The Happy City

Just read a great blog post from Mr. Money Mustache. Check it out The Happy City and our $20 Trillion Opportunity. It is a succinct description of the inefficiencies of our current development paradigm in the United States. It relates very directly to work I’ve been doing with Urban Community

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Smart School Siting – The Final Chapter

(For background on this issue, see these previous posts: Smart School Siting, Smart School Siting – 2, Smart School Siting – 3, Smart School Siting – 4, Smart School Siting – 5, Charter School Proximity to Residential Neighborhoods.) It’s taken me awhile to get to writing this, but the long-playing saga of my

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Smart School Siting – 5

The end is near. After many years of working with and against the Sebastopol Charter School on a new facility a final decision from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is scheduled for October 25th for a proposed new campus for the school. I have been encouraging the school to

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Surrey Parking Standards

I like the way this blog post illustrates what would happen if our traditional downtowns were required to provide parking at today’s zoning code parking ratios. You can understand why we have so much strip commercial development. This is something I struggle with when considering infill development opportunities in Sebastopol.

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Property tax impacts of sprawl

There is a growing body of evidence that shows how sprawl is bankrupting communities that cannot keep up with the maintenance of all the infrastructure required to serve the sprawl. New infrastructure (streets, water, sewer, electric, gas) is often conditioned on the developer to install, but they have no obligation

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The D-word

The word density tends to elicit a strong, generally negative, response from many people. The mere mention of the word brings out opponents to a proposed development project, en masse.  Particularly in a small town like Sebastopol, density seems to conjure images of overcrowded tenement-like living conditions, faceless apartment tower blocks,

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Smart School Siting – 3

This post is a continuation of 2 previous posts which can be viewed here and here. During my time on the Sebastopol Charter School facilities committee and the Charter Foundation board, I presented several schemes for the expansion of the downtown campus. One missed opportunity that still haunts me is

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The Freedom of Walking

For being at the intersection of 2 state highways and the fact Main Street is 3 wide lanes wide with the traffic heading in one direction, Sebastopol is a surprisingly walkable place. After growing up in a suburban environment I have spent most of my adult life living in places

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Smart School Siting – 2

As discussed previously, the Sebastopol Charter School (SCS) is in contract to purchase a 20 acre property at the northern edge of Sebastopol to develop a new campus. The move will relocate the children which are currently located on 2 campuses in town. Grades K-2 are located in modular classroom

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