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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Parking

I’ve recently read ‘Walkable City’ by Jeff Speck. It’s a great book with a lot of information and inspiration about how to create more walkable places. There is chapter in the book entitled ‘Getting the Parking Right’. When creating a walkable urban environment, it is extremely important to ‘get the

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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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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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Not a place for people

Main Street Sebastopol has great potential, but it is not a pedestrian friendly environment. The space allocated to pedestrians is definitely secondary to the space allocated to cars. This is partly due to the fact that Main Street is a state highway, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

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A Wide One-Way Street

Sebastopol has a traffic problem.  And It’s not the number of cars passing through downtown and backing up at times as concerns many people.  The traffic problem has to do with the one-way street couplet created by Petaluma Avenue and Main Street. These streets were originally two-way streets but were converted

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The Barlow

The Barlow is a new development on the eastern edge of downtown Sebastopol. It’s probably the largest single development the city has seen in a long time, probably ever. The area was once home to agricultural warehouses and processing facilities. Crossed by train tracks and light industrial in nature, the

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Need for a Vision

Sebastopol is in need of a strong vision and development policies that support that vision.  The city’s general plan was last updated in 1994 and is required to be updated by 2014.  The time is right to shape a vision for our future.  Without a strong vision, Sebastopl will continue

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