Saturday, February 14, 2009

Town Center Landscaping and Pedestrian Friendly Streetscape

In a typical zoning district, landscaping is the primary method for improving community wellbeing through aesthetics. While landscaping is also important in the Town Center, much of the aesthetic focus centers on the streetscape. Parking lot and site landscaping are particularly reduced in favor of pedestrian streetscape considerations.

The code does include proposed streetscape elements providing environmental coverage for sidewalk and public space. These requirements may be fulfilled either through canopy street trees or a built canopy/arcade. While a site may utilize either option, 100% of the sidewalk must be covered. A site may also be designed with a mix of coverage. A typical example of this mix could be a site with a covered canopy where the building is located within the build-to range. In portions of the site without a building, street trees could be utilized to provide cover for the remaining sidewalk.

Requirements for landscaping are similar for both TC-1 and TC-2. However, TC-2 (the more automobile oriented district) has some emphasis shifted to parking lot landscaping from street trees.

Another element of Town Center streetscape addresses plaza space. Plaza space in intended to provide small but inviting sites spread throughout the Town Center for public use. Each plaza may be relatively small, however locating these sites throughout the district should help encourage pedestrian activity. For special events such as parades or Yesteryear, the plazas will also provide additional gathering points for district visitors.

The minimum size of each plaza is determined by the size of the building(s) located on the site. 1 square foot of plaza space would be required for each 100 square feet of floor space in the building. Where buildings have multiple stories, the total square footage for all floors would be utilized.

Several examples of actual plaza space are shown below. In some examples, the plaza space is incorporated into a wide portion of the sidewalk. In others, the plaza space is a connected but separate area.

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