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December 11, 2019, 09:40:12 pm
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Author Topic: Neighborhood Conservation Districts - Thoughts?  (Read 29133 times)
booWorld
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« Reply #45 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.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 10:13:24 pm by booWorld » Logged
tulsa1603
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« Reply #46 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 [Sad!].  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".
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booWorld
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« Reply #47 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..."
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TheArtist
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« Reply #48 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? [Cheesy]
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 09:47:18 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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MichaelBates
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« Reply #49 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" -- the sort that has the garage sticking way out in front.
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dsjeffries
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« Reply #50 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" -- 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!) [Tongue]
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booWorld
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« Reply #51 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.
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Chicken Little
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« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2008, 08:50:53 am »

quote:
Originally posted by tulsa1603

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

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?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 08:57:24 am by Chicken Little » Logged
PonderInc
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« Reply #53 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.

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booWorld
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« Reply #54 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?  
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booWorld
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« Reply #55 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.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 11:29:28 pm by booWorld » Logged
booWorld
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« Reply #56 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"  
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booWorld
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« Reply #57 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.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #58 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?)
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hoodlum
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« Reply #59 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
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