Monday, April 11, 2005

PD says high-rise retail/office complexes belong in single family neighborhoods

Developer Orrin Theissen built the faux-Victorian Town Green Village in Windsor, replacing its old westside downtown. Now he wants to build 15 of his trademark mixed-use units on a single acre, next to Windsor's Oak Creek subdivision.

The Press Democrat said 4/7/05, "His 'new urbanism' or 'smart growth' style includes three-story buildings--often replicas of historic structures--with small retail shops on the ground floor and two story condominiums above."

But Oak Creek homes are on 1/4-acre to more than one-acre lots. "It's too tall. It's the proverbial sore thumb," neighborhood association president David Deakin told the PD. ("Neighbors object to development plan").

The PD editorially scolded the neighborhood association 4/11/05: "The 'new urbanism' doesn't apply just to downtowns. Neighborhoods throughout cities - including those that have traditionally included only one-story single-family homes - will be required to make space for multistory buildings that include homes, retail and office space."

According to the PD, The New Urbanism means the end of traditional California-style suburban neighborhoods. "Smart Growth" dictates the New Urbanists build multi-story complexes--including stores and offices--right next to our homes.

The PD thinks continuous growth and development is inevitable, so the only question is whether it will be high-rise, high-density city-centered growth, or suburban sprawl:

"Either that, or Sonoma County residents should give up their dreams of community separators and greenbelts. If cities, suburbs included, don't 'build up' they will be forced to build out." ("Moving up/Even suburbanites should welcome multistory development")

There's nothing "Smart" about continuous growth, and the alternative is obvious: adopt a good General Plan, and a UGB. When the planned neighborhoods and business districts are built out, the growth and development stop.


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