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Talk About Tulsa => PlaniTulsa & Urban Planning => Topic started by: PonderInc on November 27, 2007, 03:01:31 pm



Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: PonderInc on November 27, 2007, 03:01:31 pm
If you've been following the Preserve Midtown movement, or read Michael Bates' column in the Urban Tulsa, then you've heard of a thing called "Neighborhood Conservation Districts."  This is a tool that allows neighborhoods to set certain standards for infill development; to ensure, for example, that new homes fit into the context of older neighborhoods.  This may involve standards as simple as setback, scale, location of garage, etc.  Or a neighborhood could set more strict guidelines if they have a specific architectural style they want to preserve.

Tulsa does not have an ordinance allowing for the creation of Neighborhood Conservation Districts, but I think it sounds like a good step in the right direction.  However, I also believe we need to learn more about this concept.  I'd like to know which cities offer the best models for us to follow (both from a neighborhood perspective and an administrative perspective).

I'm interested to hear from those who have knowledge of how this works in other cities.  OKC has had an ordinance on the books for years.  How has it worked out for them?  Other towns?  Please let us know.

http://www.preservemidtown.com/
http://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A18457


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Double A on November 27, 2007, 03:18:08 pm
What happened to the moratorium? Conservation Districts are a great tool, but what is the point if there's nothing left to conserve?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: PonderInc on November 27, 2007, 03:30:42 pm
If you go the the Preserve Midtown site, you'll see that their petition still includes the moratorium language.  However, in this thread, I'm specifically trying to gather information on Conservation Districts.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Floyd on November 27, 2007, 03:44:02 pm
I'm a huge fan of preservation.  But, for the sake of argument, there are two potential major downsides to Conservation Districts, at least that I can come up with off the top of my head.

1) Banning teardowns in certain neighborhoods does little more than preserve shacks and prevent overall property values from increasing.  This is the case in districts where there is a good number of rundown properties among the charming, kept-up houses.  An example of this that comes to mind in Tulsa is north of Cherry Street.  A ban on teardowns in that neighborhood would ultimately hurt revitalization projects because of the number of dilapidated properties that would be "preserved" for slumlords and stray cats, decreasing the incentive for neighboring property owners to maintain their own houses.  

2) There is also a danger of cookie cutter building.  Some CDs allow teardowns but include design requirements for the rebuilds. Then it becomes economical for builders to turn to the same three blueprints, over and over, in order to safely adhere to the requirements.  For instance, if you require a rear garage in new construction, it is much cheaper to stick with the same legal design than to find multiple creative ways to incorporate a multi-car driveway.

That said, I think the key is to make the review process as painless as possible, which means an active citizens group willing to particpate in the overview process.  These CDs typically come from the grassroots level--there has to be a neighborhood consensus that such ordinances will improve aesthetics and property values.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Kenosha on November 27, 2007, 05:05:40 pm
The problem with any type of design overlay is 1)The degree to which the "guidelines" attempt to control development, and 2) the administration of said guideline, i.e. who is administering them.

As far as new construction is concerned, you have to be very careful to avoid regulating "taste", because it is such a subjective thing.  Proportion, setback, scale are things you should be able to regulate, but things like materials (to a degree), style and "attractiveness" should not be subject to regulation...just my opinion.  Plus, I think you could subject the city to multiple lawsuits if you attempt to do so.  

I would submit that the Secretary of the Interior's guidelines for new construction in a historic district specify that a 'historic' style need not and should not be duplicated, as to avoid confusion about what is and isn't historic.  This goes to say that contemporary, modern, or post-modern architecture can fit within a historic district, given that it obeys certain mandates, such as proportion, rhythm, and scale...

This is part of the problem that I have with the whole "preserve midtown" movement.  It's that it is largely based on what some people think is "ugly" or "appropriate". WTH does "appropriate" mean?  What is "ugly"? Can we come to a consensus on this? Probably not.

I have no disagreement with the oversized home or 'snout house' argument. I agree with it, in fact.  I disagree that new construction in midtown should be limited by style. The 'no more Mediterranean' houses argument holds little water for me.  In 50 years, we may find that, as the Tudor style was popular in the 30's and the streamline moderne was popular in the 40's and the Lortondale Modern was the rage in the 50's, that the Mediterranean revival will be cherished as those homes are.  So, don't be short sighted.  And remember, Frank Lloyd Wright himself did not build homes that "fit the neighborhood".  Look at the Jenk Lloyd Jones home right here in Tulsa.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: TheArtist on November 27, 2007, 07:30:32 pm
I like that conservation districts are made by that neighborhood. They basically act as enabling legislation for each neighborhood to find their own way. We may find that some neighborhoods are more strict than others, but thats fine imo. Also I think the fact that it will take many of the people in each neighborhood to write the regulations, that in itself will have a moderating effect, unlikely to be too extreme, compromises will have to be reached.

As for the moratorium, sure push for it if you want but get those Conservation Districts in place as soon as possible. You may find that you will be able to get that done quicker and easier than any moratorium.

 The city can put in place the Conservation District legislation, but it will still take time for each neighborhood to come up with its own regulations.  If they so desire.  The city putting concervation district legislation on the books does not do anything to regulate what is built, torn down etc. Its those neighborhood regulations that they each write up which makes the difference. A moratorium can not be used to have any influence on the speed and direction those take. A neighborhood could simply choose to drag their feet or agrue forever, keeping the moratorium in place.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: PonderInc on November 28, 2007, 12:03:38 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Floyd

 2) ...There is also a danger of cookie cutter building.  Some CDs allow teardowns but include design requirements for the rebuilds. Then it becomes economical for builders to turn to the same three blueprints, over and over, in order to safely adhere to the requirements.  For instance, if you require a rear garage in new construction, it is much cheaper to stick with the same legal design than to find multiple creative ways to incorporate a multi-car driveway....


I agree with this concern.  But at the same time, much of the problem with infill today is that builders are already using their cookie-cutter designs....designs they pull right out of the suburban stylebook!  

My current neighborhood was built mostly in the 50's...lots of single-story brick ranch houses.  I can't tell you how weird it looks when someone sticks a south-Tulsa "Big Garage/Big Roof" house in the middle of this neighborhood.  

But my main problem with the newer construction isn't about taste/perceived ugliness.  I think it's bad for a neighborhood when you replace front porches and front windows with the blank stare of a multi-car garage.  And I think that scale and setback matter.

I live next door to a modest home on a big lot...and I'm terrified that someone will buy it and fill the entire lot with a monstrosity.  I know that this would have a negative impact on my home value...regardless of how much the new home might cost...or how many square feet it might have.  


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: RecycleMichael on November 28, 2007, 12:18:49 pm
The guy next door to me built a humongous two story attached garage...with four bedrooms upstairs for his kids. It is probably over 2,000 square feet and the garage doors face the street. It is ugly as hell and covered in siding that isn't even close to the color of his stone home.

But it is in east Tulsa...no one cares about east Tulsa.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife department built two metal buildings right on east 21st street and put razor wire fence around the perimeter.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Double A on November 28, 2007, 12:29:06 pm
quote:
Originally posted by recyclemichael



But it is in east Tulsa...no one cares about east Tulsa.




District 5 is more midtown than east Tulsa. That's like saying District 4 is in north Tulsa.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: RecycleMichael on November 28, 2007, 04:41:40 pm
I don't know why you challenge me doubleA. I live on Mingo Creek.

Who thinks that Mingo Creek is in midtown?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Rico on November 28, 2007, 07:19:43 pm
This may be just a break in the latest "squabble"...........

But could I please ask what happened to Geronimo's House...

Was it tear-down, infill, mcmansions, or just a "squabble" between white, red, and brown...?

(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y179/rico2/TeePee.jpg)

[;)]


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Kenosha on November 28, 2007, 11:24:53 pm
quote:
Originally posted by TheArtist

I like that conservation districts are made by that neighborhood. They basically act as enabling legislation for each neighborhood to find their own way. We may find that some neighborhoods are more strict than others, but thats fine imo. Also I think the fact that it will take many of the people in each neighborhood to write the regulations, that in itself will have a moderating effect, unlikely to be too extreme, compromises will have to be reached.


So let me get this straight.  Each neighborhood will set up it's own "conservation commission" and vote on proposed new additions, and/or changes in their neighborhood. How do you get appointed to the commission?  How do you keep what has happened in Swan Lake from happening, where you essentially have one person running the neighborhood "association".  To whom do these commissions report?  What is the process for appealing these decisions?  On commercial corridors, does the neighborhood have jurisdiction over both sides of the street or just the side of the arterial that the neighborhood is on?

That is a crazy idea.  Having however many different standards and rules will completely cripple development in Tulsa.  I can't imagine the bureaucracy that would create.  The current HP areas ALREADY have too many different guidelines.  If anything, they need to be unified. Swan Lake has some that Yorktown doesn't and vice versa...and Brady Heights...not even written in the same form as the rest (and frankly, theirs are the best of the lot).

I would also remind you that Conservation Districts are not supposed to LESS restrictive, not more, which is the appeal of them in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I understand wanting to protect your investment and the feeling emotional and nostalgic pull of these older homes (mine was built in 1929), but there is a fine line between that, and having your neighbors tell you what you can and can't do on your property.  I, personally, wouldn't have the balls to walk up to my neighbor and tell him that the windows he is putting in his house look cheap because they aren't made of wood, and by the way, please tear them out and put wood ones in.  I just don't have that in me.  But there are a lot of people out there who, apparently have nothing better to do, and are more than willing to "police" their neighborhood.  I think it is a sickness, personally, but who am I to judge.

quote:
As for the moratorium, sure push for it if you want but get those Conservation Districts in place as soon as possible. You may find that you will be able to get that done quicker and easier than any moratorium.


Moratorium? Citywide? on Teardowns?

Never. Gonna. Happen.

It is a completely untenable idea, and a massive overreaction to a perceived problem in a relatively small section of the city.  As recyclemike mentioned, I doubt if anyone is truly concerned with teardowns at 21st and Garnett.  They just wish someone would build something besides a strip mall out there.

A little tangent about Ranch Acres.  Again, I get the nostalgia part of it...many people grew up in homes like those, and have fond memories of it I am sure... but they simply don't have the architectural appeal of an arts and crafts foursquare, or a craftsman bungalow, or an art deco streamline moderne.  I just have to say...WHY in the world would anyone want build a Ranch Style house in this day and age?  Do they really expect someone to come in and duplicate that style of home?  Lortondale, maybe...at least those have sorta open floorplans, and contemporary lines, but ranch?  I am just not seeing it.  Not unless is is a duplication of the one of FLW's designs, like the Robie House.  What's next? Split levels with aluminum windows?  What Ranch Acres should be doing is trying to reverse some of the negative urban design features of the neighborhood, such as lack of sidewalks.  I suppose they want to preserve that too...  


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Double A on November 29, 2007, 12:41:00 am
The proposed moratorium is for Districts 4 and 9. I think this moratorium would spur development in Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. That would be a good thing.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: pmcalk on November 29, 2007, 09:55:30 am
quote:
Originally posted by Kenosha
So let me get this straight.  Each neighborhood will set up it's own "conservation commission" and vote on proposed new additions, and/or changes in their neighborhood. How do you get appointed to the commission?  How do you keep what has happened in Swan Lake from happening, where you essentially have one person running the neighborhood "association".  To whom do these commissions report?  What is the process for appealing these decisions?  On commercial corridors, does the neighborhood have jurisdiction over both sides of the street or just the side of the arterial that the neighborhood is on?

That is a crazy idea.  Having however many different standards and rules will completely cripple development in Tulsa.  I can't imagine the bureaucracy that would create.  The current HP areas ALREADY have too many different guidelines.  If anything, they need to be unified. Swan Lake has some that Yorktown doesn't and vice versa...and Brady Heights...not even written in the same form as the rest (and frankly, theirs are the best of the lot).

I would also remind you that Conservation Districts are not supposed to LESS restrictive, not more, which is the appeal of them in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I understand wanting to protect your investment and the feeling emotional and nostalgic pull of these older homes (mine was built in 1929), but there is a fine line between that, and having your neighbors tell you what you can and can't do on your property.  I, personally, wouldn't have the balls to walk up to my neighbor and tell him that the windows he is putting in his house look cheap because they aren't made of wood, and by the way, please tear them out and put wood ones in.  I just don't have that in me.  But there are a lot of people out there who, apparently have nothing better to do, and are more than willing to "police" their neighborhood.  I think it is a sickness, personally, but who am I to judge.




While there are lots of different ways to do a conservation district, I believe what Artist was trying to stress is not the enforcement, but that each neighborhood will base the guidelines on what currently exists in their neighborhood--enforcement will most likely come from another entity (tmapc or tpc).  Again, different cities have different criteria, but primarily all conservation districts deal with very objective standards (unlike HP, in which a lot is subjective and simply based upon the "right" fit)--such as height, set backs, garage placement, overall footprint of the structure.  While there would be different "guidelines" for each neighborhood (which is the whole point--you want it to fit into the specific neighborhood, not the entire city), enforcement would be much easier, since either you meet it or you don't.  I think it is unlikely that the "taste police" will control the process.  Already, builders must deal with a multitude of setback, FAR, height restrictions depending on the neighborhood.  I wouldn't think it would be so burdensome to determine the correct requirements for the neighborhood. And in fact most houses out south in newer neighborhoods have many more restriction through their covenants.  Builders seem to be able to adapt to that.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: TheArtist on November 29, 2007, 02:00:45 pm
What they are trying to do is get the legal framework, the mechanisms in place. Once the city has that process, wording, mechanism, etc. in place for Conservation Districts its then up to each neighborhood to come up with the specifics for its neighborhood. Its not a one size fits all thing that the city sets up and suddenly every area of the city is good to go. The city may set it up and a neighborhood not even elect to bother with writing the rules for its area, so there would be no conservation district there.

The city creates a "conservation district mechanism" putting in place a legal, framework, rules, process and procedures. That, then allows each individual neighborhood to be able to create the specific requirements the "Conservation District" for its particular neighborhood. If a neighborhood doesnt do anything, there wont be anything there. Each neighborhood may come up with different regulations and such depending on the concerns and specifics of that neighborhood. You even have to have a certain percentage of people in the neighborhood approve of the rules that the neighborhood comes up with, in order for it to pass. If it doesnt pass, there will be no conservation district there. The city is being asked to set up the legal structure that "enables" it to be so, they dont make it so.  

I dont know all the legal jargon. Just trying to get the general idea across, as I understand it, for what is being done.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Kenosha on November 29, 2007, 02:13:08 pm
And who is doing this?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Rico on November 29, 2007, 05:49:56 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Kenosha

And who is doing this?



I think it may be the "Associated Home Builders of Tulsa".....


[}:)]  Tell me was I close...?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: izmophonik on November 30, 2007, 04:26:41 pm
You need to talk to the Tulsa Preservation Commission.  They regulate these kinds of building issues for 5 neighborhoods currently.  Unfortunately, if your neighborhood isn't old then you'll likely have a tough time trying to legislate 'decent' home design.

Brady Heights
Gilette
North Maple Ridge
Swan Lake
Yorktown

http://tulsapreservationcommission.org


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: izmophonik on November 30, 2007, 04:49:34 pm
Exerpt from the TPC site:

HP Zoned Neighborhoods
 Did you know that Tulsa neighborhoods are given HP Zoning only at the request of the neighborhood residents?

To date, five historic Tulsa neighborhoods have requested historic preservation zoning. The process includes a great deal of citizen involvement — the neighborhood residents themselves develop the design guidelines that the TPC uses to make decisions within their particular neighborhood. Guidelines are written with the help of the TPC and adopted by the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and Tulsa City Council.

The following neighborhoods have requested and received Historic Preservation Zoning, which was approved by the Mayor of Tulsa on the date listed:

Brady Heights December 20, 1999
Council Oak Tree Site January 31, 1992
Gillette March 24, 1989
North Maple Ridge April 12, 1993
Swan Lake February 14, 1994
Yorktown August 14, 1995


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Double A on November 30, 2007, 08:11:35 pm
quote:
Originally posted by izmophonik

Exerpt from the TPC site:

HP Zoned Neighborhoods
 Did you know that Tulsa neighborhoods are given HP Zoning only at the request of the neighborhood residents?

To date, five historic Tulsa neighborhoods have requested historic preservation zoning. The process includes a great deal of citizen involvement � the neighborhood residents themselves develop the design guidelines that the TPC uses to make decisions within their particular neighborhood. Guidelines are written with the help of the TPC and adopted by the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and Tulsa City Council.

The following neighborhoods have requested and received Historic Preservation Zoning, which was approved by the Mayor of Tulsa on the date listed:

Brady Heights December 20, 1999
Council Oak Tree Site January 31, 1992
Gillette March 24, 1989
North Maple Ridge April 12, 1993
Swan Lake February 14, 1994
Yorktown August 14, 1995




These are the neighborhoods who saved the goose that laid the golden egg from the slaughter.

It is because of these neighborhoods, we can hold our heads high despite the recent disturbing infill development trends in town, when the National Trust for Historic Preservation holds their upcoming convention in Tulsa. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the wisdom and vision of these neighbors who decided preserving  Tulsa's treasures was worth a small self imposed sacrifice.

Recently our uniqueness has been overshadowed by our inability to preserve what makes us unique, but that has not always been the case. Let's get back to where once belonged, wearing the crown of America's most beautiful city. If it takes a moratorium, or conservation districts to preserve, promote, and protect Tulsa's greatest assets, I welcome them with open arms.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: si_uk_lon_ok on December 03, 2007, 01:29:06 am
I think its important to conserve and reuse existing buildings, especially significant buildings, buildings of character and those of historical merit. It makes me mad when I think of what is going on and has gone on in the downtown, the mere mention of the Tulsa Club building, for instance, makes my blood boil. I also think though that many neighborhoods lack density. If people want walkable neighborhoods with local shops, nearby schools and a decent public transport system in many areas with the current density this isn't possible. I'd like to see buildings worth saving saved, either by preserving them or where that isn't possible moving them and sympathetic and well designed developments that add density and provide more homes.

I’m not so pro development I want to see neighborhoods change beyond recognition, but I do thing there is the possibility of good development that benefits the neighborhood. I also think that there is a danger with any form of development control, that the more middle class, political and better mobilized areas always have the ability to block development in their own backyards and push it onto other areas.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on January 26, 2008, 12:32:41 pm
quote:
Posted January 24, 2008 on BatesLine (http://"http://www.batesline.com/archives/2008/01/forum-on-neighborhood-conservati.html#comments")

Tulsa City Councilor Maria Barnes, who represents an area that could greatly benefit from conservation districts, is hosting a neighborhood leader meeting on the topic on Monday, January 28. It will be held at the Central Community Center in Centennial Park, 1028 E. 6th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. TMAPC member and Yorktown neighborhood resident Michelle Cantrell, Susan McKee from the Coalition of Historic Neighborhoods, and Steve Novick of Preserve Midtown will be among the speakers. It's a good opportunity to learn about how the concept is used in other cities and how it might be applied in Tulsa.



Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on January 28, 2008, 08:55:32 pm
I'm not a neighborhood leader, but I attended tonight's meeting anyway -- to listen.

Some quick impressions:

1.  Conservation Districts (CDs) will work the best in more homogeneous residential areas.

2.  Property owners near the center of CDs will be better protected, in general, than those on the fringe.

3.  CDs will provide an overlay to the underlying zoning regulations.  When the CD requirements are in conflict with the zoning requirements for the district, the CD requirements will govern.

4.  Each CD can establish its own requirements from a "menu" of possible categories, such as setbacks, lot coverage, etc.

District 4 Councilor Maria Barnes is planning another meeting about Conservation Districts in about a month.  I hope there is a better definition of what the "menu" items might be.  As a point of departure, I'm guessing that the menu will allow modification of any of the residential district requirements.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Floyd on January 28, 2008, 09:02:03 pm
Thanks for the report.  Any word on a tentative timeline for passage of an ordinance?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: carltonplace on January 28, 2008, 09:38:49 pm
I like the idea of CD, but I'm worried that it's one size fits all. A single CD would work great in say Florence Park or White City, but neighborhoods like South Maple Ridge, Swan Lake, Riverview and Brady Heights are already fairly diverse in set backs, hight, and form. The only thing they realy have in common is footprint. In order to regulate appropriate infill in these areas you'd have to break the neighborhood into smaller pieces.

Example, my street is filled with 80 to 98 year old craftsman style homes with front porches and rear separate garage structures. I'd hate to see one torn down to be replaced with a snout house of any style; it simply wouldn't fit. But all around us are plenty of spaces to build either new single family or multi-family homes and I wouldn't want a neighborhood CP to prevent appropriate infill growth in those areas. Move down two streets however and you can see very clearly how infill development can disrupt the charm of a neighborhood with hodge-podge building styles, sizes and uses all on a single block. It feels disjointed. There have to be smart rules in place that give developers an idea or blue print of what fits or belongs in an area. It's not an attempt to dictate taste as much as a tool to ease tension between homeowners (to protect their investment/the place they call home) and builders (make money and avoid contention).


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on January 28, 2008, 10:02:46 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Floyd

Thanks for the report.  Any word on a tentative timeline for passage of an ordinance?



I think I heard something about Maria Barnes wanting to propose a revision to the zoning code within six months.  Limiting CDs to residential districts at least initially was mentioned as a way to streamline and speed the process of getting CDs established in Tulsa.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on January 28, 2008, 10:48:43 pm
quote:
Originally posted by carltonplace

I like the idea of CD, but I'm worried that it's one size fits all. A single CD would work great in say Florence Park or White City, but neighborhoods like South Maple Ridge, Swan Lake, Riverview and Brady Heights are already fairly diverse in set backs, hight, and form. The only thing they realy have in common is footprint. In order to regulate appropriate infill in these areas you'd have to break the neighborhood into smaller pieces.



This subject was discussed tonight, and Florence Park was cited as an example where a single homogenous CD would not work because there is variation within the neighborhood.  To me, Florence Park seems very cohesive and homogenous compared to neighborhoods such as Riverview and Forest Orchard, but the representative from Florence Park seemed to think that one standard wouldn't be appropriate for her entire neighborhood.  The question of minimum size for a CD was raised, but that is still being studied.  CDs were mentioned as a method of quickly stopping the teardowns and McMansions, even before the new comprehensive plan is completed.  Historic Preservation overlay zoning, in general, was considered to be better than CDs for maintaining design character in historic neighborhoods.  But HP districts take more time and effort to set up than do CDs.

Jamie Jamieson was there to speak about the Form Based Code trial which Mayor Taylor has approved for the Pearl District.  It seemed to me that the most likely candidates for CDs would be exclusively single family neighborhoods with relatively large lots.  In some neighborhoods, a modestly sized house on a single lot can be demolished, then its single lot can be split (because the resulting two lots each meet the minimum size for the zoning district), and then two relatively huge houses can be built on the smaller lots.  This is one of the concerns of PreserveMidtown.

Personally, I think form based codes would work much better for Tulsa than CDs.  But I wanted to attend tonight's meeting to see what was being considered.  CDs would allow older neighborhoods to tailor the existing zoning code to better fit their needs and goals without a complete overhaul of the entire zoning code itself.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: pmcalk on January 29, 2008, 09:19:56 am
I think you might have misunderstood the discussion about Florence Park.  I distinctly heard them say that Florence Park would be a great neighborhood for conservation district.  However, the president of Florence Park was asking if it could prevent property from being rezoned to office, which a CD district would not do.  

Riverview is a very difficult neighborhood because of all of the infill that has already occurred.  That is why the TPC broke the neighborhood up for placement on the National Register--it was the only way to comply.  However, you could look to those same neighborhoods and try to find unifying features.  If the set backs are not the same, then is it really necessary to regulate the setbacks anyway?  You need to focus on what would look out of place--if there are a variety of different setbacks, then wouldn't a variety actually fit?  You could control other things, perhaps garage placement, roof pitch etc...., without any restrictions on set backs.

Form based codes has some very good components to it, but it will take a real change in neighborhood mind sets before they will move towards FBC.  As the Pearl District moves forward with its pilot program, more neighborhoods may eventually see its benefits.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on January 29, 2008, 10:38:15 pm
quote:
Originally posted by pmcalk

I think you might have misunderstood the discussion about Florence Park.  I distinctly heard them say that Florence Park would be a great neighborhood for conservation district.  However, the president of Florence Park was asking if it could prevent property from being rezoned to office, which a CD district would not do.



I definitely could have misunderstood or mis-heard the discussion about Florence Park.  I thought that some variations were mentioned.  At some points in the meeting, it was very difficult for me to hear and understand what was being discussed because the representative from Swan Lake found it necessary to continue talking long after his turn at the microphone.  For the most part, it was an orderly meeting, but all neighborhood leaders need to learn the common courtesy of shutting their mouths when someone else has the floor.


"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a commuter rail system & downtown baseball stadium & hundreds of miles of streets & umpteen thousand acorn lights with the other..."




Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Steve on January 31, 2008, 02:33:17 am
My subdivision Lortondale, between 26th St. & 27th Pl., Yale to Darlington, would be a prime candidate for a conservation district. All homes were built in the ultra-modern 1950's style by a single Tulsa builder, Howard Grubb.  Grubb also expanded into Lortondale 2, west of Darlington to Hudson, but those homes have suffered some major bad revisions over the years, while the majority of houses in the original Lortondale still remain structurally original, a prime conservation district candidate or NHR candidate.

It amazes me that Ranch Acres in Tulsa recently obtained National Historic Registry listing, while my neigborhood Lortondale is still waiting for such designation.  Lortondale has much more architectural and historic significance than Ranch Acres, was the very first subdivision in the entire U.S. built with entirely centrally A/C homes, featured in multiple national magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, etc., awarded with over 10 national design awards to builder Howard Grubb and architect Donald Honn, the very first neighborhood in Tulsa with a private developer-built swimming pool, and the list goes on and on.  The reason for Ranch Acres preference for NHR listing over Lortondale totally escapes me; I guess money talks.
   


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: AVERAGE JOE on January 31, 2008, 06:10:46 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Steve

My subdivision Lortondale, between 26th St. & 27th Pl., Yale to Darlington, would be a prime candidate for a conservation district. All homes were built in the ultra-modern 1950's style by a single Tulsa builder, Howard Grubb.  Grubb also expanded into Lortondale 2, west of Darlington to Hudson, but those homes have suffered some major bad revisions over the years, while the majority of houses in the original Lortondale still remain structurally original, a prime conservation district candidate or NHR candidate.

It amazes me that Ranch Acres in Tulsa recently obtained National Historic Registry listing, while my neigborhood Lortondale is still waiting for such designation.  Lortondale has much more architectural and historic significance than Ranch Acres, was the very first subdivision in the entire U.S. built with entirely centrally A/C homes, featured in multiple national magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, etc., awarded with over 10 national design awards to builder Howard Grubb and architect Donald Honn, the very first neighborhood in Tulsa with a private developer-built swimming pool, and the list goes on and on.  The reason for Ranch Acres preference for NHR listing over Lortondale totally escapes me; I guess money talks.
   



You assume there is a preference or one was selected over another. The paper said Ranch Acres has been working on this for 3 years. How long has Lortondale been pursuing NHR listing? Maybe they just started earlier?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Steve on February 01, 2008, 07:36:54 pm
quote:
Originally posted by AVERAGE JOE

quote:
Originally posted by Steve

My subdivision Lortondale, between 26th St. & 27th Pl., Yale to Darlington, would be a prime candidate for a conservation district. All homes were built in the ultra-modern 1950's style by a single Tulsa builder, Howard Grubb.  Grubb also expanded into Lortondale 2, west of Darlington to Hudson, but those homes have suffered some major bad revisions over the years, while the majority of houses in the original Lortondale still remain structurally original, a prime conservation district candidate or NHR candidate.

It amazes me that Ranch Acres in Tulsa recently obtained National Historic Registry listing, while my neigborhood Lortondale is still waiting for such designation.  Lortondale has much more architectural and historic significance than Ranch Acres, was the very first subdivision in the entire U.S. built with entirely centrally A/C homes, featured in multiple national magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, etc., awarded with over 10 national design awards to builder Howard Grubb and architect Donald Honn, the very first neighborhood in Tulsa with a private developer-built swimming pool, and the list goes on and on.  The reason for Ranch Acres preference for NHR listing over Lortondale totally escapes me; I guess money talks.
   



You assume there is a preference or one was selected over another. The paper said Ranch Acres has been working on this for 3 years. How long has Lortondale been pursuing NHR listing? Maybe they just started earlier?



Lortondale and its neighborhood assoc. has been persuing NHR designation for equally as long, at least 3 years, and we expect to be the next district/neighborhood in Tulsa to be so designated.  Possibly the last.

Ranch Acres is a beautiful Tulsa neighborhood and very worthy of preservation efforts.  I don't deny that.  But speaking strictly from a historical significance standpoint, I think my subdivision of Lortondale has more architectural/historical points in its favor for NHR inclusion.  In the articles that have been recently published about the NHR and Ranch Acres, all they have mentioned is the luxury aspect, large lots, and homogeneous 1950's ranch house style.  Seems rather insignificant to me given Lortondale's well published and honored past.

I suppose a big factor driving the inclusion of Ranch Acres on the NHR is the "tear down/infill rebuild" problems.  Due to the typical large lot size in Ranch Acres and the higher than average prices there, the tear down problem is more imminent in Ranch Acres.  Lortondale on the other hand has yet to see this problem.  The only tear downs in my subdivision so far have been due to extreme gross owner neglect or irrepairable structural failure, not greedy developers.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: mac on February 14, 2008, 04:03:09 pm
There seems to be a few people giving negative feedback about Conservation Districts. I think it is great that Councilor Barnes has spearheaded this project to give residents a tool to maintain the character of thier neighborhood.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: mac on February 15, 2008, 08:39:19 am
Councilor Barnes listens to her constituents' cry for help, how novel, and this is how she is treated.


City officials join to fight infill building

by: P.J. LASSEK World Staff Writer
2/15/2008  12:00 AM


But some people question how the proposal is being handled.


City Councilor Maria Barnes and Michelle Cantrell, a member of the city's Planning Commission, are spearheading an effort to put further restrictions on infill development in older residential areas.

pu,UFslams Barnes is having her staff craft an ordinance that would allow for the establishment of neighborhood conservation zoning overlays for residential areas built before 1970.

Cantrell, who also is Barnes' campaign manager, has put the proposal on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission's work session agenda for Feb. 27.

In its current draft form, the proposed ordinance provides for a conservation zoning overlay that would dictate the type of development in a neighborhood if 50 percent of the residents who live there agree to the zoning.

"It's not historic preservation zoning," Barnes said. "It doesn't address aesthetics; just setbacks, scale and style of homes."

Fighting 'McMansions': She explained that in a neighborhood where houses all have flat roofs, the conservation zoning would require any new development to have a flat roof.

Or, it would curb large homes on small lots, commonly called "McMansions," in a neighborhood where there are smaller houses on large lots, she said.

Barnes said the ordinance is still evolving and could change quite a bit before the final draft is ready.

Cantrell said a growing number of infill developments have upset neighborhood residents because they believe that the new residences harm the character of their areas.

Residents 'don't trust INCOG': She said the approach she and Barnes have taken in drafting an ordinance bypasses Indian Nations Council of Government personnel, which deals with the city's plan ning, because the neighborhood residents "don't trust INCOG."

Cantrell said she doesn't think her participation creates a conflict, even though she will be voting on the proposed ordinance.

But former Planning Commission members question that opinion.

The Planning Commission code of ethics states that "the possibility, not the actuality, of a conflict of interest" should govern decisions.

"Obviously, I won't have made a decision until I hear the input of public hearings on the ordinance," Cantrell said.

Public hearings: The ordinance will go through a process that includes public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council.

Although the Planning Commission will vote on a recommendation to support or oppose the ordinance, it is up to the council to approve it or not.

Brandon Jackson, a former Planning Commission member and homebuilder, said a commissioner "shouldn't be involved in the drafting of an ordinance. We're not there to make policy; we're there to conduct policy."

The city's administration is not prepared to take a stand now on whether the city should implement conservation districts.

Susan Neal, who oversees neighborhood issues for Mayor Kathy Taylor, said that before Thursday, the administration had not been informed about the effort other than hearing from a few residents.

Homebuilders' concerns: Paul Kane, CEO of the Home Builders Association, who has been involved in Barnes' effort, said a significant number of the association's members are very concerned.

"The biggest issue is the infringement on private property rights," he said.

"One of the things I've tried to do is to make sure that this thing doesn't get overreaching. Some of the members in my association think we shouldn't have it at all, and others who think if it is inevitable say we need to make sure it is not unduly burdensome."
 


P.J. Lassek 581-8382
pj.lassek@tulsaworld.com




Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: White Choc Hot Choc on February 15, 2008, 09:21:29 am
"It's not historic preservation zoning," Barnes said. "It doesn't address aesthetics; just setbacks, scale and style of homes."


Contradiction?  Anyone? Anyone?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: akupetsky on February 15, 2008, 09:52:06 am
quote:
Originally posted by mac


Brandon Jackson, a former Planning Commission member and homebuilder, said a commissioner "shouldn't be involved in the drafting of an ordinance. We're not there to make policy; we're there to conduct policy."

Homebuilders' concerns: Paul Kane, CEO of the Home Builders Association, who has been involved in Barnes' effort, said a significant number of the association's members are very concerned.

"The biggest issue is the infringement on private property rights," he said.

"One of the things I've tried to do is to make sure that this thing doesn't get overreaching. Some of the members in my association think we shouldn't have it at all, and others who think if it is inevitable say we need to make sure it is not unduly burdensome."
 




It would help to read the statute:

"§11?43?109.  Appointment of zoning commission.
In order to avail itself of the powers conferred by this article, the municipal governing body shall appoint a commission to be known as the zoning commission to recommend the boundaries of the various original districts and to recommend appropriate regulations to be enforced therein.  The commission shall make a preliminary report and hold public hearings thereon before submitting its final report.  The governing body shall not hold its public hearings or take action until it has received the final report of the commission.  Where a municipal planning commission already exists, it shall be appointed as the zoning commission."

Beyond the legislation, it's crazy to think that the TMAPC, appointed generally by elected public officials, is not the proper organization to propose regulation changes related to zoning.  It's also crazy to think that they shouldn't be trying to facilitate a compromise "win/win" solution for all private property owners that allows but does not require establishment of Conservation Districts.  I understand that INCOG may have some knowledgeable people, but they have no authority or legitimacy without a contract with the City.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: inteller on February 15, 2008, 10:08:22 am
quote:
Originally posted by White Choc Hot Choc

"It's not historic preservation zoning," Barnes said. "It doesn't address aesthetics; just setbacks, scale and style of homes."


Contradiction?  Anyone? Anyone?



no contradiction.  by aesthetics she is talking about the overall character of the neighborhood, not whether individual home designs are ok for the lot they are on.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: White Choc Hot Choc on February 15, 2008, 12:46:41 pm
I have yet to see a neighborhood in Tulsa with a singular 'style'...I don't see how you can do this.

Furthermore...if it requires 50% approval from the neighborhood, isn't that in effect retroactively applying a condition on those who oppose the overlay?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Double A on February 15, 2008, 02:27:06 pm
Brandon Jackson has absolutely no credibility. Conflict of interest(a completely groundless charge, BTW)? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. He was always a reliable puppet to do the bidding of the home builders and developers during his tenure. The public outrage over this played heavily into the fact that he no longer serves.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Steve on February 15, 2008, 09:54:26 pm
quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

My current neighborhood was built mostly in the 50's...lots of single-story brick ranch houses.  I can't tell you how weird it looks when someone sticks a south-Tulsa "Big Garage/Big Roof" house in the middle of this neighborhood.



I second that opinion.  I live in Lortondale at 26th & Yale.  All the homes were designed by architect Donald Honn and built 1954-1956 by a single builder, Howard Grubb, in the ultra-modern 1950's ranch house style with very low pitched or flat roofs, single story contemporary homes.  I would be appalled if there was a tear-down and McMansion built next to me.  Fortunately in Lortondale, the lots are small enough (7,000-9,000 sq. ft.) and land prices are not so high that we have not yet experienced this tear-down and infill problem.

The conservation district ordinance seems very logical to me, at least until the City of Tulsa can adopt form-based zoning codes to preserve the architecture and feel of our historic neighborhoods.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Steve on February 15, 2008, 11:01:11 pm
quote:
Originally posted by White Choc Hot Choc

I have yet to see a neighborhood in Tulsa with a singular 'style'...I don't see how you can do this.



You obviously have not been through the Lortondale or Lortondale Second additions, from 26th Street to 27th Place, Yale Avenue to Hudson Avenue in midtown Tulsa, all homes built in the ultra-modern 1950s style with low pitched roofs and exposed beam architecture.  The whole Ranch Acres development from 31st to 41st streets, Harvard west towards Lewis is also an example of the homogeneous 1950s ranch house style.  Form-based codes or conservation district ordinances are desparately needed to preserve these historic neighborhoods.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: PonderInc on February 27, 2008, 02:12:30 pm
I was out browsing through the TMAPC website and saw this "work session" document related to Conservation Districts.  From what I can tell, this is a first draft being used to begin the discussion.  It's not a final/formal policy.  However, I think it's interesting.  This may prove to be a good tool for neighborhoods that want some assurance that infill development will be in harmony with the existing 'hood.  I want to learn more, and figured that others would be interested as well. http://www.tmapc.org/tmapcworksession/Conservation%20District%20complete%20info..pdf


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 09, 2008, 11:02:26 am
There's an article about conservation districts in the Tulsa World today (http://"http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectID=11&articleID=20080309_1_A20_hrpah16827") (March 9th).

I did not attend the TMAPC work session on Feb 27, and I haven't heard about much opposition to this proposed ordinance.  Did the opponents mentioned in the article show up at the Feb 27 work session to argue against the proposed ordinance?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: FOTD on March 09, 2008, 12:52:25 pm
This country has continued to break our constitution at every turn during the past 8 years.

People have property rights. That is the backbone of our laws. Over many years, continuity must give way to new technology. New technology will mean new design.

Old neighborhoods will give way to new ideas unless preservation fanatics block advancements.
Many in Tulsa like myself have learned to live with major changes in our adjoing landscapes and building design. It's the old non maintained properties in decent areas that irk me. And especially the ones who fail to follow BOA directions after a change. Code enforcement is in over their heads .....


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: TheArtist on March 09, 2008, 01:56:36 pm
If a group of people get together and decide they want something for their shared community, like having new construction follow some sort of guidelines, then the law should not stand in the way of them being able to do that.

 Dont know if the 50% rule is all that fair in this instance. But one way or another half would be getting their way over the other half. Perhaps it should be a supermajority of 60-75% of the people agreeing.

Its not as though this is an alien concept, its as old as living in cities itself. People have to come to some sort of agreed on standards. What you do to your property affects my property and vice versa. There are shared rights and responsibilities and individual rights and responsibilities, and as always where those intersect there often must be compromise. In our country, precisely because of our constitution, we arent told by some princely authority what to do, we are able to work out compromises ourselves.  Its also not as though it would be citywide. Only a few places would likely adopt these Conservation Districts, and again, it should be because the majority of the people were allowed to do what they wanted. There will be plenty of places where "anything goes" type developments can occur. But there should, imo, be places in already built areas where people can get together and create, improve or maintain the type of community the majority agrees upon. Otherwise you are completely denying them any opportunity to have the liberty and pursuits they wish to have. Having a variety of options is what makes a city a great place to live for all kinds of people and communities. Not everyone can have their way, all the time, in every location. But the more people that can have the options they want, the better.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 09, 2008, 02:59:06 pm
If a proposed neighborhood conservation district is completely voluntary (meaning unanimous agreement amongst all property owners within the proposed district), then I think that this idea could work.  Otherwise, it could be a case of some owners placing restrictions on the property of others without consent.  This would not be fair, especially to those with property on the edge of a proposed district.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: tulsa1603 on March 09, 2008, 05:30:14 pm
quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

If a proposed neighborhood conservation district is completely voluntary (meaning unanimuous agreement amongst all property owners within the proposed district), then I think that this idea could work.  Otherwise, it could be a case of some owners placing restrictions on the property of others without consent.  This would not be fair, especially to those with property on the edge of a proposed district.



Exactly.  This is taking away property owner's rights.  I hate seeing tear downs as much as anyone, but if I want to live in a homogenized neighborhood with restrictions, I'll move to Owasso or Jenks [:(!].  They NEED to fix the zoning codes (setbacks, heights) and start enforcing existing laws with regard to maintenance, etc..  The city should NOT be dictating STYLE.  I can't IMAGINE the process...talk about bureaucracy!  The most I'd be willing to accept would be saying "No front entry garage doors" in a neighborhood that it isn't commonplace in...not "you can't build a Tuscan".


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 09, 2008, 05:56:07 pm
^ But some people enjoy living in a homogeneous neighborhood with a distinct character.  A neighborhood conservation district might help them preserve that distinct character.  If a proposed conservation district's boundaries and restrictions are totally self-imposed, then this type of zoning modification might be able to help them.  

I share your concern about the administration of another layer of rules in addition to the underlying zoning restrictions we have already.  Zoning regulations are supposed to be predictable.  Voluntarily self-imposed conservation districts could increase the level of predictability in certain neighborhoods with unifying characteristics.  If the restrictions on a district and its boundaries are self-imposed, then the property owners themselves would all be stakeholders and they themselves would provide the best enforcement of the rules.

"I walk this empty street -- on the boulevard of broken dreams..."


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: TheArtist on March 09, 2008, 09:28:33 pm
quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

^ But some people enjoy living in a homogeneous neighborhood with a distinct character.  A neighborhood conservation district might help them preserve that distinct character.  If a proposed conservation district's boundaries and restrictions are totally self-imposed, then this type of zoning modification might be able to help them.  

I share your concern about the administration of another layer of rules in addition to the underlying zoning restrictions we have already.  Zoning regulations are supposed to be predictable.  Voluntarily self-imposed conservation districts could increase the level of predictability in certain neighborhoods with unifying characteristics.  If the restrictions on a district and its boundaries are self-imposed, then the property owners themselves would all be stakeholders and they themselves would provide the best enforcement of the rules.

"I walk this empty street -- on the boulevard of broken dreams..."



Absolutely. I for one enjoy living in a neighborhood and visiting areas that have a homogenous look of some sort or another. It could be all tuscan or french, or bungalow, ranch, gothic, contemporary. But I also like mixed areas with contemporary, "classic", and everything else like by Cherry Street for example.  It also doesnt have to be a particular style. Not sure exactly how conservation districts work. But you could have a neighborhood like some of the old ones in mid-town where any style was built but they followed "classic" proportions. Whether it was italian, georgian, gothic tudor, french, whatever, they all still worked together because of common set backs and proportions.

Not all of mid-town would adopt these rules. There would still be plenty of options for "variety neighborhoods" if you wanted that (and architects naturally tend to like new styles and disdain the notion of having to create "another tuscan" whatever). But at least acknowledge that there are some people who really want and enjoy those "homogenous" neighborhoods, who would also like to live in mid-town and not in Owasso, and allow them the opportunity to have that kind of place to live in.

I love going places like cape cod, Tucson, or wherever and being in a place that has a unique style. That takes you somewhere or even to a place in time because all the buildings in an area reflect a certain style and time. Its often a wonderful, peaceful, enjoyable feeling. I love Lortondale and would like to see it stay as a little time capsule, a reminder of a certain style, time period and way of life. Likewise the old Oil Baron neighborhoods that remind me of the roaring 20s, class, money, sophistication, the dreams of recreating and emulating the "ideals" of European grandure and elegance here in America. Some things, especially if they are tied to an important time in our history, are imo, worth preserving and even enhancing if possible. They give our city its uniquiness. I have heard people from other parts of the country who have visited Tulsa comment on the unique style that we have here. I never thought we had one. In much of the city it is indeed like everywhere else. But in some parts it is uniquely Tulsa. We can either degrade that uniqueness or enhance it. And again there are plenty of areas so that different people of different preferences can have what they like.

 
I always try to be fair on here and say things like, lets have good urban and good suburban neighborhoods. I dont want to live in the suburbs but you cant bash the suburbs if you want those people to help you create good urban areas or to even ask them to understand that others like living in urban environments. Likewise I try to understand and be fair about how some people like diversity and others want homogenous. Lets create a city that has wonderful, beautiful, examples of all of those above types of places. Now that would be real variety imo.

Cant we all get along? [:D]


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: MichaelBates on March 09, 2008, 11:06:23 pm
An NCD would not require uniformity of style or homogeneity. A midtown neighborhood like Florence Park could have an NCD where the only guidelines involved setbacks and garage placement, with no reference at all to number of stories, roof pitch, etc. Under those guidelines, you could build just about anything except a "snout house" (http://"http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/gallery/sprawl?pg=1") -- the sort that has the garage sticking way out in front.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: dsjeffries on March 09, 2008, 11:16:03 pm
quote:
Originally posted by MichaelBates

An NCD would not require uniformity of style or homogeneity. A midtown neighborhood like Florence Park could have an NCD where the only guidelines involved setbacks and garage placement, with no reference at all to number of stories, roof pitch, etc. Under those guidelines, you could build just about anything except a "snout house" (http://"http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/gallery/sprawl?pg=1") -- the sort that has the garage sticking way out in front.



I detest snout houses, but I love the name... It's so degrading (as it should be!) [:P]


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 09, 2008, 11:47:18 pm
Snout houses are popular and common in places such as Tulsa where land uses are segregated, forcing a significant portion of the population to drive miles for work, school, shopping, etc.  

As far as I know, our Zoning Code requires off-street in every district except the Central Business District.  Snout houses are a result of market demand and of our off-street parking requirements.  Snout houses most likely would define the character of some neighborhoods, and they would destroy the character of others.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Chicken Little on March 10, 2008, 08:50:53 am
quote:
Originally posted by tulsa1603

I'll move to Owasso or Jenks [:(!].

As you have noted, these newer places will have restrictive covenants that are far more persnickety than anything you'd find in a conservation district...from where you can park your car overnight, to the type of shingles, to the color of your trashcans.

In older Tulsa neighborhoods, the covenants that they once had have expired, a conservation district would put back some very basic guidelines...that's all.

If you were trying to avoid onerous regulation, you'd be far better off staying in a neighborhood with a conservation district.

This notion that infill housing should be a "free-for-all" with houses that make no attempt to harmonize with the neighborhoods in which they are located is really pretty impracticle.

There are plenty of neighborhoods that would be happy to throw out the old and embrace revitalization in whatever form it comes, but, rich people don't want to be in those neighborhoods.  Ironic, huh?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: PonderInc on March 10, 2008, 07:50:41 pm
Following is an email I recieved from Maria Barnes to help clarify what neighborhood conservation districts are.  I have attended several meetings on the topic, and I agree with her that there is a lot of false information floating around.  (It doesn't help when the TW quotes people who are making misinformed statements...it only serves to perpetuate the bad info.)

From Maria Barnes:

Neighborhood Conservation Districts

In the past several weeks, I have received numerous emails and phone calls inquiring about the proposed conservation district ordinance.  The proposed ordinance would allow neighborhoods to finely tune the zoning code to address/maintain the physical characteristics of their neighborhood.  If the neighborhoods choose to do so, the ordinance would empower them to adopt an overlay zoning that would help preserve features they believe important to the houses in their neighborhood.  There is a great deal of misinformation about what this ordinance will and will not do.  So, I would like to take this opportunity to explain the proposed ordinance.

Was the ordinance drafted without the involvement of the regional planning body INCOG?

Those concerned that this is a legislative initiative of a city councilor, and not Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (TMAPC) staff, should be aware that the current draft is based on a 1995 draft ordinance proposed by TMAPC staff.  It has been on the table for 13 years.

Beginning in 1992, Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (TMAPC) staff researched and developed draft recommendations for a conservation district overlay designation.  The Conservation District Study was included in the TMAPC’s annual work program in 1994-95 and 1995-96, “in response to development pressures that ha(d) begun to affect several of the city’s otherwise stable neighborhoods.  These pressures (we)re the result of inappropriate and often obsolete zoning patterns or the expansion of major non-residential uses adjacent to or into residential areas.  The study’s purpose was to identify and recommend means to stabilize the neighborhoods without jeopardizing the adjacent uses’ viability.”

Conservation Zoning is not Historic Preservation
This ordinance is not designed to slow or stop the demolition of houses and replacing them with newer ones.  Quite the opposite, the ordinance freely allows new houses to be built within conservation districts, provided the builder meets the reasonable guidelines that the homeowners create.

A Conservation District would not be imposed against homeowners’ wishes.  
In order to establish the overlay zoning, neighborhoods would have to demonstrate significant support for the zoning.  The neighborhoods would be able to choose the types of features to include in the overlay, whether it is setbacks, height, or roof pitch.

Conservation District Zoning could not be used to enforce “taste."  
The adopted guidelines will be up to the individual neighborhoods; however, those guidelines will be limited to size, scale, and other objective criteria consistent with existing, predominate features of the neighborhood.  No one will be able to dictate aesthetic requirements such as paint color or window styles.

Conservation Districts will not impose additional red tape.  
The current version of the ordinance would allow the Conservation Districts to be administered through the building and permitting office, just like any other construction project.

Conclusion:
Based upon the input I have received from homeowners in my district, I chose to work on this proposed ordinance.  However, I am always interested in hearing more.

Please let me know what you think of conservation districts, and whether you believe your neighborhood would benefit from such an ordinance.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 596-1924.



Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 10, 2008, 08:15:51 pm
quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

Following is an email I recieved from Maria Barnes to help clarify what neighborhood conservation districts are.  I have attended several meetings on the topic, and I agree with her that there is a lot of false information floating around.  (It doesn't help when the TW quotes people who are making misinformed statements...it only serves to perpetuate the bad info.)


I received the same email.  I haven't replied to Councilor Barnes yet, but I think the World articles have been inaccurate and unfair, and I thought Janet Pearson's editorial was far too vague and biased.

I have a couple of concerns about the proposal:

quote:

A Conservation District would not be imposed against homeowners’ wishes.  
In order to establish the overlay zoning, neighborhoods would have to demonstrate significant support for the zoning.  The neighborhoods would be able to choose the types of features to include in the overlay, whether it is setbacks, height, or roof pitch.


That depends on what "significant support" means.  I think it ought to be unanimous support.  If everyone within a proposed conservation district agreed, then its adoption would be streamlined, and opposition would be minimal, I'd guess.

quote:

Conservation Districts will not impose additional red tape.  
The current version of the ordinance would allow the Conservation Districts to be administered through the building and permitting office, just like any other construction project.


By its very nature, the ordinance will impose additional red tape because it will require additional guidelines to be met.  Setting up conservation districts will take time and effort.  Administration of conservation districts will take time and effort.  Does the City's permit office have the staff and funding to handle another layer regulations?  


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 10, 2008, 10:09:57 pm
Proposed revision to draft:

Change Section 1071 E to:

E.  Initiation of NCD Guidelines and Zoning Map Amendments.
Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of Chapter 17 of this Code, an application for the adoption of NCD Guidelines, and for a zoning map amendment to recognize an NCD, may be initiated only by a petition signed by one hundred percent (100%) of the number of owners of property contained within a proposed NCD.  The City of Tulsa's Planning Department shall assist applicants with the development of NCD Guidelines.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 10, 2008, 10:37:32 pm
More suggestions for the draft:

Define the following:

"type of construction"
"predominant features"


Change "number of dwellings per acre" in Section 1073.A.1 to "number of dwellings per unit of lot area or land area"  


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 10, 2008, 11:03:34 pm
Another suggestion:

There ought to be some identification system for each NCD, perhaps something similar to the method of designating PUDs with numbers/letters.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: PonderInc on March 11, 2008, 02:03:31 pm
quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

Proposed revision to draft:
Change Section 1071 E to:
E.  Initiation of NCD Guidelines and Zoning Map Amendments.
Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of Chapter 17 of this Code, an application for the adoption of NCD Guidelines, and for a zoning map amendment to recognize an NCD, may be initiated only by a petition signed by one hundred percent (100%) of the number of owners of property contained within a proposed NCD.  

This is silly.  So if 299 out of 300 residents vote to implement an NCD, you are suggesting that it should NOT happen?

No matter how good an idea is, it will never be approved unanimously by any diverse, sentient population.  It's a fatuous standard.

In city governement, I can't think of any time that a 100% vote for approval is required.  I am fine with a 60-65% requirement, to prove that a neighborhood truly supports the concept, but 100% is impractical.  (Or is this being suggested as an underhanded way to defeat the implementation of any NCD?)


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: hoodlum on March 11, 2008, 02:35:22 pm
why not just majority

that is all we need for our National Historic Register nomination

50% +1


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 11, 2008, 04:46:15 pm
NCDs would serve as restrictive covenants.  I don't think any owner who doesn't want to be included should be forced into a NCD.

Actually, I think unanimous consent would speed passage because it would make the process voluntary and squelch almost all arguments against the ordinance, at least in terms of limiting fairness or property rights.

100% agreement would speed the process of establishing NCDs, also.  If everyone in an area wanted it, then drawing the boundaries and setting the guidelines ought to be quick and simple.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 12, 2008, 12:10:12 am
quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

Proposed revision to draft:
Change Section 1071 E to:
E.  Initiation of NCD Guidelines and Zoning Map Amendments.
Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of Chapter 17 of this Code, an application for the adoption of NCD Guidelines, and for a zoning map amendment to recognize an NCD, may be initiated only by a petition signed by one hundred percent (100%) of the number of owners of property contained within a proposed NCD.  

This is silly.  So if 299 out of 300 residents vote to implement an NCD, you are suggesting that it should NOT happen?

No matter how good an idea is, it will never be approved unanimously by any diverse, sentient population.  It's a fatuous standard.

In city governement, I can't think of any time that a 100% vote for approval is required.  I am fine with a 60-65% requirement, to prove that a neighborhood truly supports the concept, but 100% is impractical.  (Or is this being suggested as an underhanded way to defeat the implementation of any NCD?)



I had to consult my dictionary before responding (to look up "sentient" and "fatuous").

quote:
So if 299 out of 300 residents vote to implement an NCD, you are suggesting that it should NOT happen?


No, what I'm suggesting is that 299 owners (not residents) ought to be the initiators of the proposal, not the City Council, not TMAPC staff, not the City of Tulsa's Planning Department, not 50% of the residents.  There ought to be a simple process for this to happen with minimal court battles and long public hearings.

Example:

Applicants approach the TMAPC:  "We want to establish a NCD."
TMAPC staff:  "Great.  Here is the standard petition form required to initiate the process.  Draw up your proposed boundaries and NCD Guidelines.  Ask the City's Planning Department to assist, if you wish.  Have all property owners within the proposed NCD sign the petition, and then submit the documentation to the TMAPC."

All property owners agree on the boundaries, which would be incredibly easy to establish by consensus.  All property owners agree on the NCD Guidelines, since the Guidelines would be self-imposed.

This method will get neighbors working together to establish something they themselves want to do with their property.  The methods proposed in the draft ordinance would more likely cause dissension and animosity amongst neighbors.  

quote:
No matter how good an idea is, it will never be approved unanimously by any diverse, sentient population.  It's a fatuous standard.


NCD Guidelines really aren't about diversity.  They are about unity or unifying characteristics.  NCD Guidelines are about minimizing and regulating diversity, at least in terms of buildings.  In a way, NCD Guidelines will serve as substitutes for restrictive covenants.  In a new development, potential buyers can go in with eyes wide open - if they think the covenants for the development are a bad idea, they can look for real estate elsewhere.  Any NCD Guidelines imposed unwillingly on existing property owners would not be fair, while self-imposed Guidelines would be about as fair as fair can be.  There might be someone who will want to argue about any type of zoning change, but if a change is requested by the owners themselves for a more restrictive set of rules, then the request should meet with very little opposition.  I think some neighborhoods are ready to establish NCDs right now.  Owners would be motivated to work very quickly to establish NCDs by unanimous agreement, especially in places threatened with tear-downs and McMansions.  Consensus is an obtainable standard for neighborhoods with truly distinct and unifying characteristics.  

quote:
In city governement, I can't think of any time that a 100% vote for approval is required.  I am fine with a 60-65% requirement, to prove that a neighborhood truly supports the concept, but 100% is impractical.  (Or is this being suggested as an underhanded way to defeat the implementation of any NCD?)



I'm not suggesting a 100% vote of approval.  I'm suggesting that 100% of the owners of a proposed NCD initiate the process.  Read the complaints posted after the Tulsa World articles.  Many or most of the opponents are complaining about another layer of restrictions being placed on property without the consent of the owners.  The World articles have not been fair, and they have not been accurate.  But there is a clear opinion about property rights here, no matter how muddied the "facts" about NCDs have become.  The NCD approval process is outlined in Chapter 17 of the Zoning Code.  I think my proposed revision concerning the initiation of the process will go a long way toward getting some mechanism in place for those neighborhoods which want to conserve their character.  Having the City Council or the TMAPC or 50% of the residents of a neighborhood or the City's Planning Department initiate the NCD process is a bad idea.  The concept of NCDs for older Tulsa neighborhoods has been proposed, kicked around, and tabled for at least a decade.  Making the revision I suggested would speed its acceptance by the City Council because it would put the prime responsibility for NCDs exactly where it ought to be:  with the neighborhoods themselves.

Ponder what I'm suggesting.  I'm talking about a way to facilitate passage of a good level of protection before something better but more time-consuming (such as form based codes) can be adopted.  We can continue to bicker about 299/300 versus 300/300 for another decade, but meanwhile the bulldozers are roaming Midtown....

The argument about private property rights and restrictions is not going away.  Neither is the threat of more incompatible infill.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Steve on March 12, 2008, 09:53:17 pm
From an owner-occupied point of view, when one buys a home in a long-established Tulsa subdivision, they should buy it because they love the history/architecture of the neighborhood.  Investors should also repect the desires of the owner-occupied homes and preserve the overall feel of the neighborhood.

Conservation districts or form-based zoning codes are absolutely necessary to preserve the historic look and feel of established Tulsa subdivisions.  Be it Maple Ridge, Ranch Acres, or Lortondale, Tulsa would have much to lose if developers are given carte blanche to tear down and rebuild.  Much is at stake here, and I agree with Councilor Barnes' efforts for conservation districts.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 12, 2008, 10:11:39 pm
^ Your neighbors really ought to pick up the trash in their yards and along their curbs instead of waiting for you to do it for them.  But they don't.

NCDs could help neighborhoods where property owners want to help themselves.  I think total agreement amongst all property owners should be a requirement for the initiation of any NCD.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Kiah on March 13, 2008, 05:54:47 am
quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

I think total agreement amongst all property owners should be a requirement for the initiation of any NCD.



What about the fact that older neighborhoods (as distinct from newer subdivisions) have passed through several generations and have much less uniform ownership patterns - more family trusts, abstentee owners with rental units, institutional owners, etc.?  It seems that waiting around for a contract to be spontaneously negotiated among a few hundred property owners, in these older neighborhoods, is the functional equivalent of doing nothing.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 13, 2008, 07:07:31 am
quote:
Originally posted by Kiah

It seems that waiting around for a contract to be spontaneously negotiated among a few hundred property owners, in these older neighborhoods, is the functional equivalent of doing nothing.



I disagree.  Many neighborhoods are primed and ready for this.  The process should be made simple and clear.  Expecting the Planning Commission and INCOG staff to initiate the process will be, in the short term, the functional equivalent of doing nothing.  NCDs aren't a new idea.  It's been shelved by local officials for nearly 10 years.

The rough draft would allow a minimum of 30 property owners to establish a neighborhood CD.  It does not require hundreds of owners.  Personally, I think the threshold ought to be less than 30 so the owners along a street such as 38th just west of Lewis could establish an NCD if they chose to do so.  

Make it a process in which the owners themselves can draw the boundaries and set the guidelines, and be assured that motivated neighborhoods will act quickly.  This needs to be a grassroots zoning overlay process.  The draft ordinance stipulates that the City's Planning Department shall assist neighborhoods with their applications and guidelines.

I'll be proposing some more revisions to the draft to speed the process, not hinder it.  Think about loopholes.  Think about worst case scenarios.  Think about why the opposition hates the proposed ordinance.  Think about a balance of private property rights and community objectives.  Think about development pressures over time.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: akupetsky on March 13, 2008, 08:04:13 am
Booworld, while I don't disagree with your sentiments, I don't believe what you are saying is legal.  No rezoning ever requires 100% approval of property owners--whether downzoning, upzoning, even applying hp zoning.  Zoning is a legislative act, and ultimately City Council is the legislative body.  Requiring 100% approval of a group of homeowners would require City Council to abdicate their role as legislator to those homeowners.  I don't think it would meet the "arbitrary" standard.  

Our City Charter sets up the standards for all zoning code protests.  If 20% of the property owners object, a supermajority of the City Council is required.  As you may note, the City Charter doesn't say that 20% absolutely defeats a rezoning, because, again, that would usurp the City Council's legislative role.  But, in practical terms, 20% will stop a rezoning.

To raise that level (from 80 to 100% approval)for any new zoning would probably require a new charter amendment.  That's not to say that one or two vocal opponents can't stop a rezoning, though.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 13, 2008, 12:21:04 pm
^ Assuming that's correct, then I'd like to see a charter amendment to allow for consensus to begin the NCD process.  Notice that I'm not suggesting that it take 100% approval beyond the initial application.  But I do think the creation of any NCD should originate with the actual property owners themselves.  The City Council should not be initiating requests for NCDs.  Neither should the Planning Commission, INCOG staff, nor the City's Planning Department.

The draft has some more problems, but I'll get to those later.



Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 13, 2008, 12:43:33 pm
quote:
Originally posted by akupetsky

No rezoning ever requires 100% approval of property owners--whether downzoning, upzoning, even applying hp zoning.  Zoning is a legislative act, and ultimately City Council is the legislative body.  Requiring 100% approval of a group of homeowners would require City Council to abdicate their role as legislator to those homeowners.  I don't think it would meet the "arbitrary" standard.



Ideally, for this type of overlay zoning, the request ought to originate from 100% of the property owners.  Some of the most contentious Council meetings revolve around zoning issues.  For repeal of NCDs, I agree with you.  But how would the City Council be abdicating its role as legislator?  NCDs are supposed to be based on what neighborhoods want to do.  They ought to originate with property owners who are motivated enough to set them up.  

A neighborhood could request an NCD, and then the Council could vote against it.  Are you saying that the City Council, by State law or by City Charter, would have to retain the right to establish NCDs?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Kiah on March 13, 2008, 04:14:17 pm
quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

Are you saying that the City Council, by State law or by City Charter, would have to retain the right to establish NCDs?



Ultimately, yes.  The Charter says that the Council is the legislative body of the City of Tulsa -- the only entity empowered to enact ordinances.  Neighborhood conservation districts are simply zoning ordinances.

This Council and all subsequent Councils would retain the right to create NCDs, sua sponte, or repeal and replace the zoning code in its entirety for that matter, with 0% resident consent.  Absent a Charter change, that function and discretion can't be taken away by an ordinance of a previous Council.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 13, 2008, 10:13:13 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Kiah

This Council and all subsequent Councils would retain the right to create NCDs, sua sponte, or repeal and replace the zoning code in its entirety for that matter, with 0% resident consent.  Absent a Charter change, that function and discretion can't be taken away by an ordinance of a previous Council.



I'm not versed in the law, but that makes sense.




Proposed revisions to draft:

Change Section 1071 E to:

E.  Initiation of NCD Guidelines and Zoning Map Amendments.

   1.  NCD Zoning Map Amendments Initiated by Application.
Amendments by application may be initiated in the following manner:

      a. Any person, corporation, partnership, association, or any combination thereof having a legal and equitable interest in or to real property may file an application for an NCD zoning classification on such property in accordance with the provisions of Subsection 1703. A.;

      b. An application shall include, in addition to those items contained in Subsection
1703. A., a statement of the criteria felt to have been met as set forth in this chapter, and may include photographs of the subject area, and any information deemed worthy for proper consideration. Such information and application shall be upon forms established by the City of Tulsa's Planning Department.  The City of Tulsa's Planning Department shall assist applicants with the development of NCD Guidelines.

   2.  NCD Zoning Map Amendments Initiated by City Council.
In any instance, the Planning Commission, at the direction of the City Council, shall hold a public hearing, giving notice thereof, of a proposed NCD zoning map amendment. After holding the public hearing, the Planning Commission shall within 15 days transmit its report and recommendation to the City Council.




Add Section 1071.F.3:

   3.  Planning Commission Action on NCD Zoning Map Amendments.
After notice and public hearing, the Planning Commission shall vote to:

      a. Recommend to the City Council that the application be approved as submitted; or

      b. Recommend to the City Council that the application be denied.

An application recommended for approval shall be transmitted, with the report and recommendation of the Planning Commission, to the City Council within 15 days from the date of the Planning Commission action.

An application recommended for denial, shall not be considered further, unless the applicant within 15 days from the date of the Planning Commission action, files a written request with the City Clerk for a hearing by the City Council. The request for hearing shall be accompanied by the payment of a $15.00 fee.  Upon notice of such request, the Planning Commission shall forthwith transmit the application and its report and recommendation, including all material and minutes, to the City Council.

In the event the Planning Commission arrives at a tie vote, the application shall be transmitted with a report and notation of the tie vote, to the City Council within 15 days from the date of the Planning Commission action.




I don't know how to control indents on these posts, and I've made no attempt to re-arrange the subsections.  But I've done my best to insert the proposed revisions where I think they should be within the ordinance.

The intent is:

- to make the NCD process originate with property owners who actually want to have an NCD;

- to exclude owners of property who do not wish to be included within an NCD;

- to exclude the TMAPC and INCOG staff from the initiation process;

- to keep the process primarily between the City Council and the actual owners of the properties in question;

- to provide planning assistance from the City of Tulsa's Planning Department;

- to exclude the TMAPC and INCOG staff from the formulation of NCD boundaries and Guidelines; and

- to have the TMAPC merely approve or deny applications.

   






Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Double A on March 13, 2008, 10:42:45 pm
Quote
Originally posted by booWorld

Quote
Originally posted by PonderInc

  I think it ought to be unanimous support.
Quote

Get real. A simple majority is probably to low of a threshold, but allowing one homeowner to negate the wishes of a clear majority of their neighborhood is pure B.S. I think a 2/3 approval requirement of homeowners(those who live in the neighborhood and claim the property as their homestead, not rental property owners) should be the appropriate threshold to meet for neighborhoods to adopt a CD.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 13, 2008, 11:33:14 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Double A

Get real. A simple majority is probably to low of a threshold, but allowing one homeowner to negate the wishes of a clear majority of their neighborhood is pure B.S. I think a 2/3 approval requirement of homeowners(those who live in the neighborhood and claim the property as their homestead, not rental property owners) should be the appropriate threshold to meet for neighborhoods to adopt a CD.



One homeowner could not negate the wishes of his neighbors unless his neighbors' wishes were to restrict the use of that homeowner's property.  My thought process is centered on fairness and an attempt to balance private property rights with neighborhood goals.  The NCD proposal has been shelved for a long time in Tulsa.  The opposition is fueled by the fear that the use of private property will be too restricted by others.  What I'm suggesting is a way to get something in place quickly so people could voluntarily impose restrictions on themselves if they wished to do so.  Currently there is nothing at all short of HP to provide neighborhoods this type of option.    

I'm about as real as it gets, because I've been through a similar re-zoning process in which the usage of my land was severely limited at the request of the TMAPC against my wishes.  These kinds of zoning restrictions can work well for those who are not on the fringes of districts.  But in my case, I'm stuck with extremely low density RS requirements while RM districts 30 feet to the south and 30 feet to the east of my land are allowed approximately 10 or 11 times the density that I'm allowed.  I purchased my property with the knowledge that it was zoned for multi-family, and yes, I did notice that there was a 12-plex across the street.  I was aware that the Comprehensive Plan encouraged multi-family development in my neighborhood, and that there were many apartments within one block of my land, some of which were built in the 1920s.  I was satisfied with the zoning as it was.  The TMAPC and INCOG staff were not.

NCDs will serve the basic purpose as restrictive covenants, so their establishment ought to be by mutual agreement.  There will be administration problems with NCDs, especially those established with 33% to 50% of property owners opposing them in the first place.  The City really can't enforce its codes now.  Complicating the Zoning Code with an additional layer of guidelines imposed on those who don't want them will make the system worse.  It would be better to have NCDs be completely voluntary.

Your suggestion of a homestead requirement is interesting and worthy of serious consideration.  Have you contacted the TMAPC with this idea?

The initiation of NCDs is one issue.  The draft ordinance has some other shortcomings which I intend to address in another post.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 16, 2008, 06:49:03 pm
In today's (March 16th's) Tulsa World, real estate associate Terry Detrich expresses her concerns about Neighborhood Conservation Districts (http://"http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/article.aspx?articleID=20080315_7_G2_spanc25022").


"Then we'll get a three-bedroom house with a white picket fence and a gun and a lawyer, so smile!
Gonna get a homeowner's loan;
Gonna get an unlisted phone,
Gonna get away from a town gone insane.
And we'll get a three-bedroom house -- affordable three-bedroom house...
With a great big pit bull on a chain!"
~Laurence O'Keefe


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 29, 2008, 07:41:16 pm
I heard Maria Barnes on a radio 1170 KFAQ interview with Chris Medlock.  Councilor Barnes said that at least 80% of a neighborhood would have to agree to want to have a Conservation District.

Which draft is current?  The draft ordinance I saw does not require 80% of a neighborhood to agree to want to have a Conservation District.  In the draft I saw, the process could be initiated by 50% of the property owners of a proposed NCD.  The process could be initiated by the TMAPC or by the City Council.  In those cases, it would not require agreement by the neighborhood.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: akupetsky on March 29, 2008, 08:56:13 pm
I don't think that the 80% comes from the NCD ordinance (its not in there); it comes from the City Charter.  Under the Charter, any time property is to be rezoned, people can protest.  If 20% of property owners protest, then a supermajority of the City Council is required for approval.  Very unlikely that 7 out of 9 City Council would rezone property when a significant number of people object.  So, technically NCD rezonings would require approval of 80% of the people owning the property to be rezoned.

A neighborhood must get 50% of property owners just to start the process.  If you get 50% of property owners to sign a petition, the City would help draft the guidelines and establish the boundaries.  Then it would go through the same process as any other rezoning--public hearings before the TMAPC, and recommendations to the City Council.  City Council would have the final say.

Michael Bates does a good job explaining it.  http://www.batesline.com/archives/2008/03/maria-barnes-on-neighborhood-con.html


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 29, 2008, 09:02:16 pm
^ That's not what Councilor Barnes told Chris Medlock on 1170 KFAQ.

And that isn't how the draft ordinance is worded, at least not the version I saw.  80% agreement of a neighborhood would not be necessary.

In the same interview, Councilor Barnes complained that the Tulsa World was printing things that weren't true.  I agree with that, but by the same token, she needs to be completely factual herself.    


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: LongtimeTulsan on March 29, 2008, 10:53:53 pm
quote:
Originally posted by RecycleMichael

The guy next door to me built a humongous two story attached garage...with four bedrooms upstairs for his kids. It is probably over 2,000 square feet and the garage doors face the street. It is ugly as hell and covered in siding that isn't even close to the color of his stone home.

But it is in east Tulsa...no one cares about east Tulsa.


The movement began with Preserve Midtown, by Midtown residents and gathered support quickly. So begin a Preserve east Tulsa -- it has to start with someone - why not you?

The concern is for all platted before 1970 - before the comp zoning went into effect. How would you morph the concept?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife department built two metal buildings right on east 21st street and put razor wire fence around the perimeter.



Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: LongtimeTulsan on March 29, 2008, 11:08:44 pm
quote:
Originally posted by MichaelBates

An NCD would not require uniformity of style or homogeneity. A midtown neighborhood like Florence Park could have an NCD where the only guidelines involved setbacks and garage placement, with no reference at all to number of stories, roof pitch, etc. Under those guidelines, you could build just about anything except a "snout house" (http://"http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/gallery/sprawl?pg=1") -- the sort that has the garage sticking way out in front.



There are several neighborhoods in the general vicinty of Florence Park that have a very similiar look - Renaissance, the area just north of the Fair Grounds, some of the pocket neighborhoods north of TU - all of these have the same vintage feel. Drive through Florence Park and the BA house stick out like sore thumbs - they have garages in the front.

Yes, CD's in these areas that addressed roof pitch would be appropriate - as well as arched doorways.

It is just like getting married - when you get the spouse you get the family.

When you buy a house you buy the neighborhood. Else you'd buy elsewhere.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 29, 2008, 11:22:57 pm
quote:
Originally posted by LongtimeTulsan

It is just like getting married - when you get the spouse you get the family.

When you buy a house you buy the neighborhood. Else you'd buy elsewhere.



Does this mean 50% of NCDs are headed for dissolution because of irreconcilable differences or cheating?

When you buy a house, you buy into a neighborhood.  All Tulsa neighborhoods already have zoning restrictions.  Special overlays imposed by others after you've purchased a house are not like marriage.  Marriages should be entered into with both spouses' eyes open.  They should be a mutual agreement based in love and respect.

And spouses change over time, by the way.  The inability to accept this simple truth has resulted in the termination of countless marriages.

"This I tell ya, brother:  You can't have one without the other."    ~Sammy Cahn


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: akupetsky on March 30, 2008, 07:22:37 pm
quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

^ That's not what Councilor Barnes told Chris Medlock on 1170 KFAQ.

And that isn't how the draft ordinance is worded, at least not the version I saw.  80% agreement of a neighborhood would not be necessary.

In the same interview, Councilor Barnes complained that the Tulsa World was printing things that weren't true.  I agree with that, but by the same token, she needs to be completely factual herself.    




There are two questions.  First, what does it take for a neighborhood to initiate developing standards for a Conservation District?  The answer under the current proposal (and it can still change) is 50% of the property owners in the neighborhood.  It's misleading to say that you will establish a Conservation District with only 50% of the neighbhorhood, yet that's what the opponents (including the World) are saying.  Second, what does it take to implement standards for a Conservation District?  The answer is TMAPC recommendation and City Council approval.  Although it is therefore difficult to say exactly what % of a neighborhood must support implementation of a Conservation District (because it is ultimately a City Council issue), the best estimate based on the City Charter would have to be 80% because 20% of a neighborhood are capable of effectively blocking the move if they do not support it.  So, I think Maria gave a very accurate answer and could not have explained it any better in the context of a radio interview.  There would have to be wide neighborhood acceptance of the decision to implement a Conservation District.  In any event, it is completely misleading to say that 50% of a neighborhood can "impose" Conservation Districts.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 30, 2008, 07:25:45 pm
Here is what I heard.  If the following are not quotes verbatim, then they are very close paraphrases...

Maria Barnes:  "And, it would have to take a majority of the neighborhood, not just 50% or 10%, but at least 80% of the neighborhood to agree to want to have a Conservation District."

Chris Medlock:  "So kind of a super-majority."

MB:  "You bet."

CM:  "You better have a consensus..." *

MB:  "Yes."

CM:  "...at that point..."

MB:  "Yes."

CM:  "...as to who --"

MB:  "Yes."

CM:  "...how many are going to be there."




*Note:  I'm not certain on this quote.  Chris Medlock might have said, "You got to have a consensus..."    I think the other lines are accurate.


"Don't freak out; don't strike out.
Can't fight it, like City Hall.
At least you're not alone.
Your friends are there too."
  ~Jonathan Larson


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on March 30, 2008, 07:47:17 pm
quote:
Originally posted by akupetsky

There are two questions.  First, what does it take for a neighborhood to initiate developing standards for a Conservation District?  The answer under the current proposal (and it can still change) is 50% of the property owners in the neighborhood.


The draft I saw had a few more options for initiating a NCD.  The City Council, the Planning Commission, or the City of Tulsa's Planning Department could initiate the process with no set minimum of the included property owners agreeing to it.

quote:

It's misleading to say that you will establish a Conservation District with only 50% of the neighbhorhood, yet that's what the opponents (including the World) are saying.


Yes, that is misleading.  As far as I know, the World never clarified the distinction between residents of a neighborhood and actual owners of real property within the neighborhood.  The World articles I've read are laden with bias.

quote:

Second, what does it take to implement standards for a Conservation District?  The answer is TMAPC recommendation and City Council approval.  Although it is therefore difficult to say exactly what % of a neighborhood must support implementation of a Conservation District (because it is ultimately a City Council issue), the best estimate based on the City Charter would have to be 80% because 20% of a neighborhood are capable of effectively blocking the move if they do not support it.  So, I think Maria gave a very accurate answer and could not have explained it any better in the context of a radio interview.


I disagree.  I think Councilor Barnes could have done a much better job explaining this.  A valid petition signed by at least 20% of the property owners within a proposed NCD would necessitate a super-majority affirmative vote of the entire Council for approval.

quote:

There would have to be wide neighborhood acceptance of the decision to implement a Conservation District.


No.  There would have to be an affirmative vote by the City Council to implement a Conservation District.

quote:

In any event, it is completely misleading to say that 50% of a neighborhood can "impose" Conservation Districts.



True.  In the current draft ordinance, 50% of a neighborhood could initiate the process.  It would be up to the City Council to "impose" NCDs.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: hoodlum on April 04, 2008, 08:29:40 am
according to the world this morning it looks like Gomez won't be backing the NCDs per his real estate/ developer background


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: waterboy on April 04, 2008, 09:12:02 am
quote:
Originally posted by hoodlum

according to the world this morning it looks like Gomez won't be backing the NCDs per his real estate/ developer background



District 4 goes republican and elects a real estate/infill developer? Cherry Street goes franchise with high priced contemporary. The worm has turned. May be time for me to move and rent my home out.



Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: inteller on April 04, 2008, 09:21:25 am
yeah, just wait until his contribution report comes out.  It will read like a who's who of all the shady developers.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Limabean on April 07, 2008, 05:14:50 pm
Why do people object to other neighborhoods being able to decide what they want for themselves? If a conservation district is available and a neighborhood wants to adopt it then it is their business. If my neighborhood wants to adopt one then I will meet with my neighbors and we will either decide what we want to adopt or to not adopt it at all. I would rather have resident proerty owners deciding what happens in a neighborhood then outside developers.
Does anyone understand the difference between form-based codes and land use based codes?



Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on April 07, 2008, 05:43:20 pm
^ I think the argument is about whether or not some people ought to be able to establish extra overlay restrictions for real property other than their own.

It's doubtful that there would be much fuss about neighborhoods setting up totally voluntary NCD boundaries and guidelines by unanimous agreement.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Steve on April 07, 2008, 05:53:40 pm
quote:
Originally posted by LongtimeTulsan

quote:
Originally posted by MichaelBates

An NCD would not require uniformity of style or homogeneity. A midtown neighborhood like Florence Park could have an NCD where the only guidelines involved setbacks and garage placement, with no reference at all to number of stories, roof pitch, etc. Under those guidelines, you could build just about anything except a "snout house" (http://"http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/gallery/sprawl?pg=1") -- the sort that has the garage sticking way out in front.



There are several neighborhoods in the general vicinty of Florence Park that have a very similiar look - Renaissance, the area just north of the Fair Grounds, some of the pocket neighborhoods north of TU - all of these have the same vintage feel. Drive through Florence Park and the BA house stick out like sore thumbs - they have garages in the front.



Add to that list Lortondale, on the east side of Yale at 26th Street.  This is my homestead, and all homes here were built 1953-1955 by Tulsa homebuilder Howard Grubb to the designs of architect Donald Honn.  I bought my home here 21 years ago because of the modern architecture and ambience of the neighborhood, and I will be darn sure to do my best to protect these attributes. NCD's are a great thing, IMO.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on April 07, 2008, 05:58:32 pm
NCDs would work better for more uniform neighborboods such as Lortondale, IMO.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Limabean on April 09, 2008, 07:33:56 am
The city has been very clear that NCD's are voluntary. I think the people who are most against them are the development community.  

Why would someone on 41st street and Lewis want to tell someone on 15th and Lewis that they can't at least have the option to consider becoming a conservation district?

If Tulsa wants to be progressive, lets start thinking progressively.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on April 09, 2008, 11:38:43 am
In the version of the NCD draft ordinance I've seen, the process of establishing NCDs is not totally voluntary.

The argument is more about some neighbors pushing for special requirements on other neighbors who might not want to be included than it is about distant neighborhoods worrying about NCDs for other neighborhoods.

Much of the argument boils down to property rights.  The opponents have fears that they won't be able to develop their property as easily with NCD overlay guidelines.  They see the current zoning as restrictive enough without adding more restrictions.

In this morning's World, I read about another complaint from the opponents of the NCD ordinance:  They claim that the process has not been open the the public.  I don't agree with that complaint, but it would be helpful if the TMAPC posted the draft ordinance with movable type instead of a pdf image.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: Red Arrow on July 05, 2008, 11:09:42 pm
For many years the lot next to us was vacant. I sure am glad that the purchasers built a house somewhat similar to the rest of the neighborhood rather than a Jiffy Lube, a Donut store, a bank or many other commercial concerns. I have nothing against such enterprises, I just don't want them next door. I guess that makes me (somewhat) against mixed development. Oh well.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: LongtimeTulsan on July 07, 2008, 12:12:56 pm
Dallas has the NCD model that is used throughout the US.

The TMAPC was suppose to host a forum - anyone know what happened to it?


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: sgrizzle on July 07, 2008, 01:01:42 pm
I thought this lost steam when it's champion on the city council got voted out.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: TheArtist on July 07, 2008, 10:47:45 pm
quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

^ I think the argument is about whether or not some people ought to be able to establish extra overlay restrictions for real property other than their own.

It's doubtful that there would be much fuss about neighborhoods setting up totally voluntary NCD boundaries and guidelines by unanimous agreement.



No neighborhood is going to have unanimous agreement on such a thing.



Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on July 08, 2008, 04:49:13 pm
quote:
Originally posted by TheArtist

quote:
Originally posted by booWorld

^ I think the argument is about whether or not some people ought to be able to establish extra overlay restrictions for real property other than their own.

It's doubtful that there would be much fuss about neighborhoods setting up totally voluntary NCD boundaries and guidelines by unanimous agreement.



No neighborhood is going to have unanimous agreement on such a thing.





It depends on how "neighborhood" and "NCD" are defined.  I suggested that 100% of land owners within a proposed NCD agree to its boundaries and guidelines.  The draft ordinance required a minimum of 30 contiguous parcels in an NCD, as I remember.  I think you could get at least 30 motivated property owners to all agree to something such as an NCD.


Title: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?
Post by: booWorld on July 08, 2008, 06:19:07 pm
quote:
Originally posted by LongtimeTulsan

Dallas has the NCD model that is used throughout the US.

The TMAPC was suppose to host a forum - anyone know what happened to it?



According to this (June 18, 2008) Tulsa World article (http://"http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080618_16_A14_Iilwio380615"), the TMAPC is waiting to see how Fregonese Associates of Portland, Oregon will handle the issue of infill for Tulsa, Oklahoma in the comprehensive plan update.