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x99 last won the day on July 21 2012

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  1. It sounds to me like this is more than just blight monitoring or broken windows policing. It's more of a proposal to incorporate a number of CPTED principles into the zoning codes. Why the opposition to this? If anyone can find a study showing that CPTED does not work, I would love to see it. Most of the individual studies and various meta-analyses I have seen indicate that it does, in fact, reduce the incidence of criminal activity. I do wonder about the bit about what you can put in windows. I don't think they would say, "Gee, you can't put expensive cell phones in the window of a cel
  2. Very different. More of less all of the disaster is changed. It's pretty much what I posted a month or two should be fixed. They scrapped the weird Hardiboard fill between brick "columns" on each edge, added window hoods, and put a better cornice on it. The whole "what in the world were they thinking" factor is remediated. Personally, I prefer more distinctive, interesting designs that show a better understanding of good traditional architecture, which this is not (but neither was the old Wild Bunch, in fairness). What I prefer, though, is always risky because most architects are entirel
  3. Just how many times do I have to post my favorite South Park homeless clip? Security isn't the solution. A big shiny bus to California is the solution. "California... is nice to the homeless. California... super cool to the homeleeeeess. ... Lots of rich peopleeee... Giving change to the homeless..." So much cheaper. Such a better solution. After decades of trying all the other solution, we really should at least try.. Seriously, though, Studio Park will present a possible problem: Hundreds of people who don't know any better actually giving them money within walking distance of
  4. That's a pretty rational assessment of ridesharing. I'm inclined to agree that it doesn't really solve any congestion or cost issues at all, except perhaps for making the load in parking ramps nominally lighter. When various studies look at the cost to own a vehicle, they often consider the cost to own a vehicle that is less than 4 years old, with full insurance coverage. The reality is that the automotive fleet is much older, and the insurance costs much lower. Owning a 10 or even 15 year old car and insuring it really is not that expensive compared to the cost of "sharing" someone's bran
  5. The duplexes are a start, I suppose, but I always though that recommendation was completely stupid. It seemed to be mostly arbitrary, and probably should have been heavily attacked on those grounds. Unfortunately, that would have mean supporting the logical alternative: Allowing up to a quadplex everywhere by right within 300 feet of a contiguous commercial area of a certain size, and allowing them by right on all major city streets which have a certain traffic count, provided that parking minimums of 1 space per unit can be met. Most of those areas are already heavily populated by split
  6. Design team? Jim Bob and his brother Billy Bob? Nah, that's not fair. I don't want to sell good ol' boys short. Even good country folk know better than to put cheap parts on the pickup cuz it looks like sheeeeeeeeeeyit. This whole thing is just a disgrace.
  7. As an FYI, email boxes are probably lighting up with friendly neighborhood opposition to the proposal to make two family dwelling status available by right on corner lot houses. The battle has begun! Do your Urban Planeteer duty and write a letter of support to yer commish! Of course, the NAs won't admit that they are elitists, so the Heritage Hill NA ginned up the same old ridiculous old heap of bulls---, claiming that adding apartments just results in more expensive dwellings and has no effect on prices at all. I'm sure Eastown and the rest aren't far behind. Apparently, basic math, s
  8. Hopefully it isn't an ugly POS like that thing posted above. (Just thought I would toss out my positive comment for the day.)
  9. Horrifying for ADUs. They killed them. How foolish. Do they even realize what they've done?
  10. Well, that explains how they are going to squeeze the parking in, although it's still a little tight. They have a plan, but its going to come down to implementation with HPC and planning. It's also important to note that MSHDA credits and income limits are a far cry from the dedicated Section 8 housing across the street. It would be nice if they do some market rate in there too. A mix is generally a good thing to have.
  11. Thanks for posting that. I think it's a perfect pictorial illustration of my claim that "over garage ADUs are dead under the new regs". All it takes is this picture and the aerial plat view to prove it. What you have built here is the most cost-effective garage ADU possible, arguably the only style that Grand Rapids' rents would support. And this is no longer buildable unless you have at least 25' behind your garage to the rear lot line. So why they are still wasting time with ADUs is very confusing to me. Getting rid of an $1800 fee to get a rubber stamp while tacking on about $20,000+
  12. If that was the look they wanted, it would have been better to just rip off half the cladding to pull off some sort of interesting "reveal" look. That would have been a conversation piece and a bit of an architectural lark for a lot of right reasons. Unfortunately, I don't think CWD will probably ever sell any of their buildings, and if they do manage to get tenants, they will never bother finishing the buildings. But I hope you're right. Hopefully tenants will get sick of people asking why their building looks like garbage. But I suspect most people won't notice all the plate glass, the
  13. I walked by this project recently. What a dumpster fire. I almost think it would have been better if they had left well enough alone, if they weren't willing to do it right. I realize there were some difficulties, but... yikes. It's the architectural equivalent of some guy finding a Duesenberg Model J in a field under a tarp, slapping it full of bondo and house paint, and thinking that's okay. It ain't. Should have left the tarp on, or done at least a half decent job of it.
  14. Of course they would be. People are just silly about this stuff. Apartments are the devil for some reason. The occupancy levels in most 2000+ square foot houses in Grand Rapids are a fraction of what they were designed for. Precious "homeowners" just want to hate on evil "renters" because they (start the litany of lies) destroy property values, don't care about the neighborhood, cause inordinate amounts of traffic, bring drugs and crime, and kidnap children. Or something like that. The hilarious thing to me is that none of the publicly funded "neighborhood" associations (who will pr
  15. All things considered, it's probably the least parking-intensive use for the site. Although, I think they still might be a little shy on parking. At one point, there was some talk of putting parking in the basement of the building, but I'm not sure how feasible that ever was. Just thank your lucky stars it isn't proposed to be a 50 unit LIHTC project or a bunch of micro-units. I'm not that area could have handled either without having severe problems either parking or crime. The Section 8 project across the street for some reason has always had a significant crime problem. I s
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