Friday, February 13, 2009

Town Center Building and Lot

The most basic regulation for the Town Center addresses building and lot design. The Town Center is intended to be accommodating of development which is mixed-use, pedestrian, and of a higher quality.

Regulations which cover design elements such as block face and perimeter help meet these goals by creating small block sizes, more adaptive for pedestrian use. Smaller lots sizes are also permitted in the districts. Smaller lots are common in a wide range of pedestrian friendly development patterns because they allow for a wider diversity of uses that may be of interest to those on foot.

The proposed code seeks to create consistency with regard to residential density. Both a minimum and maximum density are proposed in the code. Sites which develop for residential uses would be required to reach at least 10 dwelling units per acre. By right, the proposed maximum density would be 25 dwelling units per acre.

Building bulk is another development aspect addressed in this table. While other districts in the zoning code prescribe only a maximum height, the Town Center districts go one step further. The code encourages both pedestrian scale and height consistency by requiring a minimum fa├žade height. Maintaining this consistency in height will help build a psychological comfort for pedestrians.

By right, the proposed Town Center districts do not allow for structures as tall as in other parts of Whitehouse. The proposed code allows for buildings reaching 42 feet. However, through development incentives, sites can potentially reach a height of 70 feet.

To help illustrate what these sizes could look like, several scale drawings were created. In each, three scenarios are shown of a hypothetical development project within the district. One shows the site with no structure. Another shows the site with a structure standing at 42' tall. A third shows the site with a 70' tall structure. It should be stressed that this is NOT a proposed project, but simply a site chosen for its central location and suitability for this example.

The final example shows the same hypothetical scenario from a different perspective.

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