Thursday, April 30, 2009

Open Space Min Size - Planning Commission Discussion

One of the issues that has resulted from the development of PRDs (Planned Residential Developments) over recent years is the difficultly in defining what is acceptable open space for calculation toward the 10% required of the Code.  

There are no clearly defined terms by which to measure these spaces; therefore, some applications come forward with open space calculations that are comprised of areas that are better described as "left over" space, as opposed to spaces integrated into the overall design of the subdivision.  The most extreme of these are spaces that are excessively narrow, or hidden behind residential units so that few can see or have access to them.  

For the development of the new Code, minimum size standards will be defined for these PRD open spaces. The Planning Commission discussed the possibility of a 50 X 90 foot minimum.  One of the associated issues is how open space credit will be given to pedestrian trails (even if they don't meet the minimum size requirement).  This will likely be addressed by clear definitions of the different kinds of open spaces: pedestrian trails, active open spaces, passive open spaces, etcetera. 

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