View Full Version : Neo Traditional Zoning

Jim Andrew
07-02-2005, 12:52 AM
Does anyone live in one of these new village zoning subdivisions? I read an
article about them, they have alleys like the old parts of town, and you can
have your garage (shop) in the back. The setbacks are less and they have
narrower than normal streets, also they are not connected to the grid system,
where everyone can drive through your streets from any direction, but have to
find the entrance and come in that way because there is only one! Can you
tell I'm excited about this type zoning? Jim

Ken Garlock
07-02-2005, 11:56 AM
Jim, It seems to me that if the development is in an incorporated 'village' there would still be a set of zoning laws to be delt with. Not that zoning laws are bad, but it is a consideration regarding what and were you can build an "out building."

Also be aware of those stupid home owner associations. I just don't like someone with a Hitler complex telling me when to mow my lawn and what color roofing I must use. On top of that charging me a monthly/annual fee for being held in their servitude. :mad: Of course, no one is making me live in one of those operations, but I will complain anyway. :) :D

I would not like the narrow street. But I do like the idea of a single entrance/exit. Isn't that like a gated community without the gate? I like the idea of the alleyway. It makes for a nicer looking front yard without some "resident" working on their car for days/weeks at a time, etc. The down side is that typically the houses are closer together....

Cecil Arnold
07-02-2005, 12:42 PM
Jim, it's hard to relate to your situation, since we don't have zoning in my city. I can offer you one insight however. If the streets are narrorer than 28' (and especally if the radius is less) move out. You can't get fire protection equiptment in anything less, and even then if there is parking on the street it can present a problem. I had a trailor park developer call me some very nasty names when he wanted to put in 23' streets, but common sense pervailed. As to the single entry point, that too can present a problem for fire protection unless there is another limited access way, since the first in truck will block the scene for the follow on compnays.

Norman Hitt
07-02-2005, 4:00 PM
I guess it's Different Strokes for Different Folks, but NO WAY am I living in ANY place with only One Way In, and One Way Out. (I might need to Vacate the Scene in a Hurry some time when the Red Headed LOML gets on a Warpath). :D :D I also hate narrow streets, as it's too easy for kids to dash out in front of you from between cars if there is parking allowed on the street.

Ted Calver
07-02-2005, 5:01 PM
This is reflective of a trend called "New Urbanism" or Low Impact Development (LDD) in land use planning--a movement designed in part to reduce the impact of development and associated sprawl by concentrating new growth into small community-like village centers and traditional neighborhood developments that feature mixes of single and multifamily (often age restricted) housing, business and civic functions, green space, and parks and recreational amenities--all within easy walking distance. Over the objection of fire departments, purposely narrow streets, reduced turn radius intersections and other traffic calming measures are intended to slow traffic and encourage the use of well thought out pedestrian and bicycle networks to reduce dependence on automobiles within the development. The ability to work and shop close to where you live also serves to capture traffic within the development--easing the load on the external road system. Here in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia we are seeing an explosion of this kind of development following the success of Port Warwick (http://portwarwick.com/overview.html) in Newport News.

There are lots of pros and cons to these developments. Obviously, they appeal to enough people to make them a hot commodity and I make a pretty good living designing them (not Port Warwick). However, when we bought a new home this year we looked for rural residential zoning and a piece of land big enough to have a separate shop—and no homeowners association.

Jim Andrew
07-07-2005, 10:28 PM
Thanks for your comments. About the last 15 years I have been making my
living as a developer. The latest subdivision is about full, and we need to be
buying and laying out another piece of land. There is a good piece in the right
area we are looking at, and I've been thinking about an article I read a few
years ago, talking about village zoning. There are no such subdivisions near
here in central Kansas, but the city planner is familiar with such zoning. I
hoped to find someone who lives in such a subdivision. Don't plan on multi
family, just single. Jim

Michael Perata
07-08-2005, 4:39 AM
About the last 15 years I have been making my living as a developer.

Jim, I've got about 15 years on your development experience, and about 6,000 units under my belt. If you want to take a tour of some very creative stuff, come on out to California, I'll show you around.

What you are describing can create very exciting neighborhoods. How about SFD at 9-10 DU/AC. Pays to be creative when land goes for $2.5MM/Acre in San Jose.

Charles McKinley
07-10-2005, 1:38 AM
See how excited you are about your one entrance/exit when everyone leaves for work at about the some time in the morning.

On the other hand I'm glad someone wants to live there so they aren't building near me.

Jim Andrew
07-10-2005, 8:53 PM
The subdivision I am finishing up now is connected to the one to the north and another to the south. The street grid is connected. It is amazing how many
cars go through my subdivision from the other connections, rather than going
out to the main road. One Friday evening I was trying to grade a yard, and
could not turn around on the tractor for all the traffic. It was about 5:30 pm.
There are only about 100 lots in my subdivision, and looks like there would be
a lot less traffic if the other subdivisions had to go to the main road instead of
through mine. The village zoning rules are against everything the city requires,
but if they give the zoning it overrules all the bureaucrats from the fire department and all other departments. I like it.