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Results of Transit Oriented Development Focus Group

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Community Members;

Helen Chapman and I (Terri Balandra) were invited to participate in a TOD (Transit Oriented Development) research focus group, led by Karen Chapple (from UC Berkely ) at San Jose State, a couple of years ago. The end result, attached below, see the link for the 122 page: "California Infill Manual, Best Practices for Higher Density", by Troy Reinhalter. It is a California Sustainable TOD reference manual for Profit & Non-Profit Developers, Progressive Designers, and Architects.... & references issues in the San Jose Planning area, among others.

Low and behold, on the front cover is the photo I took of the view from my back porch, of the Fiesta Lanes Project, directly looming over my backyard...(obviously, a reference to "Bad TOD Planning")

Pages 42-44, (of the actual Manual page numbers), are particularly interesting.

This is quite good... I'm passing it along to our San Jose Planning Dept... Enjoy! Terri Balandra


I will refer to the actual page number in the manual:

* Cover: The view from my back door

* pg 2: Cover photo credit: Terri Balandra, Fiesta Lanes Action Group

* pg 27: Why Design Matters...

* pg 32: Transition to Existing Forms: Respect Specifics of Local Context (A "Transition Zone"? Yay!)

* pg 34: A "Community Benefits Agreement"... (What a great concept!)

* pg 36: Explain how projects fit into the longterm planning context and when new infrastructure and promised transit will eventually materialize.

* pg 42: Failure to Situate the Development in Larger Context: There is an obvious disconnect... if we are selling the benefits of TOD based on frequent & connected transit - but that critical component is nowhere to be seen.

* pg 43: Going forward, future tools should surely address how implementation and other major elements will unfold for a particular project over a 3 or 5 year timeline.

* pg 43: There needs to be triggers for transit first - then TOD developments. "It's strictly the housing dept & the developer partner - the City helping them to finance the project, at the neighborhood's expense."

* pg 44: Given that many Planning Depts have become either wholly or partially fee-based, it's hards to see why citizens believe there may be a kernal of truth to this accusation.

* pg 44: A Backlash when it came to a disconnect between developer promises and on-the-ground reality.

*pg 44: Bottom of page: Fiesta Lanes Action Group: We were involved with our project for three years and "still got screwed." Community feels they are left out of the final stages of negotiation.

Last Updated ( Monday, 29 August 2011 16:34 )  
Author of this article: Terri Balandra

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