Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020

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Title:
Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020 a land use element analysis
Physical Description:
110, 123 leaves : ill. (some col.), col. maps ; 29 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Badurek, Theresa
Publication Date:

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Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Terminal project (M.L.A.)--University of Florida, 2003.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 91-93).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Theresa Badurek.
General Note:
Printout.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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oclc - 53283773
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AA00001364:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text










Understanding the Alachua County
Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis


Theresa Badurek
Spring 2003




























For my parents, James and Marie Glover, and my husband, Bron.

Your support is never-ending, and your love is strong.
























I would like to thank my committee: Kay Williams and Glenn Acomb
Their help and support has been priceless. I have truly benefited from their advice and wisdom.

To the entire Faculty of the Landscape Architecture Department: Thank youl I have learned so
much and enjoyed the time I spent here.

Thanks to everyone in the studio you all have made our time here fun!

Thank you also to Ryan Hargrove for help with research sources.









Table of Contents

Abstract..............................................................................................1

Introduction......................................................................................... 2

Study Area Analysis Maps.............................................................. 4

Connectivity............................................................................. ...8....

The Comprehensive Plan: W hat is it?............................................ 10

Suburban Sustainability............................. ..............................12

Florida Sustainability Timeline......................................................18

Sustainable Community Practices.................................................23

Citizens vs. Consumers .................................................................... 26

Example Communities......................................................................28

Methodology................................................................................... 34

Guideline Format Guide....................................................................36

Guidelines ....................................................................................... 37

General Land Use Element Goals.................................................38

1.0 Urban Residential Policies.....................................................46

2.0 Urban Activity Center Policies.................................................68

3.0 Commercial Policies.............................................................74

6.0 Rural and Agricultural Policies................................................76

Recommendations............................................................................85

Conclusion....................................................................................... 90

Works Cited................................................................................. 91








Appendix ...........................................................................................94

Articles from the Gainesville Sun:

Reprinted from www.gainesvillesun.com...................................95-110

Alachua County Comprehensive Plan Land Use Element
(numbered independently, according to original Comprehensive Plan text)

Goal

Section 1..................................................Urban Residential Policies

Section 2..............................................Urban Activity Center Policies

Section 3..........................................................Commercial Policies

Section 6.............................................Rural and Agricultural Policies








Abstract
The latest version of the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan (2001-
2020) has been challenged and was sent to mediation. Some of the issues of
greatest contention include the clustering of rural development, wetland setback
lines, and the encouragement of infill development. The debate will probably
continue for quite some time, even as this study is written. This paper assumes
that the Comprehensive Plan will remain as it was originally submitted.


The goal of this paper is to educate the readers on the land use issues in
the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan that they may not be familiar with. It is
designed to guide a member of the community, local leadership, and developers
through the land use element of the Comprehensive Plan. When appropriate,
this study also proposes additional guidelines or proposals that further illuminate
the goals of the land use element of the Comprehensive Plan. This paper could
be of assistance during this decision making process. This study will provide a
valuable method for other communities to evaluate their own Comprehensive
Plans.























Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis







Introduction


This project will use the new Alachua County Comprehensive Plan to
create guidelines that will strengthen its goals and objectives. It is meant to
serve as a guide for Alachua County citizens, leaders, and landowners. There
are many issues within the Comprehensive Plan that are new ideas to most
people, and therefore, part of the controversy surrounding the plan may be a
non- or misunderstanding of some of the ideas presented. This study hopes to
educate everyone on many of these issues. It will also illustrate the possible
effects the Comprehensive Plan will have on development in the study area on
the west side of Alachua County. The most important focus of this study is how
the Comprehensive Plan will affect connectivity in the county. The methodology
used in this project will be applicable to other communities facing similar issues.
This thesis will focus on the Future Land Use element of the Comprehensive
Plan. Within this element we will focus primarily on residential, commercial, and
rural residential sections, as they are the most prevalent uses in our study area.
The final product will consist of a set of guidelines to understanding the Alachua
County Comprehensive Plan, as well as some guidelines, including supporting
graphics and illustrations.




















Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 2
A Land Use Element Analysis







Study Area

The study area is defined by the City of Newberry to the West, NW 122nd
Street to the East, NW 23'd Avenue to the North, and SW 8th Avenue to the
South. This defines an area of current and future development along the SR 26
corridor west of 1-75.








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Study Area Aerial Map I

The Study Area is largely suburban and rural in character. At the east end, it is
already a developed suburban area, with walls and gates all along the State
Road 26 corridor. Further to the west it becomes more rural, with nurseries, feed
stores, and farms dominating the landscape. This area was chosen for it's
"disconnected" character. The suburban area is adjacent to the city of
Gainesville, but it feels like an entirely different entity with no connection to
Gainesville.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis







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A Land Use Element Analysis













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Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020. 6
A Land Use Element Analysis




























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Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020
A Land Use Element Analysis







Why is there such poor connectivity in the Study Area?


Physical Lack of Connection in Study Area:

barrier of 1-75 divides the suburban area from the city of Gainesville
few arterial roads leading to important destinations
lack of sufficient alternate routes that are direct enough, or of the
appropriate service level
no bus routes at all
no bike or pedestrian trails at all
has a different spatial feel than the City of Gainesville: suburbs are walled
in, separated from the street, hidden, spread out; city is more dense, more
oriented to the street

Lack of Social Connection in Study Area:

suburbs are more "family-oriented", city is more "student-oriented"
suburbs are viewed as being safer than the city
different demographics: suburbs are more affluent and more likely to be
mostly caucasian; city is much more mixed, both financially and racially,
etc.
walls around developments create a sense of exclusion

Connectivity is an important aspect of a sustainable community. It increases
efficiency economic growth, and social interaction. What are the positive and
negative impacts of connectivity?

Positive Impacts of Connectivity:

less traffic
shorter commute times
safer roads; easier to maintain
more transit use saves fuel and lowers pollution


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: g
A Land Use Element Analysis








walking and biking are enjoyable and healthy, and far more likely to be
done if there are appropriate places to participate in this activity; also if
there are worthwhile destinations through these modes of transportation
exposure to a more diverse range of people and experiences
overall more efficient
more active areas can make safer places; i.e. "eyes on the street"
creates a stronger community through more interactions with fellow
citizens
encourages civic interaction
more efficient use of infrastructure

Negative Impacts of Connectivity:

initial expense
can be difficult to find space for trails, open space, common areas, etc.;
developers may be reluctant to provide space for these activities
perceived danger of "diverse" neighborhoods
concern about property values if income/demographic groups are mixed
and connected
people are afraid of change
there is a perception that connectivity will encourage crime because of
easier access and escape
concerned that it would create more traffic in neighborhoods















Understanding the Aiachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 9
A Land Use Element Analysis







The Alachua County Comprehensive Plan: What is it?
(from: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/BODY_FE335)

Comprehensive planning was brought to Florida in 1972 with the Florida
State Comprehensive Planning Act. The objective of this act was to "provide
long-range guidance for the orderly social, economic, and physical growth of the
state, setting forth goals, objectives, and policies". (Chapter 72-295, 1972
Florida Laws). In 1975 the legislature passed the Local Government
Comprehensive Planning Act was passed. This required that all local
governments adopt a comprehensive plan and that their development must
follow these plans. Then, in 1985, the legislature passed the Local Government
Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Act. This amendment to the
original piece of legislation was written to ensure that local governments'
comprehensive plans would be consistent with the State and Regional plans.
This act set up a consistent set of protocol for the design and adoption of local
comprehensive plans. Local Comp Plans are to be reviewed and updated every
five years.
















Understanding the Aacua County Compreensive Plan 2001-2020: 10er



A Land Use Element AnalFAIysisLY
..,,1So=$ Study Area Future Land Use Map


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 10
A Land Use Element Analysis








Study Assumption


The Alachua County Comp Plan is currently being contested. This study
assumes that it will remain unchanged and be used as it is currently written.

The Alachua County Comprehensive Plan: What is the controversy?

The Urban Services Line is at the center of the debate over the
comprehensive plan. The Urban Services Line defines where development
should occur. Within the Urban Services Line, development is encouraged.
Outside the line, development is discouraged, and when it occurs, it is more
heavily regulated. On one side are those who support encouraging growth within
the Urban Services Line, and clustering development outside the line. The group
leading this charge is called Sustainable Alachua County Inc. On the other side
of the debate are those who disagree with the line and the clustering of
development: mainly the Gainesville Builders Association and a group called
Preserving Rural Property Values Inc. There has been much debate recently
about this issue and the comprehensive plan is currently in mediation. County
Commissioners hope to avoid the debate going to court. Following are the main
positions of each side of the debate:

For Urban Services Line:

protects county against sprawl
protects important natural resources
maintain rural character
cost efficient-encourages compact and efficient use of infrastructure
cluster development is less expensive and it's value appreciates more
than traditional development tax reductions (because it is more efficient
and the developer is responsible for more of the infrastructure costs)





Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 1 1
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Against Urban Services Line:
fear unwanted rules and regulations
believe that the decrease in developable land will force up the cost of
housing
fear it will make people move out of the county
believe the plan is "extreme" and that there is no basis for these
regulations
believe they should be able to build whatever they want, wherever they
want


Until the debate is settled, or some compromises are made, the old
Comprehensive Plan will remain in effect. This study will assume that the new
Comprehensive Plan will remain intact because it is important to explore the
impact of the Urban Services Line. Perhaps this study will shed some light on
the issue, and whether or not the County decides to compromise, be of use now,
or for the next update of the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan. (See
Appendix for information on the Comprehensive Plan debate from the Gainesville
Sun.)

The Alachua County Comprehensive Plan and Suburban Sustainability

The first principle of Alachua County's Comprehensive Plan Future Land
Use Element is to "Promote sustainable land development that provides for a
balance of economic opportunity, social equity including environmental justice,
and protection of the natural environment." The concept of sustainability has
become one of the most discussed and researched ideas of our current times.
Before beginning this exploration of "sustainable" suburban policy, one should
understand what is meant by "sustainable development". The definition that
many agree on was described in 1987 by the Brundtland Commission, which was
formed by the United Nations. According to this definition, sustainable
development is "development which meets the needs of the present without



Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 12
A Land Use Element Analysis








compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". (Urban
Land Institute, 1)
We also must define what is meant by the term "suburb". Merriam-
Webster dictionary defines a suburb as "a : an outlying part of a city or town; b : a
smaller community adjacent to or within commuting distance of a city; c plural:
the residential area on the outskirts of a city or large town". The suburbs are the
fastest growing areas of human settlement in the United States, and therefore,
require our attention and wise planning. Florida cannot continue its current
pattern of unchecked suburban growth, otherwise known as sprawl, without
compromising the sustainability of our communities and country.
The following sections will discuss the history of the American suburb, as
it pertains to environmental policy. It will then explore the legislative policies in
Florida that have been enacted to protect the environment in suburban
development. The economy is one of the driving forces of our suburban sprawl,
and this will also be discussed. Finally, it will cover some of the new
management practices that have been and are being developed to combat them.
























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A Brief Environmental History of Suburbia


The image of the suburbs has become a defining imagery for the
"American Dream". According to "The Practice of Sustainable Development" by
the Urban Land Institute (2000):
"Since 1940, half of U.S. metropolitan growth has
occurred in suburbs. From 1991 to 1998, more than eighty
percent of new housing construction in the United States
occurred in suburban communities. By the early part of the
twenty-first century, more than half of the nation's total
population will live in suburbs." (p.7)
These numbers make the suburbs the most important front in the sustainability
movement. The major move to the suburbs began in the 1940s, following the
return of American soldiers after World War Two. The homecoming of these
soldiers created an affordable housing shortage. Developer William Levitt



TIME









(The Bulldozer in the Countryside, 155)
was a key player in the expansion of the post-war suburb. He combined the idea
of the assembly line to the home building industry. This allowed him to crank out
homes at an incredibly fast rate, thereby making the homes affordable to the new
American families. Unfortunately, no concern was taken for the existing
landscape, or it's ecology, and acres were simply bulldozed completely clear to
make room for the new suburban tracts. This practice caught on and spread
throughout the country. The new suburbs were fast, cheap, and basically looked

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 14
A Land Use Element Analysis








the same, no matter where in the United States they were. There was little or not
thought about the loss of ecosystems, recreation opportunities, or open space.
The environmental movement that began in the 1960s immediately
realized the impact that suburbia was having on the environment. As more and
more Americans were realizing the "American Dream", more and more of the
American landscape was disappearing. In 1959, William Whyte wrote the
following in Life magazine:
"Take a last look. Some summer's morning drive past the golf
club on the edge of town, turn off onto a back road and go for a
short trip through the open countryside. Look well at the
meadows, the wooded draws, the stands of pine, the creeks and
streams, and fix them in your memory. If the American standard
of living goes up another notch, this is about the last chance you
will have." (Rome, 119)












(The Bulldozer in the Countryside, 156)
People had begun to realize the consequences of suburban sprawl. One of the
biggest reasons for the "sprawling" out of suburbia is that Americans believe that
each person should have their own little "manor in the country". This started with
wealthy people moving out of the cities and into the country as the cities grew
more and more crowded and dirty. This set up a pattern that we still try to repeat
in nearly every suburb. The ultimate American suburb consists of large homes
on huge lots spread out over enormous spaces. This practice devours land at a
rapid pace, but provides very little housing and virtually no open space.
Furthermore, this type of development requires vast, expensive infrastructure

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 15
A Land Use Element Analysis







that is mostly paid for by the taxpayers, not the developer. This kind of growth
cannot be continued indefinitely, and is most certainly not sustainable.
The next step is to find solutions that allow for growth, allow people to
realize their dreams, but do not compromise the future, or the sustainability of the
suburb. This has proved to be extremely difficult, and is still a major struggle
today, over sixty years after the suburban explosion. Clearly the environment
was, and still is, in need of help from the government in the form of policies and
regulations. First we will outline Federal environmental policies that pertain to
the suburbs through history, and then focus on Florida policies specifically.
The 1970s were known as the Environmental Era. During this time there
were several policies developed to combat the multitude of environmental
problems that America faced. The National Environmental Policy Act was
passed in 1970, and it's purposes were "to declare a national policy which will
encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his
environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the
environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to
enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources
important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality".
(http://www.epa.gov/epahome/laws.htm) Then in 1972 President Nixon
appointed a Citizens' Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality.
"This committee established a task force to study land use and urban growth".
(http://www.extension.uiuc.edu/factsheets/lgienOO31.ps.pdf) 1973 brought about
The Endangered Species Act which "prohibits any action, administrative or real,
that results in a "taking" of a listed species, or adversely affects habitat. Likewise,
import, export, interstate, and foreign commerce of listed species are all
prohibited". (http://www.epa.gov/region5/defs/html/esa.htm) These policies set
up a framework of environmental concern in the development process. In the
years following there were regulations placed on wetlands, coastal development,
zoning practices, and infrastructure that began to create a more sustainable
growth pattern. However, private property rights and the idea that land is an



Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 16
A Land Use Element Analysis







investment to be exploited, not a responsibility, have prevented a new, smarter
pattern of growth from taking over.
At the state and local levels there has also been reform in the
development process. Here we will explore policy and regulation in the state of
Florida.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis







Florida Sustainability Timeline
(Items in bold represent Comprehensive Planning Legislation and planning.)


1972 Environmental Land and Water Management Act: created areas of critical
state concern; the framework for Developments of Regional Impact concurrency
required; authorized system of Regional Planning Councils ***
1975 Local Government Comprehensive Planning Act: Regional Planning
Councils were given the authority to exercise specific responsibilities;
review of Developments of Regional Impacts***
1977 $750,000 of General Revenue appropriated for local government
comprehensive plans.*
1984 State and Regional Planning Act: review Developments of Regional
Impact; assist local governments with comprehensive plans; assist
Department of Community Affairs with review of local comprehensive
plans; State Comprehensive Plan***
1984 The Areas of Critical State Concern program gets a significant increase in
funding.*
1985 Adoption of State Comprehensive Plan Chapter 187, F.S.***
1985 The Division of Resource Planning and Management replaces the Bureau
of Land and Water Management.*
1986 Growth Management Act: requires local government prepare and
adopt new or revised comprehensive plans consistent with goals and
policies of the state plan and the regional policy plans***
1989 The Land Development Phase of the 1985 Growth Management Act
begins with funding to local governments from a $6.3 million appropriation from
the State Infrastructure Fund.*
1991 Environmental Land Management Study Commission III was convened to
refine and reconfirm the state's commitment to growth management.*



Understanding the Aiachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020 ] 8
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1996 Intergovernmental Coordination Element (ICE) was reviewed by a panel of
experts, and in 1997 their recommendations were codified in law and rule.*
1997 Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) technical committee makes
sweeping recommendations to the comprehensive plan amendment
process. Changes are set in statute in the 1998 legislative session.*
1998 Division of Resource Planning and Management renamed Division of
Community Planning.*
1998 Amendment No. 5: Among other provisions, this ballot measure authorizes
the state to issue revenue bonds to finance the acquisition and improvement of
land, water and related natural resources for conservation, outdoor recreation,
water resources development, restoration of natural systems and historic
preservation purposes.**
1998 Fla. Stat. Ann., 704.06: Authorizes any governmental body or agency or
a charitable corporation or trust whose purposes include protecting the natural,
scenic or open space value of real property, assuring its availability for
agricultural, forest, recreational or open space use, protecting natural resources,
maintaining or enhancing air or water quality, or preserving sites or properties of
historical, architectural, archeological or cultural significance to acquire a
conservation easement.**
1999 Senate Bill 908 (Enacted as Chapter 99-247): Creates the Florida Forever
Program, a 10-year, $300 million annual bond-funded program designed to
purchase environmentally significant lands and water resource development
projects. Bond proceeds are to be deposited in the Florida Forever Trust Fund.
Twenty-four percent of the proceeds--$72 million annually--is.allocated to the
Florida Communities Trust in the Department of Community Affairs for land
acquisition and for grants to local governments and nonprofit environmental
organizations for the purchase of community-based, urban open spaces, parks
and greenways to implement local government comprehensive plans. Debt
service on the bonds is to be paid from documentary stamp tax revenue.**



Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020 1 9
A Land Use Element Analysis







1999 Senate Bill 906 (Enacted as Chapter 99-246): Creates the Florida Forever
Trust Fund to be administered by the Department of Environmental Protection.
The fund consists of state revenue bonds used for land acquisition under the
Florida Forever Program. The fund's cap is $3 billion.**
1999 House Bill 17 (Enacted as Chapter 99-378): Authorizes counties and
municipalities to designate urban infill and redevelopment areas. Local
government incentives to developers for new development, expansion of existing
development or redevelopment within an urban infill and redevelopment area
include waiver of license and permit fees, waiver of local option sales taxes,
expedited permitting, lower transportation impact fees for development that
encourages public transit, prioritized infrastructure financing, and absorption of
developer's concurrency costs. State incentives for local governments that adopt
urban infill and redevelopment plans include authority to issue community
redevelopment revenue bonds, community redevelopment tax increment
financing, and priority in the allocation of private activity bonds. The act also
establishes a grant program for local government projects in urban infill and
redevelopment areas, and amends the state's transportation concurrency
requirements to encourage public transit facilities within urban infill and
redevelopment areas.**
2000 Fla. Stat. Ann., 259.101, 375.045 : Creates the Florida Preservation
2000 Program and the Florida Preservation 2000 Trust Fund to preserve natural
areas that are subject to development pressures. The trust fund, administered by
the Department of Environmental Protection, is comprised of state revenue bond
proceeds to be used to acquire title or development rights to lands that protect
valuable natural resources, provide open space for natural resource based
recreation, recharge groundwater, serve as habitat for threatened or endangered
species, or preserve important archeological or historical sites.**
2002 Amendments to Local Government Comprehensive Planning Act:
coordinated school planning; increased use of interlocal agreements;
water resource planning***


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Notes:
(* From Florida Department of Community Affairs 1998 publication titled "Making
a Difference in Florida's Communities")
(** From www.ncsl.org National Conference of State Legislatures web page)
(*** From Class Handout "Key State/Local Land Planninq Legislation, November
5, 2002) (citation?)


Economic Issues for Sustainable Suburbs


At the heart of the sustainability issue is the concept of stewardship. The
most basic definition of stewardship is "the careful and responsible management
of something entrusted to one's care" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary); as in caring
for the natural resources that we have been entrusted with. If each property
owner and government body used this premise to guide their decisions, we could
more easily create sustainable communities. However, most Americans have a
view of property rights that they believe allows them certain freedom from
regulation. There have been many books written on property rights in America
and how our attitudes toward them have evolved. Many Americans feel that
property rights give them the choice in how to develop or use their land without
intervention. However, throughout our history the government has proven that it
is often necessary, for the greater good, to impose regulation and law upon land
owners.
Furthermore, many land purchases are made on speculation for
development. Some of the current land use regulations can prevent the owner
from developing their land in the way they desire, thereby reducing or removing
the unrealized value of the property. For example, if a person owns a large tract
of rural land that he or she would like to develop, they must do so within the
confines of the local comprehensive plan. If the land is supposed to be
agricultural, the developer would not be able to proceed with his or her original
development plans without bringing about a change to the comprehensive plan.
If the developer purchased the land for development before the comprehensive


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020 21
A Land Use Element Analysis







plan was written, he or she may see this as a loss of value on the property.
There is, however, a provision for such a situation in our Constitution. It is the
Fifth Amendment, which states that "private property [shall not] be taken for
public use without just compensation". Many court cases have been tried to
discover whether situations such as this can be characterized as a "taking" and
therefore deserve compensation. Of course, no hard and fast rules apply here,
and each case is very different, with very different outcomes. This causes a rift
between land investors and environmentalists, who have very different attitudes
about natural resources. This is a major obstacle to developing sustainable
suburbs. We must create a market where the environment is held as the most
important of all resources, not money. We also must create an investment
climate where one can feel that when investing in property, that our investment
will be safe. These may seem like goals that are at absolute odds, but many
practices are being developed and used to make sustainability more
economically feasible.



























Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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Current Sustainable Community Practices


The problem now is how to put sustainable ideas into practice. There are
many things being done today to achieve this. The following is a list of best
management practices to achieve sustainable suburban development being
supported today: (from Best Development Practices 1995, 91). The items in bold
represent goals that the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan has also set forth:


1. Use a systems approach to environmental planning.
A "systems approach" just means that all of the inputs, or
factors, in a given planning area are taken into account. The
various environmental effects and ecosystems would be studied
and included in the planning process.
2. Channel development into areas that are already disturbed.
3. Preserve patches of high-quality habitat, as large and circular as possible,
feathered at the edges, and connected by wildlife corridors.
4. Design around significant wetlands.
5. Establish upland buffers around all retained wetlands and natural
water bodies.
6. Preserve significant uplands, too.
7. Restore and enhance ecological functions damaged by prior site activities.
8. Minimize runoff by clustering development on the least porous soils
and using infiltration facilities.
9. Detain runoff with open, natural drainage systems.
10. Design man-made lakes and stormwater ponds for maximum
environmental value.
11. Use reclaimed water and integrated pest management on large
landscaped areas.
12. Use and require the use of xeriscape landscaping.





Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020 23
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These practices would greatly enhance the sustainability of any suburb. To truly
achieve sustainability, however, one must plan for the greater matrix of land uses
in a region. This is why land use planning is such a key element in a
comprehensive plan. Here are eleven land use practices that promote
sustainability: (from Best Development Practices 1995, 17). The items in bold
represent goals that the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan has also set forth:


1. Keep vehicle miles of travel (distance traveled by automobile) below the
area average.
2. Contribute to the area's jobs-housing balance.
3. Mix land uses at the finest grain the market will bear and include civic
uses in the mix.
4. Develop in clusters and keep the clusters small.
5. Place higher density housing near commercial centers, transit lines,
and parks.
6. Phase convenience shopping and recreational opportunities to keep
pace with housing.
7. Make subdivisions into neighborhoods with well-defined centers and
edges.
8. Reserve school sites and donate them if necessary to attract new schools.
9. Concentrate commercial development in compact centers or districts
(rather than letting it spread out in strips).
10. Make shopping centers and business parks into all-purpose activity
centers.
11.Tame auto-oriented land uses, or at least separate them from
pedestrian-oriented uses.
It is clear that there can be better, more sustainable suburbs in the future. There
is currently a trend in the market towards new communities that use some of
these management practices. The proposed Alachua County Comprehensive
Plan employs many of these practices. It is up to the planners, politicians, and
citizens to decide what path to take... one of sprawling irresponsibility, or a more


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020 24
A Land Use Element Analysis







healthy, sustainable one. This is where it becomes important to strengthen the
broad strokes of the Comprehensive Plan with specific guidelines to insure it is
carried out as intended.
















































Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis







Citizens vs. Consumers: the need for a new suburban design


Americans are known in the world, and amongst themselves, as
consumers. We acknowledge this without shame, and have even taken to calling
attendees of schools and universities "customers", instead of students. In
reports, newspaper articles, and books written for the American audience, we
refer to each other as consumers. When did we stop being citizens and start
being consumers?


A citizen is defined as "a member of a state or country", and citizenship is
defined as "the duties, rights, and privileges of a citizen". A consumer is "a
person or thing that uses up, makes away with, or destroys". (World Book
Encyclopedia Dictionary) Which sounds like the ideal condition we should strive
for?


It has been a long road from citizen to consumer, and here it is suggested
that it began with the highly touted idea of "American Individualism".
Individualism in and of itself is not a negative characteristic, however,
individualism at the expense of other individuals spells trouble for the whole
community, or in this case, nation. In the above definition of citizenship, the idea
of duty is mentioned. In order to be a citizen, and enjoy the rights and privileges,
one must perform certain duties. A sense of duty has been erased from the
minds of most Americans in the pursuit of their own aspirations.


One example of a selfish lack of duty in American culture is the attitude
toward land use and property rights. The "extreme individualism of property
ownership... tends to degrade the idea of the public realm, and hence of the
landscape tissue that ties together the thousands of pieces of property that make
up a town, a suburb, a state". (Kunstler, 26-27) Americans believe that their
individual property rights are more important than the good of the community as
a whole, and therefore, make selfish choices for the development of their land.
Our society believes that property is nothing more than a financial investment,

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 26
A Land Use Element Analysis







and that we have no responsibility to be stewards of the land for future
generations. The idea of stewardship is viewed as a threat to our individual
rights to exploit the land for our own profit.


Now these choices have threatened our society through sprawl,
congestion, crime, traffic problems, etc. The American people want to know how
to fix these problems, but nobody is willing to make the necessary sacrifices; to
perform their civic "duties" and act on the behalf of the state or country as a
whole. Americans are happy to enjoy the benefits of citizenship, to consume
land and resources as they see fit, but reluctant to add to or protect the state or
country to which they belong. This paper will suggest that Americans can act in
the best interest of the citizenship as a whole, without relinquishing the rights and
privileges of being an American.


The focus here will be on the most recent version of the Alachua County,
Florida, Comprehensive Plan. This paper will extract the Future Land Use
Elements of the plan and provide guidelines to bring the text into reality. By
providing specific written and graphics guidelines from the broad strokes of the
Comprehensive Plan, this paper hopes to give creativity and strength to this
planning document.


















Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020 27
A Land Use Element Analysis







Example Community: Village Homes, California


Introduction:

Village Homes is a development in Davis, California designed by town
planner Michael Corbett and his wife Judy Corbett. It began in the mid 1970s
and was completed in 1981. This project is considered one of the first modern
"green" developments. The significance of this project is the use of
environmentally sensitive design and planning during development. There are
several lessons that can be applied to Alachua County future development that
follows the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.

Design:

The community consists of 220 homes and 20 apartments on about 70
acres. The homes are small, ranging between 800 and 1800 square feet. These
dwellings are clustered in groups of eight which are surrounded by common
spaces and are all connected by walk/bike-ways. The homes are all designed
and sited to take advantage of both active and passive solar energy
opportunities. Roads were kept narrow (between 20 and 24 feet wide) to retain a
more pedestrian-oriented scale. There were no traditional stormwater structures
were built, instead there were natural swales and retention ponds designed to
handle stormwater. Lots were all graded to allow drainage to move through the
"natural" system. "There has been no flooding of streets or homes in the twenty
years since the project was built". (Ecology of Place, 113-115) Village Homes
was designed with a "whole systems" approach that considered the efficient use
of the available natural resources.












Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020 28
A Land Use Element Analysis










































Land Area Breakdown:

Gross Site Area
Gross Building Area
Open Space/Greenbelts
Common Agricultural Land
Commercial Office Space


70 Acres
32 Acres
12 Acres
12 Acres
4000 SF


(From www.rmi.org)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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Results:


When the dwellings in Village Homes first were sold, they cost no more than the
average comparable home in Davis. Now, homes here cost between $10 and
$25/square foot more than the surrounding comparable homes. (The Practice of
Sustainable Development) There is a very low turnover rate, and houses sell
very quickly when put on the market. The annual household energy bills are one
third to one half lower than those of the homes in the surrounding community.
The average number of cars per resident is lower in Village Homes than in the
larger Davis community. Furthermore, Village Homes has a much lower crime
rate (about one tenth) than the rest of Davis, usually attributed to the strong
sense of community that the project creates..


Relevance to Alachua County, Florida


Village Homes is a great example of the integration of open space and natural
stormwater design like the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan prescribes for
its future growth. Village Homes was successful at maintaining a large amount of
open space, while creating a development that has higher property values than
the surrounding community.


















Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 30
A Land Use Element Analysis








Example Community: Columbia, Maryland


Introduction

Columbia, Maryland is one of the most famous of the "New Towns" in
America. The New Towns movement began in the late 1950s and was born from
the Garden City movement led by Ebenezer Howard at the turn of the 20th
century. According to Clapp (New Towns and Urban Policy, 4):
"the new town concept has offered the
prospect of a unique opportunity to plan the land use
arrangement of a community relatively free from the
constraints of prior development patterns, local
politics, fragmented land ownerships, and other
factors which limit freedom of expression and
effectiveness in conventional city planning".


Features of a typical New Town:
Single ownership or control of large area of land
Accommodate at least 30,000 residents
5000-15,000 acres
Planned before construction begins
Cluster homes around elementary schools
Employment within town for many of it's residents
Pedestrian walkways
Large open spaces
Constructed of small neighborhoods, which make up larger villages,
which collectively make the town

Columbia, Maryland was conceived of and designed by James W. Rouse, who
felt that:
"The surest way to make the American City what it
ought to be is to demonstrate that it is enormously


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 31
A Land Use Element Analysis







profitable to do it a better way". (p. 172, Columbia and
the New Cities)
He purchased the 15,000 acres of land in Howard County in 1962 and 1963.
There was an 18-month planning period that involved the rezoning of the land.
This took place in 1965, and construction began in 1966. In 1967 the first
residents of Columbia moved in.


Four Goals of Columbia:
(From: Columbia and the New Cities, p.180-184)


1. To provide a complete and self-sustaining city.
About 100,000 people; 30,000 jobs; 31,000 homes and apts.
2. To respect the land.
"We invited the land to impose itself as a discipline on the
form of the city". (James Rouse)
Preserve 20% open space
Development avoided sensitive areas

3. To produce the best possible environment for the growth of people.
4. To make a profit.


Design:


Columbia, Maryland is located on the 1-95 corridor between Washington
D.C. and Baltimore. Columbia is made up of neighborhoods (900-1200 families)
which collectively make up villages (3000-5000 families). Each neighborhood is
designed around an elementary school and has the following facilities: a day-
care center, a small store with a snack bar, a meeting room, a swimming pool, a
park, and a playground. Three or four of these neighborhoods make up a village.
Each village contains: commercial facilities, a secondary school, and town-wide
recreational facilities. There are seven villages that surround Columbia's town


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 32
A Land Use Element Analysis








center. The town center is comprised of a regional scale shopping mall, an office
building complex, hotels, movie theaters, a large recreational lake, restaurants,
and industrial and research facilities.
The villages of Columbia are arranged around a village green to provide
areas for residents to gather informally to socialize. Throughout the town there is
an open space greenway for bikers and pedestrians to move throughout
Columbia safely. Within the neighborhoods, the greenway is designed so that
school children could get to their elementary school without ever encountering a
car.


Relevance to Alachua County, Florida


There are many lessons to be learned from Columbia. The most important thing
for Alachua County is the understanding of the relationships between
neighborhood and community, and community to the region. There are certain
land and population sizes that function better. Furthermore, Columbia
incorporated bike and pedestrian trails that were segregated or buffered from the
dangers of the automobile. This is also one of the goals for future development
in Alachua County.




















Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 33
A Land Use Element Analysis








Methodology


1. Site selection-determine areas) of future growth and development in the
county:


What are the current growth trends in the county?
Does the area have the appropriate infrastructure for growth? (roads,
schools, sewer lines, etc.)


2. Site analysis of Study Area(s) current and future land use


Does the area have physical connectivity? (roads, trails, etc.)
Are there any unique historical, environmental, etc. places in the study
area?


3. Review Land Use Elements of local Comprehensive Plan


Read plan while looking for "buzz-words", innovative concepts, or
vague wording that needs further explanation or analysis.
Look for areas of opportunity that the Comprehensive Plan may have
missed, or things that may not be appropriate or conflict.


4. Provide graphics and explanations for each of the new / innovative ideas
presented in the comprehensive plan (to educate and enlighten the public
/ politicians / developers, etc.)


Find examples that may exist in other research, or create graphics and
explanations for each point.
Keep in mind that most people who need this analysis do not know
about planning and design issues: be as instructive as possible.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 34
A Land Use Element Analysis








Present examples from other communities that have utilized these
methods as precedence for the county
Propose any recommendations that would strengthen and/or specify
the comprehensive plan
Propose specific locations for elements vaguely outlined in the
comprehensive plan (ex: if the Comp Plan says that a certain area
might be a good location for a school, recommend possible locations)
for a school)





































Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 3
A Land Use Element Analysis








Guideline Format:


The next section contains the guidelines to the Comprehensive Plan. This
introduction serves as a guide to understanding the format in which they are
written.


Text written in the font "Times New Roman" (in bold) is directly quoted or
paraphrased from the text of the Comprehensive Plan.


Text written in this font ("Arial") is original study text, guidelines, and
recommendations.


Each section begins with the Goal, Policy, Strategy, or Objective from the
Comprehensive Plan. They are numbered to correspond with the
numbering system from the Comprehensive Plan. This allows the reader
to use this study as a companion guide to the Land Use Element of the
Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020.






















Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 3Y
A Land Use Element Analysis













Guidelines


Ak~: ~
Ig~wy3 ~


(The Bulldozer in the Countryside, 152)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis









General Land Use Element Goals


A goal is a broad description of the overall end product the Comprehensive Plan
hopes to achieve:
Goal: To encourage the orderly, harmonious, and judicious use of land, consistent
with the following guiding principles:


The principles that follow are a further breakdown of the goal. This allows some
of the main concepts to be separated into more specific sections, which in this
case are the Comprehensive Plan strategies:
Principle 1: Promote sustainable land development that provides for a balance of
economic opportunity, social equity including environmental justice, and protection
of the natural environment.


What is sustainability? : "development which meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs". (Urban Land Institute, 1)
o According to the Alachua County Comp. Plan, sustainable
development is: "A strategy by which a community can use resources
efficiently, create efficient infrastructure, protect and enhance quality of
life, and create new businesses to strengthen its economy".
o In recent years sustainability has become a catch phrase
among environmentally conscious design and planning
professionals. Basically, it means that we have to plan our
resource consumption and development in a way that does
not interfere with future Alachua County residents' right to
thrive.
What is environmental justice? : According to the Alachua County Comp.
Plan, environmental justice states that: "no group of people, including a racial,
ethnic, or socioeconomic group, should bear a disproportionate share of the
cumulative negative social or environmental consequences resulting from land

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 38
A Land Use Element Analysis








use decisions". To define environmental justice more clearly one may imagine
some examples of "environmental injustice". Often, less affluent members of
a community are forced by the real estate market to live in run-down
neighborhoods that may have been industrial or commercial areas, and may
be polluted. They are bearing the burden of someone else's environmental
consequences because they cannot afford to move or clean up their
community. The higher taxes that we all pay to support sprawling new
communities are another example of "environmental injustice". The
developer and the residents of that specific community should be responsible
for their own growth costs.
o Environmental justice is an important concept for this study area as
well as the county as a whole. The Comprehensive Plan calls for the
developer to be more responsible for development costs. This saves
the rest of the county's tax-payers' money. Furthermore, the
Comprehensive Plan encourages development within an Urban
Services Line, which includes a lot of already developed land. Some
of this land includes blighted areas where the infrastructure for new
development already exists. This saves money on new infrastructure
while encouraging the redevelopment of neglected areas.


The following principles are vague and can be interpreted in many different ways.
For the Comprehensive Plan to gain more strength to produce real change, these
should be elaborated on and made more specific:
Principle 2: Base new development upon the provision of necessary services and
infrastructure. Focus urban development in a clearly defined area and strengthen
the separation of rural and urban uses.
Alachua County characterizes "urban" uses as: residential, commercial,
institutional, and industrial. "Rural" is characterized by farming, silviculture,
conservation, recreation, and very low density residential.





Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 39
A Land Use Element Analysis









Principle 3: Recognize residential neighborhoods as a collective asset for all
residents of the County.


Principle 4: Create and promote cohesive communities that provide for a full range
and mix of land uses.


General strategies are directives for how the goals and principles are to be met:
General Strategy 1: Minimize the conversion of land from rural to urban uses by
maximizing the efficient use of available urban infrastructure, while preserving
environmentally sensitive areas...
Why is maximizing existing urban infrastructure so important?
It is very costly to build new roads, water and sewer connections, and
other urban infrastructure. This cost is traditionally passed on to all of the
citizens in the area by raising taxes. We should encourage development
in areas where these facilities are already available because it saves
taxpayer money and preserves land by encouraging more compact
growth.


General Strategy 3: Promote the spatial organization of neighborhoods, districts,
and corridors through urban design codes, incorporating graphics...
What are graphic urban design codes?
o Graphic urban design codes are codes that illustrate the policies
they set forth. Traditional codes are wordy and difficult to
understand, while adding graphics and illustrations clearly explain
the intent of the codes. New Urbanists Andres Duany and
Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk have a basic example of a graphic urban
design posted on the following website: www.dpz.com. Please see
appendix for a reprint of this code. Following is a simple illustration
of a graphic urban code and a graphic architectural code:





Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 40
A Land Use Element Analysis












A GRAPHIC URBAN CODE











BLOCICPLAN

Sotbacd, Reoqukd: 15 front4 1Zaide, P Bide. P ntr
BuRldlinig dghlST mtin. 2 to
max.21/2mtorie.





t ;.C ;* ybbdIm-




/ Porch may -nArt-h upon
| .. Min. Porch repthRfi'

LOT PLAN
A TRADITiONAL TOWN PLANNi. ORDINANEt PIRSENPS IT C3 ONF It P iCTTRTS
THAT OPiN4HY flIZf.!JC 1A INTBSRSTAHO Zo.iNo P-EsTIEws nT ATTOT iN
L StA5IC VERlIAGIE THAT ELECrED TFICtIALS OFTEN -ANtIOT JNDERSTAtT.II
II.,AT*I NIJNHNSO'.)


A GRAPHIC ARCHITECTURAL CODE


TYPICAL STREET
AKfWlOHT URAl 00. ODE
SItory HIdght f 9 t = oor. 9' _-odt Ilocr.' lop 1-flm
le1ith of lirt floor Above L.Tdo". dan. ;3,0 m1' 60"
Kf INPIlch: &cl2 .rkper
'1 ,*' t le m 1h I ...rr, HI s F ao
bu.4 i.+ 1 .irn.. mma .I iphrnj-rr ,, i .lrI I ,











l OVATION


iLEVA iON


(Home from Nowhere, 142-143)

* What is "mixed-use" development?

o Mixed-use developments are developments that allow different land

uses such as residential, commercial, and institutional in the same

area. Current conventional zoning practices prohibit this type of

development. Traditional towns, however, naturally developed this

way before zoning was introduced. This type of development

allows a greater mix of social and economic groups because it

allows for a greater mix of housing and transportation types.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis









i .. ... i '* 1


.d, ue boulevards can accommodatic through traffic and pede:tr.lins 1 ihr.: is no contladiction between
;. h traffic capacity and pedestrian comfort. The conflict is with high speeds. The optimum roadway speed for
maximumm capacity is 30 mph, which is comfortable for pedestrians if there is on-street parking.

(Blueprints for a Better Future, 23)


6-28 Mixed-use development, combined with human-scale design, improve public safety and
aesthetics.
Source: City of Sarasota
(SafeScape, 213)


What does mixed modal, or multi-modal transportation mean?

o According to the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan the

definition of multi-modal transportation is a "transportation system

allowing a range of transportation options, such as automobile,


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 42
A Land Use Element Analysis










pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation, with infrastructure to

carry out these options". Integrating other forms of transportation,

besides the automobile, is very important to achieving a sustainable

community. The following graphics illustrate some of the issues

surrounding our over-dependence on automobile transportation:









HVAC, Lighting,
Appliance, It

SIranspotaf.on consumes more than three bmes as much
S / neigy as heating. hghtmg and cooling buildings in a
,Odh e typical suburban community More energv-effiroent bulk.-
ing stock is important but not as nticall as rel4orning the
transportation system. (National Association of Home
SBuiders, Planning /or Housing. 1950.)


(Common Place, 34)


%-sV I w rt









Source: Adapted from Greenbelt Alliance, Reviving the Suatainable
Metropolle, Guiding Bay Area ConervaWton and Development Into the
2fot Century, San Francldco, CA, 1989, p. 9.
(Transportation and Land Use Innovations, 1)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis


Congestion Cycle







o Parts of Gainesville are already considered pedestrian and bike-friendly
when compared to most other American cities. We have the opportunity
to expand on that and become truly multi-modal. Unfortunately, there are
no bike trails or bicycle friendly areas within this study area. It is
recommended that these be incorporated in the western part of the county
in the future, as much of the growth is taking place there.
o This map shows the existing bike trails in Alachua County:



ALACHUA COUNTY
SIGNIFICANT BICYCLE
WAYS AND TRAILS


















N


The only provision for bicycles in the study area is a wide curb lane.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis









o The following map is a proposal for future bike trail connections within

the study area:


Study Area Proposed Bicycle Trail Connection Map


Walking/Bicycling to Work in
Selected U.S. Cities and Towns
(1990)






Miliwtah-, IN A7%
Oxiford, l ilo 3s*
PA*is, CA t21 27.
I0 .t4, A m 23.

*6OW4LSC 064 107.
PORiUda, Co 467 199
FPovo, UiT N7 16
0os5~, MA 159 iy.



Sourem Special Tabulation, 1990 U.S. Cenuse of F'pulation and Housing,
Summary Tape File 3A.


,:urce: 5ecal Tabulation, 1990 Nationwide Personal Traneportation
,rwy (NP5).


(Transportation and Land Use Innovations, 59 and 61)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis


tsgend
* c-i
- law..&
---)" e
---0UM
---MU1


Walking/Bicycling Market Shares
by Distance and Trip Purpose


> 1Rilk








1.0 Urban Residential Policies


Objective 1.1: Encourage development of residential land in a manner which
promotes social and economic diversity, provides for phased and orderly growth
consistent with available public facilities, and provides for access to existing or
planned public services such as schools, parks, and cultural facilities.


Policy 1.1.2. Manufactured home subdivisions:
As part of the goal to "promote social and economic diversity" the
comprehensive plan has made provisions for the use of mobile homes.
Mobile homes have long been considered more affordable, but less
attractive than site-built homes. There are many ways to create mobile
home neighborhoods that are affordable, attractive, and help achieve
some of the goals of the comprehensive plan. For example:


Figure 10-27. This plan-view sketch shows how mobile homes are sited in a manufactured housing subdivision
in Elkhart, Indiana. Garages provide screening from the street, while the long, narrow units located near one of
the side lot lines provide private backyard space.

(Rural by Design, 176)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis








o This graphic illustrates how mobile homes can be sited to create a
more traditional street front:














Figure 10-26. Manufactured housing represents one of the most popular huiusing alternatives in many rural ar-
eas, yet few developers have recognized the posibilitic thi., ,offers for traditional neighborhood design. The units
shown here, in a demonstration project in Fikhar. Indiana. are arranged with their narrow end facing the street,
but with a breeeway and attached garage so that their buldmg width resembles that of site-built homes.

(Rural by Design, 175)
o This drawing represents the retrofitting of a mobile home to look
more like a traditional, suburban, site-built home.


Objective 1.2: Provide for adequate future urban development that
includes a full range of housing types and densities to serve different segments
of the housing market, designed to be integrated and connected with surrounding
neighborhoods and the community, with opportunities for recreation and other
mixed uses within walking or bicycling distance.


What is "walking distance"?
o A common measure of "walking distance" is the length of time it
takes to walk. The most often used guide is the five-minute walk. It
is proposed here that this may be a good measure for shopping
trips or walks when weather is bad, however, most walks can be
much further than that. Ten, or even fifteen minute walks for
pleasure, or for exercise are recommended. This could also be
viewed as a wellness measure, or a community amenity. Most of


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 47
A Land Use Element Analysis








the study area includes rural land and would be too spread out to

incorporate walking trails for employment or shopping access.

However, there are many opportunities for recreational trails to be

included in the study area.

The automobile and our
U growing dependence on It
have slowly changed our
built environment to a
compkletely different scale

in the American city
before World War lI,
Not only are building
W4 footprints bigger and far-
ther apart, elevation are
[a less detailed and less
crafted in our high-speed,
throwaway culture.
mat al (Catthorpe Asociates)
auto scale pedestrian scale


(Common Place, 42)
A NEIGHBORHOOD


A FVE-MIJIME t ALK FRO' wDG: [ TO ENT10 ER Di.INES THE. AREA O0 TIIS CITY
NEIGHBORHOOD. BEAC.ON Hill I BOSION. Ii. AM/OU II O, RO JHILY 10 AN AREA
OF HALA A SQUARE YELN. (CATHE~RNE JOH.SOtN)
(Home from Nowhere, 116)
Many Traditional Neighborhood Designs base "walking distance" on a

five-minute walk. This means that housing, commercial, and jobs


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 4
A Land Use Element Analysis







would need to be mixed and located within a half-mile of one another.
The comprehensive plan does not specify this distance, and should be
updated to include specific distances for both walking and biking.


* Policy 1.2.1.2. Activities that are compatible with the character of the
surrounding neighborhood:
What is the character of the surrounding neighborhood and
community of study area?


residential


*

A ~


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis

























































Existing Roadway


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 50
A Land Use Element Analysis




























Study Area Aerial Map


N



Study Area Character Summary: The study area corridor, State Road 26, is
mainly walled subdivisions at the east end of the study area, and rural towards
the west end. Since much of the development in the study area is new, many of
the ideas of traditional neighborhood design have been incorporated already.
This provides future growth with ideas and examples for inspiration. Some may
also provide valuable lessons in what may or may not work. One of the biggest
obstacles to the study area is the fact that nearly every residential development
is walled and/or gated. This goes against many of the goals of the
Comprehensive Plan and creates a disconnected, pedestrian un-friendly
environment.





Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 51
A Land Use Element Analysis





























Perhaps this tree has the right idea?


Policy 1.2.4. All new residential development in the urban cluster shall
connect to centralized potable water supply and sanitary sewer systems:
Why is it important to connect to city water and sewer?
Connecting to city water is important because it reduces the
number of private wells that are drilled in the county. Private wells that tap
into the aquifer are harder to regulate and monitor. Putting people on city
water makes them responsible for each gallon they use, and this helps the
county conserve water and protect the aquifer. Connecting to sewer lines
is important because the alternative is septic tank use. Some soils in the
county are not appropriate for septic tank use. Our study area, for
example is on very porous limestone with little or no clay to stop surface
water from directly entering the aquifer. In western Alachua County,
where the study area is located, there are many cracks, holes, caves, and
sinkholes, where there are opportunities for direct aquifer recharge.
These soils are vulnerable to waste draining from septic tanks going into

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 52
A Land Use Element Analysis







the aquifer too quickly, before it has had a chance to be thoroughly
cleaned. By connecting more people to sewer infrastructure, we can
lessen this effect and more easily regulate waste.


(From Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020)
(Our study area is inside the red box on the aquifer map.)
Hydrologic Regions of the Map:


Confined Zone: A region of higher elevations underlain by at least 10 feet of clays
or clayey sands which form an aquiclude to the Floridan Aquifer System
Perforated Zone: Primarily confined with numerous sinkholes allowing hydrologic
access to the Floridan Aquifer System
Unconfined Zone: A region of low and flat terrain where porous sands overlie the
Floridan Aquifer System


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis









Policy 1.3.3. A range in urban densities shall be provided:
What is the density gradient concept?
o The density gradient is just as it sounds. It means that density
should increase or decrease gradually across a gentle gradient.
For example, commercial to high density residential, to medium
density residential, to low density residential, to recreation, to
conservation. As one moves further along the gradient in this case,
density becomes lower and lower.


Policy 1.3.6. To provide for a greater range of housing types, one accessory
living unit shall be allowed on single family residential lots:
What is the importance of accessory living units?
The Alachua County Comprehensive Plan defines accessory living unit as:
"an additional living unit, including separate kitchen, sleeping and bathroom
facilities, attached or detached from the primary residential unit, on a single
family lot. Accessory living units are subordinate in size, location and
appearance to the primary unit". These are important to the county's goal
of providing varied housing types as well as affordable housing.
Accessory units provide more affordable choices for people, while still
being located in pleasant, higher priced neighborhoods. Not only does
this provide affordable housing options, but the rents collected from
accessory units can help the property owner pay the mortgage, which
could allow them to buy more house then they could have otherwise
afforded. Accessory units are especially significant in Florida because of
the high number of retirees living here. Accessory units make great
affordable homes for retired people on fixed incomes. They could also
help give seniors the freedom of living alone, while providing the security
of living in such close proximity to the residents of the main house for
security and safety. However, steps must be taken to ensure the
affordability of these units. The Comprehensive Plan should include

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 54
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specific goals for maintaining affordability of accessory units. Following
are a few examples of accessory living units:


(Trends and Innovations, 43)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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3-16 Accessory unit located over a detached
garage behind the primary residence.
Source: Dean Brennan and Al Zelinka
(SafeScape, 48)


Policy 1.4.1. Use of innovative concepts for residential development:
"Planned unit developments" and "traditional neighborhood
developments" are strongly recommended innovative concepts for
residential development. What are these?
o "A Planned Unit Development is a mechanism by which the City
may permit a variety in type, design, and arrangement of structures;
and enable the coordination of project characteristics with features
of a particular site in a manner consistent with the public health,
safety and welfare. A Planned Unit Development allows for
innovations and special features in site development, including the
location of structures, conservation of natural land features,
conservation of energy and efficient utilization of open space."
(from:http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/planning/pud.aspx?r=1)
o "Traditional Neighborhood Developments" are developments that
use the traditional patterns of community development as a

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 56
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template for development. This concept was introduced by the
New Urbanist team of Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk.
Other names this type of development go by are "New Urbanism"
and "Neotraditionalism". Some of the following characteristics are
common in traditional neighborhood developments:
mixed use
small scale
environmental sensitivity
street hierarchy
accessory units
walkable neighborhoods
compact lots


| W kou --I-
Figure 2-4. Cros-section of new development dcsijtd according to traditional neighborhood principles with
a pe4detrian*friendly ambience, inchtding compact lot.. front porches, dooryard gardens, sidewalks, street trlv's.
curbtid* parking, and rear garages. Lyons Farm. Easton, MarvLind (Redman Johnston Asoctiate).

(Rural by Design, 11)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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Conventional suburban
development (left) sepa-
rates land uses into large,
single-use zones, with a
treelike circulation system
that has too few intersec-
tions, with too few places
to turn left and a com-
mensurate increase in
friction. Traditional Neigh-
borhood Design (TND)
(right) mixes land uses in
a neighborhood with a
permeable street grid that
provides more lane capac-
ity and intersections for
the easy circulation of
vehicles and pedestrians.


(Common Place, 129)

























Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis


o0i5 i W I n9 II
I | a MI 1 I~ -r go ;


PIn {r$R FI I.
IM WL&W








I L**, L i i dA u -
1`7771 rT_,W=. I In-' *

I[ In i I
B ^rtoo gl r
aS ^ ra w
Lt,^i i 'Flfac.od/\

in a -r r "e 1







CURRENT ZONING VERSUS
CURRENT ZONING C011BS


TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGN
TKArITIONAL NIEIGI 18IORHOO DESIGN


El
^ a










D El E
r EfJ














Qz# I



M 0 Cj -





Houwn SuMbdiWon


Cift Blocks




ao' 0 0
qntC^OOP gODo



D~Ic~cD o J OLo
OO300008 3O


Sma ToMn


(CATHERINE JOHNSON)
(Home from Nowhere, 124)
This graphic compares the growth patterns of current zoning practices with that
of Traditional Neighborhood Design zoning. TND zoning leads to more compact,
efficient growth. This is the kind of growth encouraged by the Alachua County
Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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o A Gainesville example of a "Neotraditional" development is Haile
Plantation:


(From: http://user.gru.net/domz/hail.htm)
Haile Plantation is not in our study area. It is just to the south of the study area,
off of Tower Road. Not all of Haile Plantation is "Neotraditional", but it has many
characteristics. It is isolated and somewhat disconnected from Gainesville, but it
does offer many examples and lessons for future growth in Alachua County.
Smaller lots, walkable streets, walking and biking paths, and a village center are
among some of its strongest assets.


An interconnected open space and recreational facility should be located
as continuously as possible throughout the study area. This would
provide a network of walking and biking paths from one community to
another, as well as providing a safe place to walk and bike without
encountering automobiles.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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What is a "sense of community"? A "sense of community" can be
defined in many ways. Clear delineations of where one community ends
and another begins are important when creating a sense of community.
There should an overlying common design, architecture, or other feature
that is repeated throughout a community. This provides the community
with an "identity". Residents can relate to their community and people of
other communities can recognize that this is a cohesive unified place. The
Comprehensive Plan calls for the use of "well-defined centers and edges,
with public or civic space or civic use as an organizing element around which
other development is located" and "an integrated range of housing types and
lot sizes to serve a variety of age and income groups". This would also add
to the "sense of community" by integrating people of all kinds and adding
to the variety and vitality of the community.
Here is a graphic of a grid system of interconnecting streets and
blocks providing multiple routes, which is designed for multi-use
where all modes of transportation are equitably served.
STREET SYSTEMS














ARTERIAL AND CUL-DE-SACS GRID OF STREETS
(CATHERINE JOHNSON)
(Home from Nowhere, 120)
The example on the left is how conventional suburban streets are laid out. The
graphic on the right is an interconnected grid of streets. The street grid does not



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have to be regular and placed at right angles. The grid can be adjusted for visual
interest or to accommodate natural features in the landscape.



Policy 1.6.5. A balanced mixture of uses shall be provided:
Here are some examples of how residential uses can integrated
above retail uses:



















,ia 'UPPE FLOOR '






(Blueprints for a Better Future, 148)



-" (.UPPE FLOO|



IAINr 1'I AOl
(Blueprints for a Better Future, 148)

This is an example of a building that has retail at street level and apartments
above.

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 62
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seM in Madison Avenue
a TO 21 40
Figure 10-24. This site plan shows housing above shops and also at the far end of the rear parking lot, in a
new development on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The practicability of combining residential, retail, and of-
fice uses is being rediscovered by a growing number of developers, although such projects air unfortunately
uncommon in small town.% (where such examples are typically confined to nineteenth-century "Main Street"
situations, because of habit, inertia, ignorance, building codes, and single-use zoning). Planners should take the
lead in making the viability of well-designed multiple-use buildings better known among developers and bank-
ers in their communities. Sourn- Robert Hobble. AIA.

(Rural by Design, 174)








Policy 1.6.6. Architectural and site design techniques shall be used to define

pedestrian and public space and to provide human scale:

What does "human scale" mean?

Human scale is design that takes the human form and dimensions into

account. It looks and feels comfortable to the people experiencing it. This

is a contrast to the "auto-scaled" develop that has become the most

common in traditional development.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 63
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2"4 Stav-tl envimnrnmnts di-igned with the
p iestrian in mind facilitate a vital puibi.: ralm.
AmeIre: Rti

(SafeScape, 25)


2-8 Statenty, which optimize tranparnWV
t.acW6 te caSual t-r'Matwn~ l tVtw'n Ihe public
ani pnvate nralmn.
S-Htor tt-rttKirkinT


2-7 N'tihlt.lhki with fnwml vy.in.rontntdl hom anod |.1wlrIn- tultrilite to "ty, on the si at t."
SR- IMa-t Kwjr-

(SafeScape, 26-27)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
A Land Use Element Analysis


Mxv RK4wrt Kleber








o What is an A/B street grid system?
According to the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan, an A/B street
grid is "a technique for improving the pedestrian design and continuity of
mixed use areas. The A streets maintain complete pedestrian continuity
through requirements for spatial definition of the street and are
organized in a continuous network so that the pedestrian experience is
uninterrupted. The B streets group together necessary auto-oriented uses
(e.g., parking lots, loading and service areas) rather than allow them to be
dispersed throughout the site where they would disrupt pedestrian
continuity".
o "A" streets are streets for pedestrians, bikes, and the majority of
traffic. "B" streets are for service uses, such as alleys, parking,
and loading areas. Traditional Neighborhood Design uses this
pattern often to establish a hierarchy of streets within a
neighborhood. One of the communities in this study area, Town
of Tioga, uses alleys for garbage collection and garage access.
The following picture is of an alley in Town of Tioga:






















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o What is CPTED?
CPTED stands for "Crime Prevention Through Community Design.
Some basic principles of CPTED are: (SafeScape, 20-21)
1. Natural access control: "A space should be designed so that
criminals are not afforded any reasonable chance to explain why
they trespassed".
2. Natural surveillance: "...a space should be designed so that users
feel they will be seen or observed if they do something illegitimate".
3. Territorial reinforcement: "the use of physical attributes that express
ownership, such as fences, pavement treatments, art, signage, and
landscaping".
o CPTED principles are important to the goals of the Comprehensive
Plan because of the importance of the public realm. If you want people
to use public spaces, you must ensure that they are designed with
safety in mind.


Policy 1.6.8. Parking:
According to the Comprehensive Plan, parking lots should:
o Minimize impacts on pedestrians
o On-street parking with landscaping that calms traffic and creates a
safe pedestrian environment
o Be screened from streets, sidewalks, and open spaces
o Have safe pedestrian connections to business entrances
o Incorporate shared lots to minimize the amount of paving












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* Policy 1.6.11. : Surface stormwater facilities as a physical or visual amenity:


Example(s) of creative surface stormwater facilities:


(From: www.lgc.org)
Village Homes, Davis, CA


(From: http://depts.washington.edu)
Evergreen School, Restoration Project,
Washington


Stormwater facilities can be designed as beautiful and functional solutions to
our stormwater issues. Instead of using traditional drains and piping
stormwater to sewers or unattractive rectangular retention ponds, stormwater
can become streams and ponds where surface area, time, and plant life can
be used to cleanse the draining water before it reaches the aquifer. This is
especially important in the study area because of the easy accessibility of the
aquifer.










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2.0 Urban Activity Center Policies


Objective 2.1 Provide for the concentration of mixtures of higher intensity and
density land uses through designation of Activity Centers on the Future Land Use
Map, with standards to ensure pedestrian-friendly compact centers connected to a
multi-modal transportation system and integrated with surrounding uses in the
urban area.
Policy 2.1.1. Intensity levels:
o High activity: Regional shopping center
o Medium activity: Community shopping center
o Low activity: Neighborhood shopping center
Policy 2.1.3. Confine sites to intersections:
Activity centers should be confined to multi-modal intersections to ensure
accessibility to the community.
Policy 2.1.5. Activity centers shall be compact, multi-purpose, mixed use
centers which incorporate civic and open spaces:
What is the importance of civic spaces in activity centers?
o Civic spaces are important in activity centers because these are
wonderful opportunities for social and community interaction. Civic
spaces such as courtyards and parks allow for casual meetings,
city events, concerts, farmer's markets, and other social events.
Increasing socialization is an important goal of this comprehensive
plan.
Policy 2.1.8. Site and building design and scale shall be integrated within the
surrounding community:
Design development techniques to integrate the establishment into
the surrounding community:
o "creation of a series of smaller, well defined customer entrances to
break up long facades and provide pedestrian scale and variety, that
may be achieved through the use of 'liner buildings'"
liner buildings: buildings containing shops, restaurants, etc.
that are placed between the existing shopping area and the

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roadway; this reduces the large expanse of parking, creates

a more intimate streetscape, and creates more commercial

space


-VVk2wwwwww I )


Before:
Excessive Parking
Pedestrian Un-friendly
No presence on the street


Liner Buildings


After:
Ample Parking
Pedestrian Friendly
Tradiional street front created


The county could use these buildings to increase commercial space without

sprawling out onto new land. The reduction or parking space requirements

should be incorporated in the Comprehensive Plan.

The following example of the use of "liner buildings" comes

from Maitland, Florida. Here they are used to hide parking

garages and create a sense of enclosure around this civic

space.


(From: www.ci.maitland.fl.us)


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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Here are some more ways commercial can be designed to

look more like a "traditional" streetfront:

Three Ways to Integrate Large Stores into Streetfront Retail Areas


J c t6 <4 1


This diagram shows a streetfront
entrance. A rear entrance can be
used by thmoe who park In the rear.
Because both entrances re at the
for end of the store and outside
the checkout orea, security is not
compromised. Large windows along
the street allow for displays of
merchandise.


The small shops along the street-
front can be Individual retailers or
special departments of the large
retailer. Entry to the small shops
can be from inside the anchor
store or from the street. With the
small shops at the front, the build-
ing has a more comfortable scale.
The entrance to the large store is
the some configuration as that In
the first diagram.


This layout creates a true "main
street" character. The large store
has a prominent streerfront en-
trance, and small shops add vari-
ety to the facade while benefit-
ing from traffic created by the
larger store.


(Trends and Innovations, 95)







































Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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* Policy 2.1.13. Surface stormwater shall be functional as well as provide
visual or physical amenities:
Stormwater can be a physical andlor visual amenity to the
community:
o Stormwater retention can be used to create water features in an
open space. This can be used by the residents as a park or just as
a nice view from homes and roadways. These are some examples
of stormwater as amenity from our study area (Town of Tioga):


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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* Policy 2.5.9. Jonesville Low Activity Center/Employment:

Jonesville Activity Center is to be designed as a planned

development.


Man


wan


.A


Jonesville
Low Acivity Centert
Employment

AP-


8SS Wefton
a ShappWV Carag
OPM SODK


=2n==XL-::t--

Jill Sl/i


LT 1^


a


(From Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020)


Proposed addition to Open Space in Jonesville Activity Center.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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This illustrates how a civic green network could be incorporated throughout the
Jonesville Activity Center in our study area. This map is more consistent with the
goals of the Comprehensive Plan than the map they created.


o A public school should be built in the larger institutional space
in the activity center. A library would make an appropriate (and
needed) addition to this area as well. Siting it near the school
would allow the school and library to work together more easily.
Right now, library needs are met in this area with a "Bookmobile"
that parks in the Publix shopping plaza.


.. ,- -- '


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3.0 Commercial Policies


Objective 3.1 A variety of commercial land use categories shall be established to
allow for a range of commercial activities within designated areas, distributed to
make efficient use of infrastructure and land, and to meet market demand.
Commercial development shall include such uses as retail sales, professional
services, business services, and personal services and storage (mini-warehouses).
Policy 3.1.2. Discourage strip commercial:
What is "strip commercial"?
o "Strip commercial" includes commercial development that lines a
major roadway and is designed to cater to the automobile, not the
pedestrian. They create no streetfront, in fact, they create only
parking lots lining roadways with small stores visible beyond.
















Existing strip commercial in study area.


Policy 3.8.1. "The County shall promote the development of commercial uses
in planned commercial centers and discourage scattered, incremental and
strip commercial development".
o Developing commercial in planned areas prevents the sprawling
out of shopping centers and strip malls that add to traffic problems
and are not aesthetically pleasing.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 74
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Policy 3.11. Rural Commercial Uses
o These are only to be developed in rural clusters where: they serve
only the immediate population, at the intersections of major
roadways, and meet infrastructure requirements.


Future commercial development is encouraged in activity centers and
designated places only. Future commercial development can be more
attractive than the conventional strip mall. Here is an example of existing
commercial in our study area:


Willow Walk Business Center


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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6.0 Rural and Agricultural Policies



Objective 6.1: Rural areas shall protect rural and agricultural areas in a manner

consistent with the retention of agriculture, open space, and rural character, and the

preservation of environmentally sensitive areas, and efficient use of public services

and facilities.

A Variety of Open Spaces in the Fields of St. Croix,
Lake Elmo, Minnesota


Almost two-thirds of the 226-acre site is retained in permanent open space,
including restored native prairie lands, farmland, ponds, horticultural gardens,
and wooded areas.


The Fields of St. Croix, St. Elmo, Minnesota. The development preserved
farm fields that continue to be cultivated for crops and also function as valued
open space for residents.

(The Practice of Sustainable Development, 103)


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This is an example of a development that conserved open space and retained
agricultural activities.
The focus of this section, for this study's purposes, is the clustering of
residential development outside the urban services line.
This has been one of the most contentious points of the Alachua County
Comprehensive Plan. (See section on Comprehensive Plan controversy, p.9-10)
Furthermore, a large part of our study area is outside the urban services line and
has a very agricultural character.
Policy 6.2.6. Residential subdivisions of more than six lots in the
Rural/Agricultural area shall be designed to provide:
o Paved, interconnected, internal, and local roads that are dedicated to
a responsible maintenance entity.
o Limited driveways, including the use of common access driveways, on
rural collector and arterial roads.
















(From: Rural by Design)


Policy 6.2.7 The Development Review Committee shall not authorize more
than two hundred lots smaller than twenty acres in the Rural/Agricultural
area in any calendar year.





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Policy 6.2.9. New rural residential subdivisions shall be clustered in order to
protect the characteristics and features of rural areas through the following
goals:


o Protect natural and historic resources.
o Support continued agricultural activities by preserving viable soils
and effective land masses.
o Minimize land use conflicts.
o Provide recreational and habitat corridors through linked open space
networks.
o Achieve flexibility, efficiency, and cost reduction in the provision of
services and infrastructure.
o Reduce natural hazard risks to life and property.
Policy 6.2.10 Density and Intensity
o Maximum: One dwelling unit per five acres
Policy 6.2.12 Open Space Area
o 80% of the site maintained as open space
o Designed as a single, contiguous space
o Connect to open spaces on other properties to create open space
networks
o Permitted uses: conservation, recreation, silviculture, non-intensive
agriculture, stormwater management
o All future development in designated open space areas is prohibited.
Policy 6.2.13. Developed Area
1. Flexible home siting and lot sizes.
o Ownership lines should follow existing features, such as tree lines
or contours.
2. Development impacts within developed area. Development impacts
and disturbance caused by buildings or construction to topography
and existing site features within the developed area shall be minimized
through the following strategies:

Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: 78
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o Locating residences and structures adjacent to tree lines and
wooded field edges and avoiding placement in open fields,
consistent with Firewise principles:
o Establishing a fuel reduction zone, the width of which varies
depending on slope and types of surrounding vegetation
o Removing dead or dying vegetation and woody debris on the
ground
o Pruning of existing trees to prevent "ladder" effects of
climbing flames
o Minimum spacing between crowns of trees
o An area of irrigated, moist plants only (such as a green lawn)
immediately adjacent to a house
o Planting of fire-resistant species (e.g. those that do not
produce a lot of litter and are not highly flammable)
(From: www.firewise.org)
o There may be conflicts between the Comprehensive Plan
and the Firewise Principles it recommends using. For
example, Firewise establishes an area around a house that
cannot be planted because it would create fuel for fires. The
Comprehensive Plan doesn't allow these distances in
clusters. The Comprehensive Plan should be updated to
address this concern.
o Preserving the maximum amount of natural vegetation by careful
siting of development.
o Limiting the size of building envelopes and locating them in areas
most suitable for development.
o Locating roads to minimize cut and fill.
o Providing buffers and setbacks from wetlands and surface waters.
o Use of common driveways.
o Encouraging community wells and septic systems within the most
suitable soils.

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o Designing stormwater to maximize overland flow through natural
drainage systems and grassed overland (roadside and lot line)
swales. The use of plants and natural land forms shall be required
to slow, hold, and treat runoff from development.


An important point to understand about cluster development is that it is more
valuable in the long term than traditional development. In addition to being more
efficient with land and infrastructure, cluster development actually appreciates in
value higher than traditional development.

Appredation Diffefences Over 20 Years
between Two Subdvions
Orchad Vakey Echo Hil
1$112000



4-
$134. 200 ." .t.M



........ .'........,






coIn tion. vs. op.. sp,






ur The value of neighborhood open space
in subdivision design is illustrated in thcse two
graphs of house price appreciation in two subdivi-
lons in Amherst,. Masschus'tts built at the same
time and at the same overall density. Although homes
in both developments were very similar in size and in
original sales price, after 20 years the ones in the sub-
division with smaller lots and 36 acrs of common
open space division selling for an avustra of $17100
mor than their counterparts on lots twice the size.

(Rural by Design, 238)
Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Pian 2001-2020: 80
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Figure 12-3. In the Route 3 corridor west of Fredericksburg, Virginia, more detailed aerial perspective sketches
we prepared for Spotsylvania County by UDA, to show how conventional suburban zoning would eventually
dahsty the cultural landscape along this rural highway linking two major Civil War battlefields, and to demon-
strate how prototypical farm clusters and compact villages could be employed to preserve the essential charac-
ter of this historically significant area. The adoption of those design approaches was recommended as a
(Rural by Design, 200)


Here we can see how clustering conserves open space better than traditional

development.

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Figure 12-6. On unwooded sites, such as open fields or pastures, it is even more important to encourage (or
require) clustering of new development. Even on relatively shallow sites, where there is little opportunity to
locate homes far from the road, such as against a distant treeline, clustering principles can help reduce roadside
clutter and preserve some open vistas. These three sketches, from Managiig ChaJge: A Pilot Study in Rtmi De-
sign and Planning (Doble et al., 1992) show techniques being advocated by the Tug Hill Commission in upstate
New York, where the cost of constructing paved subdivision streets operates as a strong disincentive for rural
landowners to subdivide their property in any way other than through "strip lots" along existing public roads.
This example shows several gravel-surfaced shared driveways, built to standards appropriate for the amount of
traffic they must accommodate.

(Rural by Design, 206)
A Existing farm configuration
B Six traditional "frontage lots" developed on farm site

C Clustering allows for more homes while conserving both the original and much

of the open space


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Figure 14-3. In this schematic diagram of a cluster plan for areas where base zoning density is vey low, 20 one-
acre houselots with permanent views of the rangeland or farmland have been created, while preserving 80 per-
cent of the 100-acre tract as open space. They are accessed from gravel surfaced "country lanes" or shared
drives, constructed to official standards appropriate for their light traffic load (see Chapter 11. The alternative
would be to divide this resource into large lots or farmettes, in sizes that would not be viable for commercial
production (but which would succeed in cluttering the countryside, despoiling the view, and needlessly remov-
ing another 80 acres from its traditional rural use).

(Rural by Design, 232)
A 100-acre site with 20 lots developed while retaining 80 acres of open space.

This plan shows that clustering need not be complicated in order to accomplish
the open space preservation goals of the Comprehensive Plan. Each homesite
is on a large one-acre lot and has privacy and a preserved view of the open
space.


Understanding the Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020:
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Clustering maintains a site's rural character:


Figure A (rad by 25% as n-ar)
44crepafrl
20 ot (2 sces each)
N open ac m tour
No pomd access emcep kom foumir tos


Figure 8 (tted by 75% as *ruar
44 aeo PtWel
20 tots (3/4 acre ach)
25 acMsot open space
Pon access fotr a resioemts


Figure 3-3. Schenmatic illustrations from the preerenie Msurvvy conducted by thew ivngston County (M-hiian)
Planning Department to identify the kind of rural .ubdivision layout mnit dAirid by local residents and officials,

(Rural by Design, 31)
This diagram shows that more people consider the "clustered" development on

the right to be "rural" in character. Only 25% of the people surveyed thought the

development done in the traditional manner had a "rural" feel.



















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Recommendations


The most important issue to discuss about the Comprehensive Plan is that
some of it is too vague to carry any real power. If the County really wants to
achieve the goals set forth in this Comprehensive Plan, they must be more
specific about their policies. In the next section there is an outline of some of the
areas where the Comprehensive Plan could be stronger.


1. For the Comprehensive Plan to gain more strength and produce real
change, the Principles should be elaborated on and made more specific.
They make wonderful generalized statements about the kind of growth
that is desired for the County, but they do not explain enough of their
intent. It would also clarify the Comprehensive Plan if graphics were
included in the document.


2. Parts of Gainesville are already considered pedestrian and bike-friendly
when compared to most other American cities. Alachua County has the
opportunity to expand on that and become truly multi-modal.
Unfortunately, there are no bike trails or bicycle friendly areas within this
study area. It is recommended that these be incorporated in the western
part of the county in the future, as much of the growth is taking place
there. On the following page is a map of a community scale bicycle trail
connections:













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aas" Study Area Proposed Bicycle Trail Connection Map


These trails could connect to regional trails and become points of beginning and
access for more local, neighborhood scaled trails.


3. Most of the study area includes rural land and would be too spread out to
incorporate walking trails for employment or shopping access. However,
there are many opportunities for recreational trails to be included in the
study area. The above map shows the only trail of any kind that is even
near the study area: The San Felasco Hammock Trail. The
Comprehensive Plan should be updated to include walking and hiking
trails into the western part of Alachua County.





4. The comprehensive plan does not state what they consider walking and
biking distance, and should be updated to include the specific distances

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that the county desires. There have been many studies about what is an
appropriate walking distance, the averages range from five to minutes
walking time. One way the county could decide what distances to use
would be to take a survey in the various parts of the county to find out
what the citizens would like to see used.


5. One of the biggest obstacles to the study area is the fact that nearly every
residential development is walled and/or gated. This goes against many
of the goals of the Comprehensive Plan and creates a disconnected,
pedestrian un-friendly environment. The Comprehensive Plan should
include policies for the current and/or future use of these walls and gates.


6. The Comprehensive Plan should include specific goals for maintaining
affordability of accessory units. Without creating real and specific policies
for ensuring that these units remain affordable, the County runs the risk of
the market causing the units to be priced above the "affordable" range.


7. An interconnected open space and recreational network should be located
as continuously as possible throughout the study area. The
Comprehensive Plan does not locate possible future land for this use.
This land needs to be identified to ensure its availability for open space in
the future. If not, there may not be any continuous land left for open
space creation.


8. A more extensive open space network needs to be specified for the
Jonesville Activity Center in the study area. On the next page is a
comparison of the County's proposed open space network for the
Jonesville Activity Center, and this study's proposal for a more extensive
open space network.




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(From Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020)


Example addition to Open Space in Jonesville Activity Center.


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9. The reduction or parking space requirements should be incorporated in
the Comprehensive Plan. Many parking lots throughout the County are
built with an excessive number of spaces. This creates a "wasteland" of
asphalt and cars in front of and around many commercial buildings.
These "wastelands" could be used for the construction of "liner buildings".
Businesses should also be encouraged to share parking lots whenever
possible. A study of parking lot use should be conducted to discover a
more appropriate parking space to building use ratio.

10. There may be conflicts between the Comprehensive Plan and the Firewise
Principles it recommends using. The Rural cluster guidelines are an
especially conflicting area of concern. Distances of planting and buildings
called for in Firewise, and these distances called for in the Comprehensive
Plan are not compatible in some cases. The Comprehensive Plan should
be updated to address this concern.
























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Conclusion


The Alachua County Comprehensive Plan for 2001-2020 goes a long way
in trying to create a more sustainable county. It sets forth many new and
innovative ideas for improving connectivity and protecting our rural landscape.
The first step has been taken towards a sustainable Alachua County. Now,
the county must take the next step and ensure that these goals are met. A
more specific and graphically powerful Comprehensive Plan should be
created. This would help ensure that the goals of the County be reached as
they are intended.
































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Works Cited

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Community Affairs, 1997.
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Appendix

Articles from the Gainesville Sun:

Reprinted from www.gainesvillesun.com........................................... 93-109

Alachua County Comprehensive Plan 2001-2020: Land Use Element
(Printed from Alachua County Comprehensive Plan CD-ROM: numbered
independently)

General Land Use Element Goals

1.0 Urban Residential Policies

2.0 Urban Activity Center Policies

3.0 Commercial Policies

6.0 Rural and Agricultural Policies


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Comprehensive plan works


Kris Pagenkopf,
Gainesville

Alachua County's comprehensive plan is being challenged, and the new County
Commission has instructed its staff to compromise on elements of the plan approved
last year.

The Tampa Tribune just concluded a series, "Growing Broke," that demonstrates how
our population growth is unsustainable, and the Orlando Sentinel just concluded a
series, "Florida's Water Crisis."

Both series underscore the need for comprehensive plans that direct growth to areas
already serviced by infrastructure and preserve natural areas that are critical to our
water resources.

Alachua County's comprehensive plan, as written, does just that.

The challengers ignore the unsustainable nature and effects of the kind of growth
that we and other areas of the state have experienced. They would have us degrade
our future for sprawl and its associated costs (which you and I will pay for as usual).

Let the commissioners know that you do not want our new comprehensive plan
weakened. Call them at (352) 264-6900 or e-mail at bocc@ co.alachua.fl.us.


March 11. 2003 6:01AM


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