Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Suburban Neighborhood Issue: Design of New Neighborhoods

New subdivisions should be built in a more sustainable manner. Developments that are only residential should be interconnected to other residential developments, have sidewalks (now required on one side of the street), have bike lanes along connector streets, and active recreation space. The Area Plan program has identified sites for higher densities in the Suburban Neighborhoods to provide diverse types of housing and better use existing infrastructure. Sites recommended for higher densities are typically along major roads, have access to current or future transit and are located near existing or future commercial areas. As with the Urban Neighborhoods, proposed higher-density developments are often opposed by residents of nearby single-family areas.

Preferable to developments with only single uses in the Suburban Neighborhoods are mixed-use developments. Mixed-use development is recommended at Activity Centers which are shown in the Growth Management Plan on page 95. Activity Centers are areas of more intense land uses where more concentrated development is proposed including commercial, office and moderate to high-density multifamily development. This concept is discussed in more detail below.

Activity Centers are a good way to increase housing densities in appropriate locations within Suburban Neighborhoods and reduce further suburban sprawl.

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