouldn't have built a wall.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
If you didn't want a prison, you shouldn't have built a wall.
That's hyperbolic and completely ignores any context around the UGB. I'm not a fan of it. But I view it as the least worst option when faced with the possibility of unbounded low-density sprawling development and a municipal government that is unwilling and/or unable to put in place good policies for open space and sustainable transportation, public or private.

I hold that the UGB was, probably, the best of bad ideas. The problem we face now is we have not figured out how to live within the limitations of the UGB and have refused even reasonable, thoughtful and limited expansions of it. It is as if we remember the words and follow them to the letter, but forgot the original meaning.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:07 PM
 
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It looks to me that the forces behind these are ideological and political, rather than logical, economic or ecological.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:57 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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What is ecological about unfettered sprawl?
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
What is ecological about unfettered sprawl?
Who was talking about "unfettered sprawl"?
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:43 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
Who was talking about "unfettered sprawl"?
You.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
You.
]
No I wasn't . Read the whole thread. You are trying to distort this conversation.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
What is ecological about unfettered sprawl?
UGBs are an environmental issue because some vocal supporters of UGBs, in the Bay area or elsewhere, cite a need to protect "nature," which I air quote because such "natural" areas are often already rural and developed in to pasture or farmland.

I brought up "sprawl" most recently in reference to
Quote:
the possibility of unbounded low-density sprawling development
which is what we would have had in the Bay area without the UGB. This wasn't sprawl in the pejorative sense, but as a descriptor of the way it would have spread out. Price pressure has been high enough that developers would build detached SFH subdivisions and buyers would have, without the UGB to artificially bolster prices, found prices low enough to make the commute from Morgan Hill, Gilroy and points south tolerable.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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The Plan Bay area documents show the UGBs, and the plan is for until 2030. Maybe I misunderstood it, but I think it means the 2013 UGB = 2030 UGB, fixed. I would expect an UGB expansion every 5 years, and if the plan is to describe everything until 2030 then they should have an UGB for: 2013, 2018, 2023, 2028, 2033. Plus it should contain the regulations or zoning suitable for small lot 2 story SFHs (or even row houses) in the expansion area and townhomes/condos in the infill area. I think this would prevent the "unfettered sprawl". But it does not show any expansion at all.

High density living makes sense if the whole city center and amenities are built that way. Building a few apartment buildings in the middle of vast suburbia will not result in walkable neighborhoods or anything like it. N/East coast cities can build more condos more easily I think, as those cities already have the critical density to make it desirable to live in the new high condos/townhomes in the center. In California, to get to that critical density, they would have to keep building high density for 20-50 years before it becomes as desirable as for example in Boston or Manhattan. Until then what we have is small apartments without outdoor private space and you still have to go everywhere by car.
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