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torgo

New Zoning Code

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The city of GR is currently in the process of writing a form based / euclidian hybrid zoning code that will be adopted in '06. This sounds like good news to me, since it will probably be more regimented in terms of architectural style, the building's attitude toward the street, etc etc, especially downtown. It also probably help guide developments so better buildings get built.

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It is pretty ridiculous to tell people where you can put an office and where you can put a store IMO, but telling them what style of architecture seems just as silly. I guess it could go a long way to prevent tragedies like Fort Moch though.

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I agree, garyp. Oh how I wish there were some general consensus about what a building ought to look like so we could do away with zoning laws all together.

For example, what if, instead of the art museum, a retailer bought it and built a mcdonalds with a big parking lot and a drive-through on that property? Hey, its downtown retail, right? But it's a Mcdonalds, and it would be a disaster, and everyone would agree that it shouldn't be there. I think most of us have a similar vision of what downtown should look like, with nice buildings and pedestrian-friendly designs, etc. This just helps us get there :)

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There is an article in Grand Rapids Magazine that discusses the Moch case, and how the code was basically unenforced, and that other projects have also slid through.

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However, a form-based code would say "no more than X number of parking spaces" and "at least X percent of the lot must be occupied by a building", and "the building must front the street", and you "must have windows on the ground floor" with things on display for people to look at when they walk by. 

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I thought that they already put out new codes a couple of years for downtown in regards to these issues. It was my understanding that the codes that they were reworking were for the rest of the city, but I could be very well mistaken.

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I think you're right, but the codes in place regarding downtown now are viewed as "band-aids". The current re-write will be comprehensive.

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I think you're right, but the codes in place regarding downtown now are viewed as "band-aids".  The current re-write will be comprehensive.

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Hmmm. Zoning. Now THERE'S an idea. Do I smell a change on the horizon?

:rofl:

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Hmmm. Zoning. Now THERE'S an idea. Do I smell a change on the horizon?

:rofl:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, no more Chinese Restaurants downtown. I'm just kidding, no offense. Just couldn't resist.

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Is it true that years ago, there was a zoning ordinance that did not allow residential units in the city core?

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Is it true that years ago, there was a zoning ordinance that did not allow residential units in the city core?

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I don't know for sure, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me. There are gazillions of municipalities that, to this day, cannot build any kind of mixed use project anywhere(i.e. ground floor retail with apartments and condos above). One of the by-products of that is no residential in a downtown area.

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I don't know about that one.

Have you taken a trip recently?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

An older co-worker of mine told me that. She said it goes way back.

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An older co-worker of mine told me that.  She said it goes way back.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, I was referring to your tag line, "Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet?"

Sounds like you and your family went on an outing of some sort.

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Well, I was referring to your tag line, "Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet?"

Sounds like you and your family went on an outing of some sort.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:lol: No, actually, I was referring to my own impatience with some of the developments that haven't started yet.

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