Sunday, January 18, 2009

Online Survey Findings

The following are the online survey responses. Since only two responses were received, the overall value of the statistics form the survey are not that meaningful. However, the comments were interesting. They are also listed below for information and open to further comment, as are all posts on the blog.

Q1 - Naturally, the city should concern itself with the look and feel of new development. However, developers do a pretty good job of designing their sites as best as they can. Some of that depends on the type of homes and intended market. Extra money may be spent on implementing more costly designs if the market will support it. Oak Harbor already has some very stringent design standards dealing with open space, tree retention, parks, etc., which then dictate design.
Q2 - Identify main "corridors" to have these and place emphasis there, not on every development. Any such trail would need to be dedicated to the public and then add to further maintenance load for the City.
Q3 - The only way this can be successful is for the trail to be dedicated to the public or is within a right-of-way. Private owners will certainly not want the liability of inviting the public onto their trail. If an owner dedicates the land, the city should install the trail.
Q4 - Yes, it always looks nice. Perhaps some flexibility in amounts and locations could be incorporated. Is there long term effects to the Public Works - leaves in storm system or to be swept up.
Q5 - Yes, but don't over regulate it. Perhaps 50-75% of the perimeter should be screened by fence or vegetation. Or give incentives for creative designs. Developers already have large expenses into building the ponds. Perhaps creating an incentive program would work. Developers would incorporate many items if they felt that they received credit for them. Reducing impact fees may be a credit.
Q6 - It may depend on the location.
Q7 - Absolutely not, there are many ways to encourage LIDs. These "naturalized" areas would be too small to do anything and would look terrible. The more property taken from developers just drives up the cost of new homes.
Q8 - If street trees become required, doesn't that reduce some of env. impacts already? "Naturalized" areas often become eyesores.
Q9 - How about encouraging the above items by requiring a developer to incorporate a certain percentage of them. Require the project to include "5 out of 10 of the following items..." or something like that. Provide encouragement but allow choices and flexibility because each project is different. Too many requirements just adds to layers of hurdles already in place. Responsible development is good, but can also become so restrictive that the prices become unaffordable. Costs are always passed on to the consumer.
Q10 - Creating a landscape buffer requirement doesn't do anything if there isn't a design standard.

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