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Old 02-15-2014, 08:04 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,349,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Regarding aesthetics.

I guess technically it's an opinion (because it's subjective) that

Rotting meat smells bad
Quitting smoking is difficult
70F and sunshine is pleasant
Flowers are pretty

However I think the vast majority of people would agree with the above statements and you don't really have to justify them, so I wouldn't just dismiss them as "personal opinion".
Except none of these are analogous...and they aren't being used as rationale to impose restrictions on someone else's property.

If you find the "flowers to be ugly", do you believe you are empowered to demand that the owner tear them out for your personal preference? Is the owner obligated to plant flowers that meet your personal preferences? Apparently that is what is being promoted here.

Quote:
As opposed to say...

The president is doing a good job
We should build more modernist architecture
Jessica Simpson is a great role model
Artichokes are tasty

The second set of statements would have a fair bit of people both agreeing and disagreeing with them, so you would have to justify why you think they are true (or in the case of artichokes is difficult to justify for or against).

Going back to strip malls. Does anyone really find parking lots more attractive than 19th century buildings (assuming they're both relatively well maintained)? I'm sure there are people who might rather have the parking lots as a compromise in the name of convenience (as a driver), but do they actually find the parking lot more attractive???
The examples are non-analogous because they aren't being used to rationalize control over someone else's property.

The point is that your aesthetic opinion is irrelevant. The property belongs to someone else and is not yours to decide what you want to do with it or how you want it to appear regardless of what your aesthetic opinion of the property is.

 
Old 02-15-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,833 posts, read 29,106,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
I guess it's the cheapest way to develop commercial property, a lot less than building an enclosed mall. What bugs me most about them is they are mostly empty. Maybe full for a brief flash of time then one moves or goes out of business.
The strip mall probably returns the most rental income on a small commercially-zoned property which can not fit a larger, enclosed retail establishment. Having multiple tenants at least ensures continuous flow of rent in the event one or more units is vacant.

On one hand, I feel that the town (or governing municipality) should keep track of commercial vacancies and consider that before approving yet another generic strip mall. On the other hand, I feel a property owner should be able to develop their land as it is zoned.

Personally, I would like to see larger, vacant commercial buildings (strip malls or car dealerships) converted/repurposed into affordable housing for young people starting out or retirees. These buildings are on main roads, are on bus routes, and would allow for residents to be car independent.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 08:25 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Except none of these are analogous...and they aren't being used as rationale to impose restrictions on someone else's property.

If you find the "flowers to be ugly", do you believe you are empowered to demand that the owner tear them out for your personal preference? Is the owner obligated to plant flowers that meet your personal preferences? Apparently that is what is being promoted here.
The post did not. It just asked people's aesthetic taste, perhaps you could find another implications but that's not what memph was discussing in that post to understand people's reactions negative or positive to strip malls. Why couldn't you just answer with your taste? I've criticized strip malls in this thread, I haven't advocated any restrictions.

Not saying it's a good (or bad idea), but cities zone and regulate based on aesthetics all the time. Setback rules, various housing regulations are mainly aesthetic based.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 11:08 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,277,138 times
Reputation: 20413
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBeeHave View Post
The strip mall probably returns the most rental income on a small commercially-zoned property which can not fit a larger, enclosed retail establishment. Having multiple tenants at least ensures continuous flow of rent in the event one or more units is vacant.

On one hand, I feel that the town (or governing municipality) should keep track of commercial vacancies and consider that before approving yet another generic strip mall. On the other hand, I feel a property owner should be able to develop their land as it is zoned.

Personally, I would like to see larger, vacant commercial buildings (strip malls or car dealerships) converted/repurposed into affordable housing for young people starting out or retirees. These buildings are on main roads, are on bus routes, and would allow for residents to be car independent.
Could be problematic with zoning.

Cities crave retail because of the revenue it generates.... housing is often seen as a loss.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 11:18 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 4,954,544 times
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The premise of this thread is terrible. Complaining that they swallow up space for parking rejects the idea that providing parking may be a public benefit. No, everyone is going to move into tiny cells. They will keep right on living in the suburbs. It isn't a great use of space in a downtown environment, but it is very reasonable in the suburbs. I've seen stores with insufficient parking. I can't tell you much about what was inside them, because there wasn't room for me to park and go in to shop. So I didn't, and they got to enjoy not getting my money.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Northeast
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One size glove doesn't fit all. We can debate all day long about strip malls (the good, the bad and the ugly) but in the end it's all about location. Isn't that the catch word about Real Estate..Location, Location, Location..

Strip malls may be a blight in some areas of the country, while in others a boom. It all depends where yeah live.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 01:42 PM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,349,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The post did not. It just asked people's aesthetic taste, perhaps you could find another implications but that's not what memph was discussing in that post to understand people's reactions negative or positive to strip malls. Why couldn't you just answer with your taste? I've criticized strip malls in this thread, I haven't advocated any restrictions.

Not saying it's a good (or bad idea), but cities zone and regulate based on aesthetics all the time. Setback rules, various housing regulations are mainly aesthetic based.
Memph's comments were directed at my comments which were pointing out that OuttaTheLouBurbs' complaints were little more than pretext for controlling/restricting the property of others based on OuttaTheLouBurbs' personal aesthetic preferences. It's more than a little disingenuous of you to remove the context from the thread.

Your fundamental hypothesis is seriously flawed. Setback rules are not aesthetic based and neither are most housing regulations. Setback rules are designed to limit congestion and overcrowding, for visibility and traffic safety, access to structures, light, separation of land uses and users, privacy, health, and safety among other things.

You can complain about strip malls all you want but trying to re-define fundamental principles of property ownership (as in eradicating it) tends to be the general objective of those promoting their personal aesthetics as the controlling factor as to "what should be done" with OTHER people's property.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,760,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Memph's comments were directed at my comments which were pointing out that OuttaTheLouBurbs' complaints were little more than pretext for controlling/restricting the property of others based on OuttaTheLouBurbs' personal aesthetic preferences. It's more than a little disingenuous of you to remove the context from the thread.

Your fundamental hypothesis is seriously flawed. Setback rules are not aesthetic based and neither are most housing regulations. Setback rules are designed to limit congestion and overcrowding, for visibility and traffic safety, access to structures, light, separation of land uses and users, privacy, health, and safety among other things.

You can complain about strip malls all you want but trying to re-define fundamental principles of property ownership (as in eradicating it) tends to be the general objective of those promoting their personal aesthetics as the controlling factor as to "what should be done" with OTHER people's property.
OuttaTheLouBurbs' complaints weren't just about aesthetics but also about pedestrian access and use of space. Although he considers strip malls undesirable, it's not entirely clear what he intended to do about them.

As long as there will be taxes and regulations, they will always have some sort of influence on what kind of development happens. There was another thread about the land value tax, which would be one way to reduce the incentives for building strip malls. Another would be to eliminate parking requirements. Another would be to ease zoning regulations and streamline the approval process for building infill and consider how certain projects can impact where development will occur (ex building a new freeway loop vs transit). This would lead to more infill and less greenfield development, which means land will be more expensive, pressuring property owners to reduce surface parking, it would likely decrease auto mode share too, reducing the need for parking.

The above is how I would approach the issue.

Regarding setback rules, I disagree, I think aesthetics are part of it.

How do they limit congestion and overcrowding?
Why are setbacks an issue for visibilty and traffic safety an issue? Even for street corners, there's usually the standard 50-60ft street ROW (of which typically only about 30ft is curb to curb) that allows you to see whether or not traffic is coming. Away from street corners I don't see how it would be an issue.
Access to structures? We're not talking about building in the middle of the street or building a house in someone backyard that will lack access to the street, we're talking about setbacks.
Health?
Why is separation of land uses and users more justifiable than aesthetic concerns? I mean preventing the building a steel mill in the middle of a neighbourhood is understandable but most regulations are much more restrictive than that (and what does this have to do with setbacks anyways?). Plus wouldn't parking be considered a land use?
Light, privacy and safety can be used to justify some setbacks requirements, but not all (ex front setbacks). It's also not applicable to new subdivisions where there are no existing residents that would be negatively impacted because no-one lives there yet.

There's also plenty of other regulations that clearly are aesthetic. For instance, I suspect in most neighbourhoods, it would be illegal to build a house that's a concrete box with no outward or street facing windows. In many municipalities around here, there are also rules regarding the height of hedges and walls in front of the house, or driveway width.

Also some of the justifications you used for setbacks can be used against strip malls.

Abundance of free parking incentivizes people to drive, creating congestion. Also, most strip malls are located on high speed high volume arterials and putting driveways on these kinds of roads creates congestion and traffic safety issues. And for access, some strip malls aren't very accessible to pedestrians. There's also environmental issues like the amount of impervious surface creating tons of stormwater run-off.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 05:43 PM
 
6,435 posts, read 9,953,387 times
Reputation: 7983
Maybe it's just me but I don't understand what concern are suburban strip malls to urban city dwellers. If you don't want to see them, don't live there.
 
Old 02-15-2014, 05:50 PM
 
6,435 posts, read 9,953,387 times
Reputation: 7983
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
We have the most terrible strip mall in the history of the universe nearby. Unfortunately is is where Target is. I don't know how much worse they could have used the space. And I had hope Target would spur some improvements, but it is a disaster. There is no way you would even thinking about walking from store to store. Every time I try to walk to Best Buy from Target, I am afraid that I will get run over.

It is like 2 miles across! Or something. Cars speed through stop signs. There are medians and barriers between the different stores:
http://goo.gl/maps/YJjXf
That's the nicest street in ghetto Oakland. That area is the last place you need to be concerned about.

Last edited by allenk893; 02-15-2014 at 06:25 PM..
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