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Author Topic: "The Pearl" an area that will go down in History as a turning point in Tulsa  (Read 50889 times)
erfalf
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 12:34:35 pm »

I hate to reference Fort Worth again, but it is just a city I am somewhat familiar with. Anywho...

I don't know all the specifics of proposed form based codes for the Pearl, so this could already be in there. In the Fort Worth South district, they have a requirement that any new office have residential included in the project. The reason it came about was because the area is surrounded by several major hospitals. So doctors were building small offices fairly regularly. But for the most part it was a neighborhood with a main street (Magnolia). To ensure that it remained a predominantly residential area, the requirement was included. This requirement has not stopped development at all, in fact it has done exactly what it has planned and helped retain the residential feel of the neighborhood. There have been numerous doctor's offices with 1 to 4 apartment units upstairs. This is the kind of development I would see with the Pearl, especially with Hillcrest nearby.

I was under the impression that the form based code would not make existing buildings change anything. If they do, I don't think it should. In time, things will correct themselves as long as you lay a good foundation now.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2012, 01:19:14 pm »

A company called "nameplates inc."bused in a bunch of employees to the meeting.  Not enough room for everyone else.

Generally, it seems many were not aware of the ongoing planning for the last decade and they don't understand the proposed code.  Common questions talking to the crowd:

Will I have to tear down my building?
Can I still use it for x?
If I add on will I have to conform?
When this reduces my property value will my loans be called in/foreclosed?
What qualifies as "grandfathered?"
If I sell my property does the new owner have to tear down/comply?

Still not up on the agenda.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2012, 01:27:31 pm »

I'm trying to watch on TGOVonline.com
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2012, 01:29:27 pm »

I'm trying to watch on TGOVonline.com

Make sure not to inhale the pink gas....
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2012, 04:39:34 pm »

Details, people.  Smiley  How did the meeting go?
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TheArtist
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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2012, 05:46:14 pm »

OMG, just got back from this 1:30 meeting lol.   As it stands there is going to be another public meeting June 6th I believe.  Before that the TMAPC folk will have a meeting with the interested parties, see a presentation about form based codes, and will get more information on some of the "new" questions and comments that came up.  One TMAPC member did say something to the effect that they had been through so many meetings on this topic already that they were just about "meetinged out" and were sure the people who had worked so long and hard on this project, for over a decade now, were also getting worn out from all the meetings, questions, answers, more meetings, questions, answere, etc. etc.   They do seem to all agree that there must be a time limit on how this will play out, it can't keep going on like this.

But about the actual meeting.  The opposition played their cards well.  I was suprised at some of the opposition actually for there was even a representative from Mc Donalds corporate offices there who was flown in to speak against this.  Really?  Wow.  Then of course QT, Sonic, and the Hospitals were there.  One of the wild cards of the evening was the Home Builders Association.  The representative started by saying he was for Form Based Codes.... but then proceded to ever so cleverly cast doubt about this or that aspect and talked about perhaps scaling it down, making it smaller and then doing studies to see if things worked before enlarging the area to this scale, etc. etc. All the while repeating that he was for it?  I couldn't tell if he was really for or against at first, but in retrospect, I figure he was actually against the plan and was "laying the groundwork" to softly, kill it by making it ineffective. Perhaps they were even coordinating with some of the others who were against it.  It really did appear in some instances that the opposition had gotten together to form a plan of attack.

One thing the hospital person railed about was how they were essentially getting this (my words and notions of what was said...) forced on them, that it was going onto their private property, after the fact,  without their consent,,,  They pointed out that they were property owners and thus interested parties in the Pearl District, but then my immediate thought was... Well why weren't you going to the Pearl District Meetings where discussions and important considerations would be  made that would obviously affect your "interested parties" property?  The meetings are open and held on a regular basis.  One of the TMAPC members pointed that out so someone else, "Were you at your district meetings?".  

My take away was of course some owners and businesses are going to be against this, but those who were for it were far more likely to speak in broader city and even metro/regional terms.   In other words, it MAY cause difficulties for some particular businesses but over all for the good of the city and the region it would present a great opportunity and be a  plus.

Many spoke of this being tried on too big of a scale.  Make it smaller it shouldn't include my property.  I pointed out in my (if I do say so myself) rather empassioned plea that some cities and towns have zoned most of or if not all of their area with Form Based Codes.  We aren't asking for that, or 50% of the city.  We arent even asking for 20% of the city, or even 10 percent, we are not even asking for 5%,,, it's actually less than 1%!   This is not a radical, overreaching proposal but is rather pitiful in scale actually.  And as someone pointed out, If you think this little area is difficult, the TMAPC should consider this minor practice for when the real deal, the BIG new Comprehensive Plan comes down the pike.  It will make the fight here in this tiny area look like a walk in the park.  Other cities, our peer cities are changing and moving forward, but change here is almost a nightmare.  But change is going to happen regardless, this is just a way to manage that change into a direction the majority has said they want.  And again, its only in one small, microscopic area.  Aaaand  in order for Form Based Codes to work and create a fully functioning, diverse in use, pedestrian friendly area, it HAS to have some scale to it which can include enough of that diversity of use "work, play live, shop, etc.) to function.    

  But, we really need to make sure the pro-Form Based Codes folk turn out at the next meeting.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 06:36:18 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2012, 10:19:03 pm »


B. Instead of spending money on new parking garages the city instead spend it on transit.

I understand the city owns some of the surface parking lots.  Putting the surface lots out of service with parking garages might also spur transit use. At the same time, the city could put those former surface lots up for sale for some kind of preferred development and use the proceeds for transit. It's a bit of a money shuffle but it might help get us out of the chicken/egg situation.

Quote
All of this is not just about people going downtown bar hopping or trinket shopping.  Its also about the growing population of people living downtown and hopefully around those "nodes" as well, and the growing number of businesses and visitors/tourists.

Businesses and population will have to grow at the same time.  One of the activities you appear to associate with urban living is shopping.  I don't disagree but maybe you envision something other that what I am seeing.  What I am calling trinkets is not limited to cute things you put on a shelf.  I am also thinking of something like the bow tie shop that was mentioned on this forum.  Maybe its my suburban and casual attire mindset but I just don't think along the lines of "What am I going to do today?  I think I go buy a bow tie."  I have visited a few small art galleries on trips.  I think the last ones were on Maui in 2004.  Some of the paintings and sculptures were nice.  Some I didn't "understand".  Smiley  In all cases the prices were well above what I would be willing to pay.  At the same time I realize that if someone is trying to make a living as an artist that the prices are not unreasonable if the time consumed making the object is considered.  Lucky for you there are still some people around Tulsa with significant quantities of disposable income.   Zipper repair shops, bow tie shops, candy stores, those are the little specialty shops that I think help make up your urban environment and make it different than suburban strip centers.  Will your typical urbanite go out to eat every night?  Buy a book in Meg Ryan's Shoppe on the Corner bookstore twice a week?  They will probably need some support from suburbia since I doubt we will get to both the density and population of NYC.  Density is good for small shops but the population base has to be big enough so a small percentage of the population can support small specialty shops.  Having lived in Navy barracks for a few years, I can identify somewhat with popping over to the neighborhood bar for the evening.  There was nothing else to do and yes, I did meet a few friends there.  I mostly went to my favorite place and stayed there for the evening. 

Quote
Again, rather than spending millions on new parking garages, spend it instead on transit to better use the ample parking that already exists in and nearby downtown.

That abundant and scattered parking also makes transit unnecessary.  A few strategically placed parking garages accompanied by eliminating some of the surface parking would make transit necessary. 


Quote
Downtown all by itself, might feel constraining and limiting.  If we want true urban living in Tulsa, it will be very desirable to have a little more than just downtown.  We alread have some decent starts with nearby Cherry Street and hopefully the Pearl District, and even Brookside.

I think I know your situation.  You were just born 100 years too late. What you are describing is pretty much what I've read about the development of the suburbs as aided by public transit, mostly electrified rail, about 100 years ago.  The difference is that you need to rebuild the core first.  I think you have some good ideas for doing that and I hope it becomes available for those who want it.

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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2012, 08:21:44 pm »

The short version:  the residents want it.  The business owners do not.  Which makes sense, having a nice neighborhood doesn't really matter to a mechanics shop, a armored car lot, or a small manufacturer.  Let alone a walkable urban neighborhood.  They simply don't care and don't want to change the status quo.The business owners were also illinformed/havent been paying attention.    Some recently bought property there without ever looking at the master plan.

I believe they, as property owners, have a valid point on some grounds.  If I was there for 30 years and some new proposal made it harder or more expensive for me to do business with no real advantage to me... I'd be against it too.   Throw in some misinformation and eighty (80!) employees bused in and things were negative.

The Homebuilders association had some interesting ideas.  They were generally in favor - but feared the overall scale of the project.  If you try to make half a square mile urban - it will look like a failure after a decade.  If you start with 20 blocks focused on 6th and Peoria, you can make it work.  If this form based code is seen as a failure form based codes will be a non-starter in general.

I want to see it happen.  I want to see urban landscapes in Tulsa.  But it won't work if the landowners don't support it and if the initial go 'round is a failure.

I really think the meeting wil prove to be constructive for form based codes with good leadership.
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carltonplace
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2012, 08:23:50 am »

How can people get so upset about a zoning change that only affects new construction. The only "new" construction I've seen in the Pearl in the last 5 years  (besides JJ's condos) is a steel frame house facing I75 and the Dentist office at 6th and Utica.

Every other bit of work done in the pearl has been to existing structures which are both conforming and grandfathered.
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2012, 09:08:42 am »

Carlton - people are concerned that it will be more difficult to run their businesses.  Small manufacturers are constantly changing their buildings to add air handlers, paint rooms, storage space, etc., they are concerned that this new ordinance will prevent them from doing so efficiently and may cause them to eventually have to redo their entire complex to bring it to the new code.   A valid fear that needs to be addressed somehow.

Frankly, if the Pearl catches on and become the Plaza district of KC or a similar urban landscape, the industry will sell out and move away eventually.
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jacobi
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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2012, 10:05:46 am »

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Frankly, if the Pearl catches on and become the Plaza district of KC or a similar urban landscape, the industry will sell out and move away eventually.

The very same thing is happening in the brady.  It's a good thing IMO.  (as long as they just move in town :/)
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TheArtist
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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2012, 11:27:23 am »

  I have a feeling that one of our old buddies (due to the similarity in "modus operandi") that used to go after me on TN is now frequenting Urban Tulsa's comment section.

Story about the Pearl District "Battle". 

 http://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A48466
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« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2012, 11:52:28 am »

 

That abundant and scattered parking also makes transit unnecessary.  A few strategically placed parking garages accompanied by eliminating some of the surface parking would make transit necessary.  


 Now here is an interesting idea to consider.

On the one hand parking inside the core...

Takes away density.
Allows people to go only to where they want to by parking right by where they are going, then leaving without walking by other businesses.
Keeps people off the sidewalks and makes the area feel less vibrant which in turn makes it less attractive and likely others will "join in".
Dampens down as much need for transit, which because there isn't good transit, forces other developments to want parking right by.. and on and on that circle goes.

BUT,  if  you have parking strategically placed just outside your core, potential pedestrian friendly area, that just might indeed help with transit if you have it, and building up your pedestrian friendly density and vibrancy.  

In a way we have both.  We have lots of parking around the periphery of the main core of downtown.  The church parking lots, other parking lots, and streetside parking to the south.  There are oogles of parking garages to the NW side of downtown.  Gobs of parking spaces to the east side of downtown.  And major park-n-ride potential by OSU Tulsa, the Fin Tube Site, etc.    But no transit to circle around the area and bring people to the core from that ample parking.  

We also have lots of parking garages scattered around downtown which do the old, park right next to work or where I need to go thing, then drive out keeping me off the sidewalks.  Which hurts your attempt to then put in transit to the peripheral parking because so many will use the ever more and scattered parking in the core.

It's almost like we have created a worst case scenario thats going to keep wanting to replicate itself unless we buckle down and start changing our usual path.

This kind of actually makes what they are wanting to do in the Pearl District all that more important.  We may not be able to create super good, urban street life in the core of downtown. We may end up with, yes better than what we have now, but still a pale shadow of fake urbanity there.  But with the stricture of the Form Based Codes, you could see that area evolve into some really high quality, world class urbanness.  Which because its nearby, would go a long way to helping downtown be better by becoming a close extension of it and helping to reinforce any transit.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 11:54:55 am by TheArtist » Logged

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erfalf
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« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2012, 08:04:43 am »

Being a believer (or at least someone who would like to see it tried here), let me say this:

If not the Pearl, where?
If not now, when?
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erfalf
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« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2012, 08:17:03 am »

Drove around Tulsa a little bit on Saturday (prior to picking up my wife at an event at TU). I started downtown and then made my way down sixth street. Just thought I'd post some of my thoughts on the area (an outsiders perspective so to speak).

To start, I am not in the least familiar with the 6th street corridor. That being said, I can see the potential. What do they say in real estate, "location, location, location". This place has got it in spades. I understand that it is still an incredibly rough neighborhood. I am in no way in the market with young kids kind of place. But the potential is there to be another Cherry street/Swan Lake type neighborhood, arguably the most walkable neighborhood in the city.

How in the world are these people worried about form based codes? Are they worried that the development they get will be WORSE than what is currently there? And I don't see how the new Kaiser development could be anything but a vast improvement over it's current conditions. I only wish it stretched all the way to 6th street. The roughest part of the whole drive from downtown to TU is the stretch between campus and Lewis. Even the industrial sections around the tracks were better looking and more pleasing to the eye than those last few blocks west of campus.

The only other thing I had to say in particular, is how nice it would be if when buildings were town down downtown (which I'm sure will never end) they would be required to make the parking lot look like the Kendall-Whittier parking lot? The prettiest parking lot in the whole city (that I'm aware of).
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