Allowable land use, zoning, development standards, design guidelines, transportation, circulation, parking, housing, economic development – just a few of things that are considered for every project presented to the Planning Commission. It’s a challenge being tasked with keeping all of those things in balance.
Our experience as Planners for a Day gave us a glimpse into those challenges and new respect for commissioners, City and County staff who keep development moving forward. When tackling the Cinedome project we naturally gravitated to the problem or concern that was most relevant and important to us – traffic, parking, more retail, less retail, housing – but, as we discovered, Planners have to juggle those needs and more while thinking about the present as well as the future (an interesting combination of multi-tasking and multiple personalities). All of which means that each decision about each project is unique. The decision to move forward or not DEPENDS on:
D – the Developer. Is the project financially viable. We all agreed that underground parking at the Cinedome site would be a great solution for downtown parking woes but is that really an option given the cost (as Gordon so eloquently pointed out to us).
E – Everyone. Buy-in is key. All stakeholders should have input. On-going conversations will provide everyone the opportunity to see how the project fits into the future vision and plans for the community
P – the Plans. What is the purpose of the project. Who will benefit from the project. Is the goal to provide affordable housing, a sports complex, shopping, parking.
E – the Environment. How does it fit into the existing environment. Does the design complement the existing architecture.
N – the Need. Does the project fulfill a desired need in the community.
D – the Design. Is the project designed with an eye to the future, will it stand the test of time.
S – Sustainability. Is the project financially and environmentally sustainable and does it provide a lasting benefit to the community.
Submitted by members of Class 31.