Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I'm A Little Confused...

I was just reading the Executive Summary of the Coalition for Columbia's Downtown.

It calls for 20% "of the lot area of each individual parcel be devoted to public open space."

Existing New Town zoning requires that 36% of the land be dedicated to open space. Are they suggesting that the amount of open space in Town Center be reduced?

Or are they suggesting that an additional 20% on top of the 36% be set aside for open space in Town Center?

Or is this simply evidence that they are clueless?


Hayduke said...

This is one of the concerns I have about the group: that they're missing the forest for the trees. By overly-stressing some of the smaller details they run the risk of advocating a very myopic vision. Yes, it's important that open space requirments are met, but it's more important that the open space we set aside adds something to the overall character of the place and fits in with the whole.

Saying that ever parcel must have a 20 percent set aside fails to account for the fact that on some parcels, finding 20 percent that would contribute to the general welfare of Town Center is impossible. Whereas, on some parcels, a larger set aside would be feasible and desirable. An overly-prescriptive plan might allay some fears of the unknown, but it won't result in the best Town Center, which is, I thought, what we all wanted.