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dfwtiger

Murfreesboro Design Guidelines

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I have included a link to the design guidelines for Murfreesboro. These are still in the development stages. I have not had a chance to really look at them but I think it would be good for all of us to discuss.

http://www.murfreesborotn.gov/PDF_files/de...nguidelines.pdf

Just off the top of my head, all of you know that urban design is the art of creating places. In order for a package of design guidelines and standards to be complete, it must include standards and guidelines for public buildings...and standards and guidelines for streetscapes. I tend to break design in 1/3's....1/3 building form.......1/3 streetscape (or what happens between buildings...the primary public space of a city.....and 1/3 on intangibles such as unique furnishings.....people...parks...gatherings....unique districts...and so on.

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I like the idea of underground utilities, and I support the regulation of driveway size and length (this has caused a BIG problem in parts of La Vergne where builders only have to provide 2 parking spots (including the garage), so people fill up their garage with junk, only have 1 place to park on the driveway, and you get cited for parking on the street, so what do people do? Park in their yards and on the sidewalks!

I don't like mandatory home owners associations. I don't personally want someone telling me what I can do with my property. If the city thinks it's that big a deal, then regulate grass height, yeards, etc... and enforce it through your codes department.

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I like the idea of having unique districts and especially underground utilites. It seems as if these two concepts will be the last pieces of the puzzle in turning around Murfreesboro's image. Unique districts would make a big difference because it would create a sense of place and give the citizens their own voice. For example, the north end could be similar to Green Hills with its upscale housing and restaurants. Green Hills wouldn't dream of putting in a Super Wal-Mart, but instead, you will see Wild Oats, the Green Hills Mall, and many other upscale office buildings. If you drive throughout the city you can already see the makings of such (i.e. Blackman, Historic Main Street, Rutherford, Barfield, Lascasas, Mercury Boulevard, Hanes Drive). Underground utilities should be strictly enforced dowtown and applied to new developments. Broad Street, Church Street, and Old Fort Parkway are only a few places that could look better without those utility poles.

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I like the idea of having unique districts and especially underground utilites. It seems as if these two concepts will be the last pieces of the puzzle in turning around Murfreesboro's image. Unique districts would make a big difference because it would create a sense of place and give the citizens their own voice. For example, the north end could be similar to Green Hills with its upscale housing and restaurants. Green Hills wouldn't dream of putting in a Super Wal-Mart, but instead, you will see Wild Oats, the Green Hills Mall, and many other upscale office buildings. If you drive throughout the city you can already see the makings of such (i.e. Blackman, Historic Main Street, Rutherford, Barfield, Lascasas, Mercury Boulevard, Hanes Drive). Underground utilities should be strictly enforced dowtown and applied to new developments. Broad Street, Church Street, and Old Fort Parkway are only a few places that could look better without those utility poles.

I agree. I still think the guidelines should address government owned products suchs as streets and buildings. All new goverment buildings should be at least LEED certified....and we need to update the street standards.

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I agree. I still think the guidelines should address government owned products suchs as streets and buildings. All new goverment buildings should be at least LEED certified....and we need to update the street standards.

True. The streets are the number one problem in Murfreesboro to date. Citizens constantly complain about the traffic congestion on any given day, and now that school is back in session, it's really a mess. The planners are at fault here. They designed the streets to be that of a small town (one way in, one way out, bottlenecks, narrow roads, and poor traffic light timing. Well it's too late to cry about it, just learn from it. The streets are, however, smooth and easy to navigate with sidewalks on every corner, save a few exeptions (Clark, Memorial, etc. Hello, the university is near these!). Another problem with the streets being underdeveloped is the fact that the sidewalks we do have have NO pedestrian cross walk signals, how silly is that. If your going to walk, you must assume that motorists will let you cross.

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True. The streets are the number one problem in Murfreesboro to date. Citizens constantly complain about the traffic congestion on any given day, and now that school is back in session, it's really a mess. The planners are at fault here. They designed the streets to be that of a small town (one way in, one way out, bottlenecks, narrow roads, and poor traffic light timing. Well it's too late to cry about it, just learn from it. The streets are, however, smooth and easy to navigate with sidewalks on every corner, save a few exeptions (Clark, Memorial, etc. Hello, the university is near these!). Another problem with the streets being underdeveloped is the fact that the sidewalks we do have have NO pedestrian cross walk signals, how silly is that. If your going to walk, you must assume that motorists will let you cross.

I like the narrow streets. I think the problem is the quick growth. The street are the primary public space in a compact city...so the need to have trees to shade pedestrians....nice crosswalks with countdown signals so people can get across the street, all work together to make a place great.

I think the boro has could work harder on the issue of connectivity. They also need to provide mixed-use zoning to catch up with the times.

If we have issues with planning in the boro, we should start creating a series of letter that go to council and the mayor....we can all sign if we agree.

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I like the narrow streets. I think the problem is the quick growth. The street are the primary public space in a compact city...so the need to have trees to shade pedestrians....nice crosswalks with countdown signals so people can get across the street, all work together to make a place great.

I think the boro has could work harder on the issue of connectivity. They also need to provide mixed-use zoning to catch up with the times.

If we have issues with planning in the boro, we should start creating a series of letter that go to council and the mayor....we can all sign if we agree.

What a great idea!

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I watched In The City recently and Mr. Aydelot was talking about new developments. He said that more big box stores are on the way but the landscaping and sea of parking lots will change. The new guidelines require heavy landscaping and less parking further away from the building. He also mentioned that new housing must place garages on the side or rear or the house instead of in the front and that the houses themselves will be closer to the street than in the past (think Blackman Farms versus any subdivision on Florence Road. I found out that the height limit for buildings in the central business district is only 75 ft. :( versus 150ft. for the Gateway district. The Swanson building is much taller only because the area it is in was rezoned. Do you think these changes are for the better or will only make things worse? What would you set the height limit at for Murfreesboro's central business district?

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These changes will definitely make things worse. All of the things you mentioned are a gross curtailment of property rights. Having the government force its aesthetic choices on the people is utter tyranny.

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These changes will definitely make things worse. All of the things you mentioned are a gross curtailment of property rights. Having the government force its aesthetic choices on the people is utter tyranny.

Oh good Lord. You would've thought the government put a stop to free speech. It just part of a master plan that the city planners wants to have in place. I see no problem with it. If you want to play our game, you have to follow our rules.

To use the word "tyranny" is laughable at best and really shows you to be a conspiracy theorist in the most basic form.

Now, I guess I should wait for you to rebut with example form the Constitution shouldn't I?

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So you don't see this as any type of curtailment of property rights, Lexy?

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I know you didn't ask my opinion, but I don't see them as curtailing property rights. In fact, I wish they were more strict. I have a right to live in an aesthetically pleasing place where my property value will be protected by a common set of guidelines. If you don't want to live in a place like that, well, there's always LaVergne...

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^ If I may, where do you think that this right comes from? And how does it trump the right of your neighbors to develop their property as they see fit. Also, no worries about jumping into the discussion. This is an important topic for cities nationwide.

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I'm not sure I can provide logical or well researched input here.

All I know is that I'm very picky about the way things look. The way my home and lawn and neighborhood look, etc. I have a strong desire to be surrounded by people who do the same. My wife and I moved out of Lake Forest in La Vergne because of too many people who took no pride in the appearance of their home and yard, not to mention the anything goes development policy of the city. We selected Murfreesboro (and particularly the area and neighborhood we're in) specifically because of the design guidelines, zoning laws, and HOA Restrictions. I would be very upset to see them weakened or rescinded. I guess the only thing I can say is that if people want to develop or do things a certain way, they shouldn't buy into an area where those things aren't allowed.

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I look upon the guidelines and restrictions as a help to maintaining the value of my investment. Id hate to see what would happen if a gas station was allowed to build right next to my house.

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One of the unintended consequences of forcing aesthetics on people is that what looks good now, may not look good in ten, twenty, or fifty years. Aesthetics is a realm of subjectivity.

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One of the unintended consequences of forcing aesthetics on people is that what looks good now, may not look good in ten, twenty, or fifty years. Aesthetics is a realm of subjectivity.

True perhaps, however, you can rest assured that what doesn't look good today certainly won't look good twenty years from now.

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One of the unintended consequences of forcing aesthetics on people is that what looks good now, may not look good in ten, twenty, or fifty years. Aesthetics is a realm of subjectivity.

I'm not sure I completely agree with that. There is no doubt that fashions and tastes change. And what's cutting edge design today can be hopelessly dated tomorrow. However, there are certain things that won't ever change. For instance, having huge garish signs that are 50' high, chain link fences, buildings made of bricko block or metal sheeting, dead plants or grass, etc. These things are never going to be attractive no matter how much tastes change.

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And I'd like to be able to yell "FIRE" in a crowded theatre....but, such is life.

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