Dear Al …
Last summer the City published a diagram showing circles representing various centers connected by corridors. These were supposed to show the location of different types of centers, such as regional, town and neighborhood centers. Now it appears there’s a new “provisional boundaries map,” which shows a defined boundary around my neighborhood center. What does this new map mean?
Last summer we published the diagrams you refer to with regional, town and neighborhood centers depicted by different sizes of circles. Subsequently, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) received public testimony that said it was confusing for us to identify centers without showing more precisely what the centers do and don’t encompass. In response, we proposed some “provisional boundaries” for these centers on new maps for the commission to consider.
Unlike the circles, the provisional boundaries are more literal depictions of the various centers: They trace the irregular edges of the commercial, mixed residential/commercial and multifamily residential areas falling within a half mile of the center of the circles.
Why a half mile? It’s generally considered a convenient walking distance to/from home to transit and other amenities, which is a good way to describe a center. The provisional boundaries also provide more credible analyses and greater certainty about where particular plan policies apply, which was also a concern expressed by residents.
The PSC is accepting written testimony on the proper location of center boundaries — symbolic or otherwise — until March 13, 2015. Read Tips for Testifying
. And don’t forget the Map App
, which allows you to comment online.
But remember, what’s on the map or in the draft plan is just a proposal. Come up with better facts and reasons for where these lines should be, write them down, send them to the commission … and the lines could move.
Editor’s note: The Comprehensive Plan provides general guidance for how the Zoning Map and Zoning Code may be amended in the future. The policy statements that refer to the anticipated size of centers are general aspirational policy statements. Similarly, the maps and diagrams in the Comprehensive Plan are policies, not regulations.