YES, YOU CAN BUILD YOUR WAY TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Lessons from unexpected places. Author: Alan Durning September 21, 2017 “You can’t build your way out of a housing affordability problem.” That’s conventional wisdom. I hear it all the time: Prosperous, growing, tech-rich cities from Seattle to the Bay Area and from Austin to Boston are all gripped by soaring rents and home prices. But what if you can build your way to affordable housing? What if, in fact, building is the only path to affordable housing? What if cities around the world have been building their way to affordability for decades? You can. It is. And they have. Houston by Craig Washburn (Used with permission.) … Read more

IMPACT FEES: AN URBAN PLANNING ZOMBIE IN NEED OF SLAYING

Eight reasons why impact fees thwart the creation of equitable, sustainable cities. Author: Dan Bertolet September 28, 2017 When people make a mess we expect them to clean it up. If a private business harms others, we demand it pay the damages. These norms stoke the allure of impact fees—charges levied on homebuilders to compensate for the presumed burden on public services caused by the homes they construct. But in the case of cities, there’s one big problem with that impulse: adding new homes to urban neighborhoods is a good thing overall, a net positive for people and the planet, not a transgression to penalize. … Read more

Why Santa Monica got rid of parking minimums downtown. And why other cities should consider following suit.

“…the City Council decided to eliminate minimum parking requirements on new development in downtown Santa Monica.” “Here’s why: Parking has a much broader impact on a city than you might expect. It’s expensive to build, it incentivizes car travel over public and active transportation, and it’s been built with abandon, especially in Southern California.” “By not requiring new parking, we can lower the overall cost to build new housing, remove barriers to opening businesses, spur the creative reuse of existing buildings and encourage drivers to more efficiently use the spaces that already exist.” by Ted Winterer   Santa Monica has … Read more

No More Sprawl

NO more sprawl. When our urban core and corridor areas and nodes – are suburbanized and underutilized, why would Oxnard decision makers consider areas protected by SOAR for suburban expansion? It was suggested that some future Oxnard expand into the area east of Rice and south of PCH and wrapping around to Pleasant Valley Road and Hueneme Roads. Expanding housing into urban growth boundary areas is suburban and auto-centric sprawl. The areas mentioned above are separated from more central Oxnard neighborhoods by wide highways and freeway type intersections. Expanding into these areas would create essentially new little towns (like RiverPark … Read more

How not to create traffic jams, pollution and urban sprawl

Don’t let people park for free Apr 8th 2017| AMSTERDAM, BEIJING AND TOKYO EVEN if the new headquarters that Apple is creating in California does not prove to be “the best office building in the world”, as Steve Jobs boasted shortly before his death in 2011, it will be an astounding sight. The main building resembles a flying saucer with a hole in the middle. Through its large, gently curving windows, workers will eventually look out on a wood containing some 7,000 carefully chosen trees. It is as though a race of high-tech beings has landed on a pristine planet. … Read more

Do not Forget Oxnard Boulevard

Oxnard Boulevard is key to downtown revitalization success. We must not forget Oxnard Boulevard. Oxnard City revitalization must not ignore Oxnard Boulevard and only concentrate on the areas around Plaza Park. I strongly feel that only when Oxnard revitalizes Oxnard Boulevard, will Oxnard’s downtown come fully alive: Remove the medians from 3rd  (where Oxnard Blvd widens going south) to 9th Streets and feathering to Wooley Paint a curbside parking lane on both sides of Oxnard Blvd in front of all businesses from 3rd to Wooley Paint (inexpensive) bulb-outs at all intersections from 4th (Oxnard Transportation Center) Street to 9th – extending thoughtfully towards … Read more

Why does Oxnard have only 6 City Planners?

The following is a VERY informal phone survey conducted by Roy Prince [ OxnardRENAISSANCE.ORG ] in early September 2017. While most Ventura County (VC) cities have about one planner per 10-12,000 – Oxnard has one planner per 34,000 people. Other VC cities have about three times the number of planners per resident than does Oxnard. Does Oxnard have adequate planning staff to handle both the current workload and future planning? Why are the City Council and or the City Manager starving Oxnard planning?   Click the image below to download a PDF copy.

ROBUST GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT MANDATING PARKING

ROBUST GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT MANDATING PARKING What happens when you get rid of minimum parking requirements in a downtown district while also adding 4,500 people to the downtown? Many would suggest that adding so many people in a short time while removing parking minimums would be bad for businesses because parking spaces would be tougher to find. Fargo, ND provides a compelling case study showing that downtown businesses can thrive under these circumstances. FARGO’S STORY Fargo leaders wanted to see more development downtown and realized their parking requirements were creating a barrier for developers. So, they created a special … Read more