Park(ing) Day 2021

Today is Park(ing) Day! Started in San Francisco in 2005, Park(ing) Day has turned into a global phenomenon to highlight the need for more people space in our communities by repurposing a parking space and turning it into a parklet for the day. These have become very popular during Covid

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Auto-Oriented Uses Downtown

A project came before the Planning Commission last fall that required a Use Permit and a Variance. The proposed project was for a new carwash facility on a site that already contained a tire shop and and auto repair. So the project is an expansion of an existing auto-oriented use

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Parking Requirement Impacts on Small Town Urbanism

Sebastopol, like many other small towns, needs to get a handle on its parking requirements. Current zoning code parking requirements is often at odds with good urbanism. Without a mechanism such as a parking assessment district, or simply reducing on-site parking requirements, our attempts at creating good pedestrian-friendly urban environments

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Changing Attitudes About Walking and Biking

I live in a small town. The population is around 7,400. The total area is about 1.8 square miles. There are some hills but it’s generally easy to walk and bike pretty much everywhere in town. Even though we have 2 state highways passing through town and therefore have our

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Building Dense Does Not Have To Be Dense

This is an interesting blog post that discusses good and bad density. Many people, particularly in small towns like where I live, are very resistant when you mention density. But when advocating density in a town like Sebastopol, I’m not talking about skyscrapers or even multi-family type buildings. Single-family neighborhoods

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CVS Agrees to Remove Drive-Through

The proposed CVS/Chase bank project that I have written about before has a new twist. The project is proposed on a prominent intersection at what is essentially the gateway to downtown Sebastopol. The project went through a long drawn out entitlement process that included the Planning Commission denying a use

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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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More Traffic Thoughts

Probably the number one complaint of residents of Sebastopol and West County, as mentioned in an earlier post, is traffic. This is a common lament of people in communities across the country from large urban areas to small towns like Sebastopol. People just hate traffic. And who could blame them.

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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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FRITZ ARCHITECTURE-URBANISM
small town urbanism

urban design thoughts through the filter of living in a small town

P.O. Box 1074
Sebastopol, CA 95473
707.975.6220
paul@fritzarchitecture.com
Paul Fritz in Sebastopol, CA on Houzz

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