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ptocco

NIMBY'S fighting tall buildings?

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I've been studying the subject of tall buildings lately. There seems to be a new wave of them going up, mostly in other parts of the world. Now that we are suffering from high gas prices and lack of mass transit, I'm interested in cities that are trying to build more Transit Oriented Design centers but are being hindered in part by a resistance to the density. Some of the New Urbanists are not willing to allow that moderately tall buildings, say in the 30 story range, can help make mass transit more viable and this outweighs their aesthetic concerns about height, in my opinion. I would like to know of any specific battles going on out there regarding height limits.

Thanks in advance,

Peter Tocco

www.plainview3d.com

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Not related to TOD but here in Milwaukee there was a long debate over the re-development along Downer Avenue. The orignal plans had a 17 story building and it was eventually chopped down to 14 storys I believe. And two 20 story builds right in downtown Milwaukee were opposed by some residents because they were "too tall" despite being kiddy corner to a 20 story tower and in the downtown. So yes we see this fight play out all the time but thankfully more often than not the City pushes for more density and therefore more height.

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Not related to TOD but here in Milwaukee there was a long debate over the re-development along Downer Avenue. The orignal plans had a 17 story building and it was eventually chopped down to 14 storys I believe. And two 20 story builds right in downtown Milwaukee were opposed by some residents because they were "too tall" despite being kiddy corner to a 20 story tower and in the downtown. So yes we see this fight play out all the time but thankfully more often than not the City pushes for more density and therefore more height.

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Yea it seems to me that cities need to have IMBY groups that advocate for new development and higher density as it seems to me that this is the only way to combat the NIMBYs who really just want nothing to change at all.

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Speaking of Connecticut, there's a proposal for an 18 story building in the city of Norwich. Look for it to get reduced to something lower, as nothing in Norwich proper comes close to that for height.

Nearby towns meanwhile do have the giant resort casinos Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, which have some of the tallest buildings in the state. But when you drive to them, they really stick out. The towers at Foxwoods, you can see them from over a mile or two away as it's surrounded by trees and cornfields.

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Actually the only downtown tussle here is that they want to build a big new jail in downtown. Call me strange, but I don't think that's an attractive or appealing way to go forward with our downtown efforts here. It's been voted down twice, once for cost and the second time I think was for the fact that it's in downtown.

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It's all a matter of placement - in Atlanta NIMBY activism is fierce in the single family neighborhoods surrounding downtown & midtown. This is due to numerous plans for 5+ story buildings along the major corridors. Typically, 5 story buildings are allowed but above that - especially a plan 5 years ago for a 2 30 story towers on the corner of a park & surrounded by historic neighborhoods is answered by unanimous opposition.

Here in Boulder - ZERO tall buildings. A tall building is considered 5 stories, & that is the highest building by law that is allowed.

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Well in Charlotte there have been some complaints from residents that live in the Arlington condominiums, ironically a high-rise located south of uptown Charlotte. Apparently many people bought condos in the building in part for the breath taking view of uptown Charlotte. Now there is a tower being planned nearby that would totally block that view.

In terms of NIBMYs. I think if you build a tall tower right next to an established historic neighborhood, there is going to be some opposition. However in most downtowns across America there really are no height limits. I'm sure Charleston, SC has height limits and I know Washington DC does. But when the opposition mounts, that usually leads to petitions to enact zoning ordinances that would restrict building height or size. Here in Greensboro we had nimbys petition to ban downtown stadiums after a non-profit group proposed to build a downtown ballpark. They didnt like the idea of stadium traffic coming through their historic neighborhood and some didnt want professional baseball to leave the historic War Memorial Stadium which was built in 1926. Of course they lost and the ballpark got built in 2005 but Nimbys just need to go away LOL.

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I am not a fan of highrise residential buildings as I don't consider them human or environmentally friendly nor desirable. Ideally you want a city with residential buildings of 10-15 stories or less. I have written about this often on this site so I am not going to repeat it here again. I don't think you are going to get an honest debate over the issue by categorizing the people that are opposed to some of these awful projects by calling them NIMBYs before the arguments are even heard.

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