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kermit

Scaleybark Station Area Projects

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8 minutes ago, SgtCampsalot said:

Those garages facing the street take a potentially beautiful row of homes and turn them into a gross set of bad jokes on a potentially great urban area. I can't even keep looking at them. What a waste.

Yeah, unfortunately the NCGA has limited the ability for municipalities to enforce appearance standards for single family  residences, duplexes, and townhomes.  A simple requirement prohibiting garage doors to face a public street could have made these townhomes a lot nicer in my opinion.  

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4 minutes ago, jtmonk said:

Yeah, unfortunately the NCGA has limited the ability for municipalities to enforce appearance standards for single family  residences, duplexes, and townhomes.  A simple requirement prohibiting garage doors to face a public street could have made these townhomes a lot nicer in my opinion.  

It is nicer looking for sure but really drives the costs up  to build rear entry garages off an alleyway.  We have an affordability problem in this city already.  But they are new townhomes with rear entry garages but they tend to be on greenfield sites like the Scaleybark Station site but not on existing streets like this.   This is more of an infill project. 

Many surburban locales have garages in the rear but like I said they are greenfield sites like infill on existing streets. 

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7 minutes ago, KJHburg said:

We have an affordability problem in this city already. 

Yes, but the dirt in this neighborhood sells for more than $300k per parcel. There are no design changes or requirements that would make these units fall into the affordible range with the current zoning. 

Prohibiting street facing garages would have the effect of making the neighborhood more ped friendly. By making the Scaleybark area more walkale  higher density / rediced parking projects  (e.g. more affordable)  on the fringes of the area more attractive. More sprawl like this just locks folks into paying intown single-family prices — which will always be unaffordable.

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If you don't like the design of these  townhomes the market offers some right around the corner that Pulte in building at Scaleybark Station with rear entry garage off narrow alleyways.  They are selling these hand over fist so somebody obviously  likes them.   Again the prices would be even higher if forced to do rear entry garages with alley ways and there may not even be enough land.    There was a sidewalk in front of these townhomes so not sure what needs to be made even more pedestrian friendly. 

Alleyway rear entry townhomes tend to be very close together and don't offer privacy.  Drive through Pulte's Scaleybark Station units and see for yourself. 

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^ the  Pultie project is better.

The point that I failed to make was that design drives (generously) 10% of affordability.  The other 90% of affordability is zoning. Neighborhoods that have high density and walkability (so people aren’t required to pay for parking in the form of garages, a deck  or surface lots) are going to be the places where urban Charlotte will see new affordable housing. The Belton townhouses might have a sidewalk in front of them, but they certainly don’t encourage walkability by being pleasant to walk past (no eyes on street, basically blank walls at sidewalk level etc.). Given their design they are only going to encourage more driving and make it tougher to rezone the area for density (this is a station area for god's sake!) -- this design choice is going to make it harder to create affordable housing elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Edited by kermit
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Speaking of Pulte town homes, does anyone know if the plan is to start the small retail strip in Block C of the overall project once those are finished or are we still a ways off from the rest of the phases starting?

Edited by SouthEndCLT811

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The sad reality is a big selling point for many Charlotteans that buy these will be the driveway and garage for their Audi A4, BMW convertible, and extra Jeep Wrangler they only have to take the doors off and cruise around on weekends. 2 people, 3 cars! Yay car culture...

 

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Can sometimes please explain the correlation between front facing garages and pedestrian friendliness? I don't understand the hatred for these garage doors. They just look like houses to me, what am I missing. I wanna be angry, too! :tw_rage:

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18 minutes ago, HighRiseHillbilly said:

They just look like houses to me, what am I missing.

You are missing the "utopian commie" gene... (don't worry that's a good thing)

With comments like the one below, it is better to keep scrolling to the next thread.

8 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

Yay car culture...

Since I am here and going to get flak for this anyway... a friendly challenge for my car-bashing UPers on here, I've mentioned this somewhere else on this forum, without cars our economy would not be even close to where it is (historically speaking and today).

Please provide a business case where our "car culture" can be replaced with public transit without killing the economy.

CATS existing infrastructure is your starting point... please remember to consider the funding for your plan, this is not a commie paradise after all!

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On 8/23/2018 at 8:12 PM, HighRiseHillbilly said:

Can sometimes please explain the correlation between front facing garages and pedestrian friendliness? I don't understand the hatred for these garage doors. They just look like houses to me, what am I missing. I wanna be angry, too! :tw_rage:

A planner named Jeff Speck summarized it pretty well in a book called the Walkable City. He said that walkability requires four things:

  1. A reason to walk
  2. A safe walk
  3. A comfortable walk
  4. An interesting walk

Front facing garages slightly F up most of those things. Safety, comfort and interest is reduced because the garages replace porch and window space in the house so their are few people looking out on the street (making it feel less safe) and fewer people to be seen (making it less interesting). The short distance between the garage and the street means that sidewalks are frequently blocked by cars moving and and out or temporarily parked across the pedestrian space (making the walk less safe). The doors themselves are really just blank walls, and their featurelessness (along the the driveway space) makes the walk less interesting to passerbys and discourages residents from using the front of their property (thus detaching residents from their community).

These are admittedly small forces. However when entire streets are mostly just garages at street level (like Belton will become) then few residents or passerbys will choose to walk down the street, they will drive instead. By discouraging walking  (and encouraging driving) on the street there will be less demand more walkable housing on adjacent streets and neighborhood businesses will have less reason to exist (walkers spend more locally) and will be unlikely to develop a a pedestrian orientation (e.g. they will build maximum rather than minimum parking which will further discourage walking).

These are small and somewhat forgivable sins in sprawly areas in the burbs. But Belton street is in the Scaleybark station area, if we are not going to encourage walking here then where are we going to do it? We payed about $1.5 billion for our light rail system, why are we pissing its benefits  away with thoughtless urban design?

 

Edited by kermit
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13 hours ago, Scribe said:

Please provide a business case where our "car culture" can be replaced with public transit without killing the economy.

CATS existing infrastructure is your starting point... please remember to consider the funding for your plan, this is not a commie paradise after all!

Impressive strawman you have built there, nobody here proposed any such thing. Please tell us how promoting walkability makes that person a "communist". Please provide a business case where we can support car culture (including the externalities produced by cars) without killing the economy.

Cars certainly do increase access to jobs for the people who can afford them, However job sprawl has also made jobs inaccessible to quite a few people who can't afford a car. 

 

Edited by kermit
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I don't necessarily think they shouldn't be allowed to build these.  I just think they shouldn't build them.  I assume they will build them if they can sell them. 

Opposing the design isn't a political position (in any way, in my opinion).  That's why many of us support new design standards (regardless of politics).  The hope is that we will get better designs for both the occupants and the people who move around the city every day. 

I think these are pretty awful looking, particularly at that price point and in that location.  I'm surprised people want them.  I also wonder why people would pay that premium to be near light rail and then want two car garages...what's the point?  

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16 hours ago, kermit said:

Impressive strawman you have built there, nobody here proposed any such thing. Please tell us how promoting walkability makes that person a "communist". Please provide a business case where we can support car culture (including the externalities produced by cars) without killing the economy.

Cars certainly do increase access to jobs for the people who can afford them, However job sprawl has also made jobs inaccessible to quite a few people who can't afford a car.

Oh please, the holier-than-thou attitude  "I walk uphill both ways" is prevalent here.

My post was pointing out the blind car hatred... not anti-walkability in any way! (and in the context of the town-homes, you build what the market supports, that is how capitalism works)

And my commie reference was in regard to soviet rules (if you study govt master planned cities and towns) on where residential and what type were allowed or not allowed. And the utopian disregard for how market economies work. Somehow I believe if any of you took my challenge we would end up with a soviet style city with such draconian rules that the city would become utterly unsustainable and in the end lifeless. The beauty of Charlotte (and other cities in the US) is that the choice and freedom of choice is there.

The goal of Charlotte should be to keep building on that model to allow for choice in every major corridor of the city!

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17 hours ago, kermit said:

Cars certainly do increase access to jobs for the people who can afford them, However job sprawl has also made jobs inaccessible to quite a few people who can't afford a car. 

Didn't reply to this part...

I invite you to take a look at the warehouse district around Carowinds (down south) or Statesville Rd (up north)... these companies made sure that there is a bus route.  CATS has work to do to incorporate the full weight of BL in-to their network but it is already underway.  When I was doing a big project off IBM Dr one of the prospects was specifically asking what the bus schedule is and whom at CATS they can work with to facilitate their needs.

Every major industrial park has a bus route serving it.

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29 minutes ago, JBS said:

I don't necessarily think they shouldn't be allowed to build these.  I just think they shouldn't build them.  I assume they will build them if they can sell them.

That is kinda what my "commie" comment trying to point out. Unlike yourself, some other UPers strongly believe they should not be allowed to build them.

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20 minutes ago, Scribe said:

That is kinda what my "commie" comment trying to point out. Unlike yourself, some other UPers strongly believe they should not be allowed to build them.

Have you read or listened to articles and podcasts from Strong Towns?

I think there you will find a marriage and compromise to what you are claiming to promote and oppose.

There is obviously a problem with how our society has been built that goes against literally thousands of years of human wisdom when it comes to human habitat. We also obviously have to work with the systems we have. There is a lot of common ground to be had.

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12 minutes ago, SgtCampsalot said:

Have you read or listened to articles and podcasts from Strong Towns?

I have... what does that have to do with the attitude displayed on this board?

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@Scribe

I think you're misinterpreting a desire to move away from car culture because transit is more efficient and makes for a better availability of good quality of life for more people. I doubt anyone here hates cars and I'd wager almost everyone on this forum who live in Charlotte has one.

Why must we bring up things like politics when discussing urban planning and development?

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