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Old 10-30-2012, 07:57 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,942,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
Kohmeht, when it dries out, I think you might want to consider a move to NYC. I think you'd likely be MUCH happier there.
Loving a place does not preclude one from wanting it to be better.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,795 posts, read 39,781,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Start with getting rid of SF zoning in the center city - everything between 183 and Ben White, Mopac to 183 should have the option of MF.

Bump up MF1 to MF2, MF2 to MF3, etc.

Get rid of highly restrictive parking requirements, in dense cities not everyone needs or wants two spaces. Having to build parking lots for people who wont use them is nonsensical.

Impervious cover restrictions make sense in environmentally sensitive areas - this does not and should not include the center city.

Kill the McMansion ordinance - it's driving families with children to the suburbs.

Stop doing stupid crap like the red-line designed to take people out of central Austin. Build urban rail instead that is local.

Oh - and lower taxes. The high tax burden is another massive problem that drives people outside the city.
In other words, encourage the goal to gut the center city and turn it into nothing but apartments, condos, and skyscrapers. Just charming.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
In other words, encourage the goal to gut the center city and turn it into nothing but apartments, condos, and skyscrapers. Just charming.
Encourage multi-family and mixed use - absolutely. People living close to services and amenities that allow them to walk enjoyable streets filled with life. oh the horrors.

Remember what the alternative is - building endless suburbs, long traffic jams, paving your paradise.

Still haven't heard what your magical third way is. Guess that's because it doesn't exist.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
1,599 posts, read 2,031,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
In other words, encourage the goal to gut the center city and turn it into nothing but apartments, condos, and skyscrapers. Just charming.
...involving massive government intervention in the marketplace. It appalls me to think of the level of social engineering the city would have to undertake at taxpayer expense.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:00 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,942,017 times
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Originally Posted by rah62 View Post
...involving massive government intervention in the marketplace. It appalls me to think of the level of social engineering the city would have to undertake at taxpayer expense.
Quite the opposite actually. I advocate taking the shackles off people to allow development to occur naturally. No social engineering - allowing the market place to function naturally.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
7,668 posts, read 16,932,633 times
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Thus far, I've been hesitant to chime in on this thread, as these kinds of discussions tend to be endless and unsatisfying.

Um, that's all
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
1,599 posts, read 2,031,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Quite the opposite actually. I advocate taking the shackles off people to allow development to occur naturally. No social engineering - allowing the market place to function naturally.
So rezoning an entire city, mandating a certain number (or lack thereof) of parking spaces, building more government "urban rail" and retaining "impervious cover" regulations is allowing the free market to work its magic?

Wow.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:48 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 25,013,863 times
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But here's the real irony... all this density does not foster any of the "weirdness" that Austin is known for and beloved for, it just wipes it out. None of the new highrise buildings have or will have one iota of whatever "weirdness" that they are replacing. None. So logically, if we keep doing what we've been doing, at some point it will all be gone. And with it, a lot of the uniqueness that gives Austin its personality.

And to me the push-pull of "density vs sprawl" creates a false dichotomy that serves no one well. Limiting thinking to a single choice of a high density core, versus pushing all the high value commercial development out to the "burbs" misses the point that neither extreme is the way a city organically grows if there is the right balance of freedom vs control.

The very best plans I've seen are the ones that work with the existing patterns of the city to grow in clumps or islands of density separated by residential neighborhoods, and connected by major arteries. To me the development so far in the area around 38th and Lamar is far more human and humane and livable and attractive than what is currently going on downtown. There are a bunch of midrise medical and professional and residential buildings, a big developed shopping center, a city park, two hospitals, a ton of small businesses and restaurants of every ilk, and it's reasonably approachable from all directions by car and public transportation and biking and walking, and surrounded in all directions by the homes of people.

And there are easily a dozen other existing points of nexus like that in the city which could be allowed to grow up, as well as out, creating islands of higher density that do not overwhelm their surroundings. Northcross (W. Anderson Lane), N. Airport Rd, Arboretum, S. Congress at Ben White, Burnett at Koenig, I'm sure you can name your own favorites, are all areas that could receive the kind of mixed-use development that is currently driving the downtown high-rise cycle.

Spread that development around and you'll have a much more diverse and vibrant city for a wider range of interests and life styles.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,795 posts, read 39,781,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
But here's the real irony... all this density does not foster any of the "weirdness" that Austin is known for and beloved for, it just wipes it out. None of the new highrise buildings have or will have one iota of whatever "weirdness" that they are replacing. None. So logically, if we keep doing what we've been doing, at some point it will all be gone. And with it, a lot of the uniqueness that gives Austin its personality.

And to me the push-pull of "density vs sprawl" creates a false dichotomy that serves no one well. Limiting thinking to a single choice of a high density core, versus pushing all the high value commercial development out to the "burbs" misses the point that neither extreme is the way a city organically grows if there is the right balance of freedom vs control.

The very best plans I've seen are the ones that work with the existing patterns of the city to grow in clumps or islands of density separated by residential neighborhoods, and connected by major arteries. To me the development so far in the area around 38th and Lamar is far more human and humane and livable and attractive than what is currently going on downtown. There are a bunch of midrise medical and professional and residential buildings, a big developed shopping center, a city park, two hospitals, a ton of small businesses and restaurants of every ilk, and it's reasonably approachable from all directions by car and public transportation and biking and walking, and surrounded in all directions by the homes of people.

And there are easily a dozen other existing points of nexus like that in the city which could be allowed to grow up, as well as out, creating islands of higher density that do not overwhelm their surroundings. Northcross (W. Anderson Lane), N. Airport Rd, Arboretum, S. Congress at Ben White, Burnett at Koenig, I'm sure you can name your own favorites, are all areas that could receive the kind of mixed-use development that is currently driving the downtown high-rise cycle.

Spread that development around and you'll have a much more diverse and vibrant city for a wider range of interests and life styles.
EXACTLY! It's neither urban density as defined by high rises OR "sprawl" as defined by suburban blandness. It's many cities within a city (think NYC, as one example), all with personality and vibrancy.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:42 AM
 
2,627 posts, read 5,831,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Remember what the alternative is - building endless suburbs, long traffic jams, paving your paradise.
I still don't understand how the solutions that you're proposing can actually change anything. The city of Austin has no power over Cedar Park, Round Rock, Leander, Kyle, etc. Those cities are where the most sprawl is happening. Are you stating that the State or the Federal government needs to get involved to strong-arm the city of Austin or these other "sprawling" cities? The city of Austin does not provide emergency services, utilities, or anything really to these "suburbs" that provide affordable single-family housing as part of the sprawl.

Also, will your plan bring down the property values of current Central Austin residents or even its surrounding areas? Because, if that's the case, the fight will be never-ending. While your intentions may be good, it's a battle that can't be won. If every person in power within Austin is poised to lose hundreds of thousands on their $500K plus valued Central Austin properties, you will never win. They will vote down everything to save their property values which is the same reason why you're seeing things develop the way they are now. I applaud you for fighting for what you believe in, but my vote for Gary Johnson is just as futile.
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