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Old 04-05-2013, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Weymouth, The South
786 posts, read 1,603,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
OK. The current local governments seem to be either incompetent, uninterested or serve someone else's interest.
If it is one of the first two then all we have to do is to do their job, come up with a detailed plan and present it to them. I have no idea how the regulations should be changed. Does anyone else have?

nei: "I'm not suggesting an urban growth boundary so some people live in an average home (whatever that might be) on the edge of a city for the privilege of living near nature "
-You might not, but I think many do.
You also said " still have vast forest nearby, say 5-7 miles.". So is it 5 or 7? The difference between 5 and 7 is better living for thousands of people.
darkeconomist said it earlier in the thread; lifting or expanding the UGB and just sprawling farther out is not the answer. For every mile you grow the urban environment, you lose a mile of rural area, which you'll never get back. Sometimes, it is necessary to grow our cities, but when there are other methods for adding more properties to the market, such as sorting out better zoning or infill projects, I fail to see why destroying nature is the best option. You may say that it seems unlikely that certain cities will sort of their zoning laws or actually create or allow decent infill projects, but why do you dismiss those as options because they're unlikely to happen, and yet bang on about how UGBs need to be expanded, which I'm sure is equally unlikely?

Also, why do you have this idea that living in a huge house on a big lot is 'better' than living in an apartment? And that it's what everyone wants? I'm sure a whole heap of people would indeed love to have their own little slice of suburbia, maybe a majority, maybe not, but there's another big group of people who would love, or be entirely happy to live in an apartment within walking distance of lots of amenities. Quality of life isn't measured in square feet.

Either way, you seem to place the importance of man's whims over that of nature, and that seems entirely wrong to me. 1 person, or even 4 people, do not need a 2,000 or 3,000 sq ft home. They may want one, but they don't need one. They especially do not need one at the expense of a 1/4 acre of nature. When we as free people have the ability and the right to go pretty much wherever we like in the world, I really don't see why our dwellings need to be anything more than a couple of hundred square feet per person. We can roam the earth, we're not restricted to our homes as if they're our particular territory. It's not a prison, it's a place for you to sleep, and be safe, and though some people might want a 1,000 sq foot house all to themselves, that's all it is, a want.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:54 AM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,497,473 times
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I am not advocating for SFH developments INSTEAD of inner city development. Inner city development would not be SFH type but apartment buildings and town homes. So the growing cities need BOTH detached and apartment building type developments. Just one type is not enough. I didn't dismiss the idea of inner city development, but trying to point out that the Bay Area governments have completely dismissed SFH development on green/brown land. Their plans with the rigid UGB reflects that. It is about the lack of choice.

Maybe not everyone wants a house instead of an apartment, but I do and many others do as well. Also not everyone wants to live in apartment buildings, but the near future offerings are ONLY these. In the new constructions front there is virtually zero offering for those people who wants to live in detached SFHs. So no one is forcing anyone to live in SFHs, it is quiet the opposite, and I am opposing this.

"Either way, you seem to place the importance of man's whims over that of nature, and that seems entirely wrong to me. 1 person, or even 4 people, do not need a 2,000 or 3,000 sq ft home. They may want one, but they don't need one. They especially do not need one at the expense of a 1/4 acre of nature. "
-0.3%/year expanding is NOT the destroying of the nature. There is plenty of nature left, and it is not getting in unreachable distance either. See above. I think this nature vs. people view you have is extreme far right and also unrealistic.
I am not advocating for 1/4 acre but for 3000sqft lots. And many people want their own backyard with some trees and plants. Me too.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:49 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,006,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
So there are 2 options only? srawl like crazy, or rigid UGB forever?
With proper regulations the expansion of the cities would be minimal (a 15 mile wide city would grow to be 15.5miles wide in 10 years) but with huge effect on housing affordability by providing a huge amount of new housing. I don't think it is a huge impact on the accessibility of "nature". It's not binary. You don't need to double the size of the city to restore the housing market, 0.3% per year size increase would solve all the housing problems.
Given San Jose's zoning regulations, yes, the option is binary: horizontal expansion without vertical expansion OR ongoing crushing land value. Speaking more generally, no, the options are not limited to two polar opposites.

It's good to look at San Jose vs. its neighbors. While this doesn't directly apply to UGBs, it's indicative of San Jose's outlook. Industrial TOD (w/in 2000 feet of a LRT station) in north San Jose (North 1st) can have a FAR of up to (if I remember correctly) 0.40. Sunnyvale, on the other hand, set up a special district north of 101 (Moffet Park) where industrial TOD (w/in 1/4 mile of that same LRT line) can have a FAR of up to 0.70. For industrial zones w/in Moffet Park that are beyond 1/4 mile, the FAR max is 0.50. It's a stark comparison of the built forms that have developed as a result.

And, regarding nature, as I said, it's not about proximity to the city limits, but to large parks and extensive trails that matters. But, cities like SJ don't even have the funds to build a park when the land is given to it (as is the case with the old farm between Snell, Chynoweth, and Branham). So, it's unlikely that we'd see the kind of medium and large parks (see Butcher, Watson, De Anza, Morgan parks) or open areas (eg, Guadalupe Oak Grove Park) that add value to neighborhoods unless developers were required to provide them (mostly, required parks are piecemeal).

Last edited by darkeconomist; 04-05-2013 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:02 PM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,497,473 times
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A park like this?
Your Colchester - Highwoods Country Park
I used to go there riding my bike on weekends.
It is a half sqmile, which does not occupy too much space, so it would fit anywhere surprisingly. Maybe have 5-10 of these around the silicon valley outside the UGB and still have lots of developments too. The rigid UGB wants to preserve ALL land to nature.

Based on my calculations there would still be a lot of space to expand on grassy lands around the UGB in the SV. And that would provide 1000 new homes/year for 30-70 years. Of course with regulations on lot size (300sqft max) strip malls, new road type/size and so on. The builders sould be allowed to build with conditions. And they would pay for new roads and parks too.
And to stress it: the local population needs BOTH inner city apartments and perimeter SFHs to be built in the same time.

San Jose has headquarters of multinational corporations. Still they cant afford things?

The other problems is (as I mentioned) that rigid UGBs are an invitation for real estate speculators. If you establish UGBs then you should also establish housing market regulations in the same time. Both or neither. E.g. vacancy tax or higher property taxes on non primary residence or higher property taxes for non-residents or property sales tax in case the seller is not buying another home. Or some other regulations, maybe other people have already found out what could stop speculation, but didn't implement it here. I understand free market and capitalism, but speculation on necessities is unethical (plus with restricted supply by UGB we don't have free housing market either). It is a generic problem where free market proponents want to preserve some aspects of free market but not all aspects, resulting in a non-free market with excessive speculation. It doesn't have to be a free market (OK to have UGB), but then don't treat it as if it was a free market (allowing speculation). So UGB without market regulation is harmful for the local society. So have either both or none.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:23 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,006,214 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
San Jose has headquarters of multinational corporations. Still they cant afford things?
The high price of land has hurt San Jose, too. Between the relative low densities of businesses and residents and the "high" (relatively) wages the city pays as a result of those land prices, it's burning the budget candle at both ends.

Highwoods is exactly the kind of park I refer to, though, it should be noted, the built form of England outside of Greater London is, as I understand it, very alien to California. It would be like having 70% of the population live in LA, and everywhere else have the density of Los Banos.

FYI, here's the Coyote Valley plan's draft map[PDF], circa 2005 (ie, pre-2007 bust). Here's the specific plan. Wishful thinking for transit links to the Golden Triangle is a strong negative, but I otherwise like the looks of it.

Last edited by darkeconomist; 04-05-2013 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:25 PM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,497,473 times
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Based on this:
Coyote Valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
They have abandoned the plan. Pity...
What the Wikipedia page describes is that there are wild animals in the Coyote Valley's undeveloped land (surprise?), and that is a reason to not develop. Still better than those who stop developments because there are ancient arrowheads in the soil...
By the way all cities that stand today and all houses (including yours) are on land that used to belong to wilderness. So, what is the difference between past developments and future developments? Developments in the past is OK, but no more? Is the "nature" defined by 2013 boundaries?
I agree having country parks in close proximity is important, but having the edge of the 1000 miles wilderness a bit closer to your home should not have any significance, and especially not worth lowering quality of life of many people for it.

England and most of Europe are full of small towns and villages at very close proximity to each other. Every 5-10 miles there is a small town, between there is mainly agricultural land. Here in CA we have longer distances between towns, meaning there is much more nature, or even excessive amount wilderness that is not under threat of disappearing in the next 1000 years.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,495,175 times
Reputation: 4893
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceTenmile View Post
darkeconomist said it earlier in the thread; lifting or expanding the UGB and just sprawling farther out is not the answer. For every mile you grow the urban environment, you lose a mile of rural area, which you'll never get back. Sometimes, it is necessary to grow our cities, but when there are other methods for adding more properties to the market, such as sorting out better zoning or infill projects, I fail to see why destroying nature is the best option. You may say that it seems unlikely that certain cities will sort of their zoning laws or actually create or allow decent infill projects, but why do you dismiss those as options because they're unlikely to happen, and yet bang on about how UGBs need to be expanded, which I'm sure is equally unlikely?

Also, why do you have this idea that living in a huge house on a big lot is 'better' than living in an apartment? And that it's what everyone wants? I'm sure a whole heap of people would indeed love to have their own little slice of suburbia, maybe a majority, maybe not, but there's another big group of people who would love, or be entirely happy to live in an apartment within walking distance of lots of amenities. Quality of life isn't measured in square feet.

Either way, you seem to place the importance of man's whims over that of nature, and that seems entirely wrong to me. 1 person, or even 4 people, do not need a 2,000 or 3,000 sq ft home. They may want one, but they don't need one. They especially do not need one at the expense of a 1/4 acre of nature. When we as free people have the ability and the right to go pretty much wherever we like in the world, I really don't see why our dwellings need to be anything more than a couple of hundred square feet per person. We can roam the earth, we're not restricted to our homes as if they're our particular territory. It's not a prison, it's a place for you to sleep, and be safe, and though some people might want a 1,000 sq foot house all to themselves, that's all it is, a want.
You can't argue with someone who honestly thinks they can be as irresponsible and hedonistic as they like because God made the earth for humans to exploit and will destroy it in the near future.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:22 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,006,214 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
Based on this:
Coyote Valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
They have abandoned the plan. Pity...
I was aware that the plan had been dropped. But it is a good example of what smart, balanced growth, the only kind of growth worthy of pushing back the UGB, could look like if San Jose were to follow through with it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Weymouth, The South
786 posts, read 1,603,631 times
Reputation: 465
Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
I am not advocating for SFH developments INSTEAD of inner city development. Inner city development would not be SFH type but apartment buildings and town homes. So the growing cities need BOTH detached and apartment building type developments. Just one type is not enough. I didn't dismiss the idea of inner city development, but trying to point out that the Bay Area governments have completely dismissed SFH development on green/brown land. Their plans with the rigid UGB reflects that. It is about the lack of choice.

Maybe not everyone wants a house instead of an apartment, but I do and many others do as well. Also not everyone wants to live in apartment buildings, but the near future offerings are ONLY these. In the new constructions front there is virtually zero offering for those people who wants to live in detached SFHs. So no one is forcing anyone to live in SFHs, it is quiet the opposite, and I am opposing this.

"Either way, you seem to place the importance of man's whims over that of nature, and that seems entirely wrong to me. 1 person, or even 4 people, do not need a 2,000 or 3,000 sq ft home. They may want one, but they don't need one. They especially do not need one at the expense of a 1/4 acre of nature. "
-0.3%/year expanding is NOT the destroying of the nature. There is plenty of nature left, and it is not getting in unreachable distance either. See above. I think this nature vs. people view you have is extreme far right and also unrealistic.
I am not advocating for 1/4 acre but for 3000sqft lots. And many people want their own backyard with some trees and plants. Me too.
Nature is not a single entity. I'm not saying either you destroy all of nature or you keep the UGB as it is. Do you really believe that because it's such a small amount, every tree, and every patch of rural land that you pave over, does not count as detroying nature? Also, far right? The idea of curbing our encroachment into nature is in no way a far right idea. Why even bring politics into this? I couldn't tell you which side of the political divide your idea that constantly eating away at nature, even at a slow rate, for as long as we like falls, I just know it's incredibly entitled and irresponsible. I'll give you that you did say 3,000 sq ft not 1/4 acre, I meant 1/14.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
Based on this:
Coyote Valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
They have abandoned the plan. Pity...
What the Wikipedia page describes is that there are wild animals in the Coyote Valley's undeveloped land (surprise?), and that is a reason to not develop. Still better than those who stop developments because there are ancient arrowheads in the soil...
By the way all cities that stand today and all houses (including yours) are on land that used to belong to wilderness. So, what is the difference between past developments and future developments? Developments in the past is OK, but no more? Is the "nature" defined by 2013 boundaries?
I agree having country parks in close proximity is important, but having the edge of the 1000 miles wilderness a bit closer to your home should not have any significance, and especially not worth lowering quality of life of many people for it.

England and most of Europe are full of small towns and villages at very close proximity to each other. Every 5-10 miles there is a small town, between there is mainly agricultural land. Here in CA we have longer distances between towns, meaning there is much more nature, or even excessive amount wilderness that is not under threat of disappearing in the next 1000 years.
Yep, every inch of man's built up environment did used to be wilderness, but we can't do anything about that at this stage, all we can do is curb our development in the future. We're now far more enlightened about our place in the world than we've ever been, and as a thoughtful society we can't just continue destroying to fit our needs. You have longer distances of unbroken nature, which you think might even be an 'excessive amount' of nature, so that means it's totally cool to destroy just a little bit, or even more than that? Also, if an area isn't at risk of disappearing at the moment, that's because we're not destroying it, yet. If you go with the idea that 'oh, it's not under threat at the moment, let's build on it', you've just threatened the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
You can't argue with someone who honestly thinks they can be as irresponsible and hedonistic as they like because God made the earth for humans to exploit and will destroy it in the near future.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:53 PM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,497,473 times
Reputation: 822
We are back to the binary problem again: either destroy all nature or no expansion of cities...
The same with fishing, hunting, pollution, breathing air, manufacturing, agriculture... all should be forbidden from now on?
People vs. The Environment - Mibba

"so that means it's totally cool to destroy just a little bit, or even more than that?"
-I would call it "take" a little bit, and wouldn't call it destroying. With proper control (small lots 2-story etc) that amount of take can be minimized, but completely forbidding it is I think wrong.
You are trying to depict me as an irresponsible drunk rapist, just because I dare to suggest to take a little bit from nature. You might not be far right, but some kind of radical who worships nature and hates people.
There are few cities with rare innovative economic activity, and these few cities have to expand their boundaries. 99% of other cities don't really need to.
There is nothing irresponsible in controlled and regulated sustainable development. And sustainable development is not only vertical, but horizontal too (just with control rather than without).

"every inch of man's built up environment did used to be wilderness, but we can't do anything about that at this stage"
-That is not true: you can get your house bulldozed down and plant a small piece of forest on it. You see, it is not only available to other people, but to you too.
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