Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Evolution of City and Plat History

The city has developed through the incremental change represented by over 176 individual plats (subdivisions) beginning in 1889 with the original Town of Oak Harbor plat. It is interesting to note that the first plat of the community included park space, Smith Park.

I have just completed an extensive analysis of the historical plats for Oak Harbor where I examined 50 plats looking at a variety of characteristics to better understand the way subdivisions have influenced the look and function of our city, including:

  • number of intersections;
  • connections to neighboring areas;
  • lot size;
  • dead end streets;
  • block and street patterns; and,
  • open space or parks.

The relationship of these characteristics affect our way of life and livability in a host of ways:

  • how easily we can move around our neighborhoods;
  • our access to open space or parks;
  • traffic management; and,
  • urban sprawl.

By examining these we will be better able to determine how to best achieve the neighborhoods we desire for our city. This will be the subject of the discussion I will be having with the Planning Commission at their meeting on April 22.

I will also be posting these findings and other analysis of current conditions to the blog shortly.

1 comment:

GayLynn said...

Smith Park provides a "central park" to the urban core: envision denser housing and services all facing the park as a centerpiece. It is an ideal neighborhood to encourage transfer of development rights from rural areas surrounding Oak Harbor to foster a unified theme (e.g. Dutch architecture, sports/outdoor themes) and walkability to the library, post office, banks, markets, transit station & marina.