Over the last decade, Forsyth County has seen an increase in the number of mixed-use rezoning requests. The concepts and principles associated with mixed-use zoning (such as compact and pedestrian-friendly site features) will play an important role as we try to accommodate housing and job growth and reduce vehicle trips and vehicle miles traveled.
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We need to throw out the old ideas that uses need to be separated, and give developers a little credit for knowing where commercial uses can blend with residential uses. We should welcome a plan that makes it possible to walk to a neighborhood grocery store--and to safely walk generally. We should require that new developments have affordable alternatives for middle and low income folks as well as the upper echelon.
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Focus on transit corridors. Encourage creative design, especially of higher density residential.
Can we invite builders already successfully navigating modern land-use strategies, like in the Pacific NW? The idea of residential "pocket neighborhoods" seems well-suited to dense development and/or mixed-use development.
(I live in Ardmore so it's no wonder I like the idea!) I was reading about it here: http://www.cottagecompany.com/Planning.aspx
There are some neighborhoods, such as Historic West Salem, that have a ridiculous mix of spot zoning and "unusable", inappropriate zoning. This was discussed in the last Legacy Development Guide of 2002 but very few improvements have been made to some of these areas. Also in the last Legacy Development Guide two policy recommendations were: 1. Apply traditional neighborhood design principles and standards to existing neighborhoods and neighborhood commercial areas and 2. Use long range plans/area plans to identify existing neighborhood residential and commercial areas where traditional neighborhood development can be applied. To carry this idea further, the South Central Area Plan has recommended that the land use of the specific area with the boundaries of Main, Walnut, and Broad Streets be changed to what the SCAP called the Southeast Gateway NAC. The SCAP recommendation is "Some of the property in the Southeast Gateway NAC is zoned for industrial use and would need to be rezoned to be developed with neighborhood serving commercial uses. These uses include: Grocery store, drug store, outdoor dining restaurants, specialty shops, business and professional offices, combined use." With the current zoning rules/regulations in this area(most of which are very outdated), it is impossible to follow through with any of the SCAP plan recommendations and Legacy suggestions. Why has the Planning Board not taken a look at this situation? It is frustrating that we are talking about making a new improved Legacy when situations such as discussed above have never been addressed.
I would live in a spacious apartment or condo, with accessible restaurants, retail, and transportation. It could be an old renovated structure, with sections for purchase, rental, ADA accessible for folks with disabilities or seniors. It needs to be affordable but well maintained and safe- with total access to transportation. Discourage automobiles by making parking fees a premium. Bring the retailers into the planning- I recently read where Baltimore is bringing downsized Home Depot and a grocery chain into the renovation of a section of the city that is up and coming, and one of the crucial factors is access to transit, retail, librarires and community centers for activities that appeal to all types and ages.
Re-development is cheaper in the long run. Folks can benefit from these savings as well as have a reduced cost of living. In concert with re-development, the protection of local farms and marketing local farm products from our rural community will benefit the economy and health of our local citizens, both city dwellers and rural dwellers.
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