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Everything posted by Spartan

  1. That's really cool! It'd exciting to see development activate space along the rail trail. Looks like a great spot for a brewery, IMO.
  2. So the market isn't responding by offering higher wages like everyone said it would? Go figure!
  3. DRB wouldn't have to nitpick if developers would stop proposing poorly designed projects. Charleston Columbia and Greenville seem to get attractive stuff, why not us?
  4. The 4 lane section of Central is only a barrier if you're assuming the street has to be 4 lanes. IMO, if we're willing to make vehicular traffic worse in order to improve the other 3 primary modes, then there is a lot of room to work with. We have to stop thinking like a driver and start thinking like someone without a car if we're ever going to make headway in this city (pun intended). There is a lot of demand to get from CTC to CPCC, Presby and Mercy. I'm not sure if BofA still has operations in Gateway, but there used to be a lot of traffic on the Gold Rush between there and the Square. I also think having a rail connection to the edge of Plaza Midwood will attract a few riders. Personally, I will take the train to Sunnyside and walk the 10 mins or whatever into PM if I'm heading that way.
  5. Catching up on this thread: Something to think about for perspective, the city of Charlotte is projected to growth by 400k people over the next 20 years and so is the city of Atlanta. They have a much smaller footprint than Charlotte, so they are going to see a lot more dense urban projects. Probably higher housing costs too.
  6. It's really great to see some momentum building on this side of Church Street!
  7. That would be a great place for apartments
  8. Part of the problem is that at 7 lanes, Asheville Hwy is waaaay to wide. Traffic count is ~15k. You can have a well functioning 2-lane road with a center turn lane and process the same amount of traffic with room to spare.
  9. I moved the grocery store discussion here:
  10. Ready to try 1 lane again?
  11. Having a grocery store just north or just south of downtown would be huge win for the city.
  12. I think Field Street is a good example of what I'm talking about for Main Street itself, between Liberty and Church specifically. I agree that the larger square needs to be included / factored into the design concept somehow. The context isn't the same, but the concept is certainly relevant.
  13. Maybe they're going to being back Community Cash
  14. Spartanburg is one of those cities, too. The Main Street Mall from Church to Converse St was part of why downtown struggled so much in the 70s-80s (along with the national trend toward suburbia). Pedestrian-only areas make sense under the right conditions - just look at any European city. You just need a critical mass of pedestrians. IMO, Greenville could, hypothetically, convert their entire Main Street (in downtown, not West End) to a pedestrian-only street and it would work well. I'm not convinced that Spartanburg has reached that point, but if it has, Morgan Square is the place where it could happen. I don't think it would work anywhere else. I fall more in the "stay open" side, but with compromise built in by design. Redesign the Square to include a woonerf-style "festival" street like in Greer that is clearly intended for pedestrians, that doesn't preclude SLOW vehicular access, and that can be easily closed to create a larger plaza across the square when needed. I do think, however, if they close the street permanently, that the Square will be ok.
  15. I love it. That's great looking house.
  16. Sorry to seem so cynical/skeptical about this. I want to clarify that I am in support of this mixed-use amendment, but I think this just highlights how ridiculous the County's development regulations are. My skepticism is not based on the concept, but how it would be applied in Spartanburg County. Huntersville (Birkdale) has a form-based code, and Waverly and Rea Farms in Charlotte are based on the city's MUDD zoning district and other land development ordinances, which are quite strong compared to Spartanburg's. For example, Charlotte has the Urban Street Design Guidelines, the Tree Ordinance, and Stormwater ordinance that each contribute in their own way to the way those projects are built. Street design itself can make or break a mixed use project. Just look at Ayrsley. The USDG policies resulted in changes to the city's subdivision ordinance that require context-sensitive street designs and street networks that accommodate all modes. Further, Waverly and Rea Farms necessitated widening Providence Road to 8+ lanes of traffic, effectively killing any chance of external walkability around otherwise more or less walkable developments. Ostensibly, any developer would want to build good streets as a part of their project. It isn't clear to me based on that ordinance amendment what determines street dimensions. So, if the internal street requirements are based on Spartanburg County's subdivision ordinance streets, then the result is going to be very wide and therefore pedestrian unfriendly streets. That said, I am admittedly not familiar with Spartanburg's regulations so perhaps it's an assumption on my part that the County's development ordinances don't have the teeth that I think would be needed to ensure we can get developments of high quality across the board. I'm basing my opinion purely on many decades of observation of development in the county. I suspect y'all on this forum are more familiar with those processes than me, so if anyone has information that can help me understand how the pieces fit together here I'd love to hear it.
  17. Its a step forward... but it ensures that we'll never see mixed use development in the unincorporated areas near the city limits. The minimum acreage is 10 acres, and it has to include single family? I tried to find the actual ordinance being considered, but after 20 minutes of looking I'm giving up. Based on the coverage in the HJ, it sounds "ok" in the sense that its better than not allowing mixed use development, but I'm highly skeptical that this will result in well-designed mixed use. The lack of design regulations is going to result in poorly designed projects that don't contribute anything to the surrounding area or the county. The County needs to step up and do something better than this. Beaufort County's form-based approach is a sight to behold, and it's making lot of change for the better in that county. Thanks for the update and welcome to the forum!
  18. It looks like Spartanburg County is taking small steps into the 20th century. Their lack of zoning and reliance on an outdated "land management" ordinance does not allow mixed use development, so they are now looking at an amendment to allow it. Apparently they have had to turn away developers, most of whom expect and rely on zoning as a tool to enable their business and ensure that everyone else is playing by the same rules. I'm in favor of the changes, but the overall lack of progress in this area is disheartening to say the least. Everyone talks about not becoming the next Atlanta, but nobody wants to do anything about it. https://www.goupstate.com/story/news/2021/03/12/planning-commission-pushes-mixed-use-projects-spartanburg-county-sc/6892517002/
  19. yup Thanks for sharing. I've seen a lot of historic photos, but never any of these!
  20. The Comp Plan and UDO are not proposing to eliminate single family zoning, but it would open up more parts of the city for missing middle housing. If you actually read what is being proposed it makes sense and seems pretty reasonable to me. There would be locational components for 3, 4 plex housing (along arterials, in station areas, etc.), and there would be form requirements for all of it. You would not be able to go into a SFR neighborhood and build a monstrosity like you're seeing in Houston. The forms would have to resemble the character of the neighborhood they are in (ie: height, width, scale of building etc.). Our 1st ring neighborhoods in Charlotte are full of these types of housing, and it has not negatively affected them at all. Here's a triplex in Dilworth you can rent for less than $1000/mo within spittin' distance of South End. Sounds pretty affordable to me. How many of you have driven by this house and not realized it was even a triplex? Also, duplexes are already allowed on corner lots pretty much anywhere in the city, and you aren't seeing every corner lot being developed. I think the 'danger' is being overhyped. Duplexes alone are not going to solve the affordable housing crisis, but they should be part of the toolbox.
  21. TBH, the power pole issue is fairly minor and IMO is a bit of a copout by the developer. It's totally possible to work with Duke Power on that design and find some sort of compromise. They could go behind the pole and in front of the transformer. At a minimum they make sidewalk guy wires specifically for this purpose and you could pave up to the edge of that transformer, resulting in at least an 8-10ft wide sidewalk (estimate based on that site plan) for the ~10-15 ft needed to get around the power pole and transformer. I realize that is pretty nitpicky, but the details matter when it comes to creating a great urban environment for pedestrians. They wouldn't settle for this in Greenville, Charleston, or Charlotte (etc.), so we shouldn't settle for it here either.
  22. True. It comes with the territory with larger footprint buildings. This is a great example of where good urbanism runs into the obstacles of suburban development regulations.
  23. I'm really excited that they are going to rebuild/restore the Babcock building.
  24. I am fully in favor of stoops, and I'm glad to see that the bottom floor has street access from each unit. I was looking at the first 2-3 renderings in that series you posted on Monday, and the walls are what jump out at me. The corner feels like a giant wall and what I assume is the Union St elevation feels like the wall gets a bit tall on the right side. IMO just feels like the whole back end could drop about 3-5 ft vertically and it would still work. Or you could raise it 2-3 feet and add a ground level on that end. Oh, and what's up with that detention pond? Not a fan of that. I support green infrastructure and protecting watersheds, but detention ponds feel very suburban to me. I realize it seems like I'm just complaining. I really do like this project, overall.
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