Among the blight clearance strategies of a Redevelopment and Housing Authority they routinely purchase properties that are in poor condition or foreclosed or otherwise unsuitable for the health, safety and welfare of a neighborhood. This approach is especially effective when contiguous properties are involved and it can implement several houses at a time to replace….
The recent editorial in the Virginian Pilot is in favor of the campaign to squash plans for the construction of the Midtown Tunnel. Agreed. The extension of The TIDE Light Rail to Portsmouth is the better alternative. How fortuitous that the tunnel project could be declared unconstitutional. There are plenty of common sense reasons to….
The idea of diverting the LR route from the rail Right of Way to the service access roads at Hilltop came from a resident participant at the Strategic Growth Area public forum. That was only last month. The consultant has already offered alternate routes, how responsive is that? Bravo! The best thing about the extension….
There is political momentum and apparently popular enthusiasm in the press for extending the Tide light rail to the resort area of Virginia Beach. I am anxious to vote my support for that project. I consider the light rail proponents to be cultural visionaries for the future of the whole of Hampton Roads. It takes….
This is a big step forward since there was a previous referendum in 1999 that was voted down. I was among the testifiers at the council hearing vote the night of April 24, 2012. There were speakers for and against at the hearing. A primary theme of the nay sayers was that they wanted to….
Starting March 1, 2012, the entire State of Virginia began enforcing a new building code entitled the 2009 Virginia Construction Code. That means that a new permit issued for a residence after this date is required to adhere to additional regulations and modifications to the former codes that had been in force. It is applies….
The choice for meeting code requirements in Hampton Roads Virginia are either to provide calculations to demonstrate compliance in accordance with the prescriptive code requirements by the classic method, or to hire a structural engineer to analyze the house design on an individual basis.
Does a proper vision of the future form of Hampton Roads include light rail transit? The question is more controversial than I imagined, most recently triggered by the story in the Virginia Pilot that there could be a referendum in November for the extension of the Tide into Virginia Beach. As of this writing, there….
A really BIG item this week is the page one story 1/29/12 about a possible referendum in November for extending The Tide light rail into Virginia Beach. This is remarkable since it un-stalls the opportunity to get federal stimulus funds for the project before it’s too late.
Sears (and Kmart) announced, less than a week after Christmas 2011, that it would be closing over a hundred under-performing retail locations. It included the Sears in Norfolk, VA, in Military Circle Mall (renamed The Gallery). There is little doubt that the luster of indoor retail malls has faded (is fading) going the way of….
The front page of the Virginian Pilot (1/17/2012) shows the first of five proposals for the resurrection of Norfolk Waterside. Titled BOLD PLAN FOR WATERSIDE, submitted by Harvey Lindsay Development, there is some inconsistent thinking in this particular Bold Plan for Waterside: 1. Waterside was not provided a stop on the Tide Light Rail. This….
I stumbled across a podcast in Urbanophile about urban planning related to faith-based stakeholders. This post makes the point that resiliency to recover from “place stress” can be greatly influenced by the collective religious fervor of the inhabitants. I agree. “Place stress” (my label) can be related to recovery from natural disasters, social persecution and/or….
Do you have a favorite street in Hampton Roads, to see and experience, especially during the holiday season? I contend that the best places are the streets we where we get out and walk, no drive-by street is eligible. The best streets are safe, scenic, friendly and likely to be frequented by others enjoying the….
A motto of the Lighthouse Center in Virginia Beach is that “we are homeless, not helpless.” As it turns out there could hardly be a more prophetic slogan. The current facility, located at 825 18th Street, has to go. It is slam in the middle of the Convention Center corridor that is slated for development….
Since its inception in 2000, the The Rose Architectural Fellowship has achieved dramatic results in neighborhoods across the country. To date, 35 Rose Fellows have been sponsored, to devote their design and organizational skills to help their host organizations create or preserve over 7,000 sustainable, affordable homes and 43 much-needed community facilities for low-income people….
The Resort Area Strategic Action Plan (RASAP) has been an established planning direction for a couple of years in Virginia Beach. It is already being implemented in the mixed-use project underway on the block where Jewish Mother and Heritage Natural Market used to be. A new code is going to make this type of development….
A recent report has been disseminated by the City of Virginia Beach, Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation, entitled Comparative Analysis of Homeless Facilities and Programs in Selected U.S. Cities and Counties. The study was written in response to citizen advocates for the homeless, that Virginia Beach is not doing enough for its homeless population…..
The restoration and preservation of quality neighborhoods with sound housing stock is a common mantra for city planners and redevelopment authorities. The typical agenda for achieving this ideal is by setting limits of where and what can be built within jurisdictional boundaries; regulating the methods and quality of construction by State building codes. This effort….
“Not in my back yard.” The term NIMBY (or the derivative Nimbyism) is used pejoratively to describe opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development close to them. Use the word “workforce” for a proposed development and there could be stampede of nervous neighbors afraid of what may be moving into their surroundings…..
Community Development Corporations are commonly not-for-profit organizations incorporated to provide programs, offer services and/or engage in other activities that promote and support community development. CDCs typically serve a geographic location such as a neighborhood or a town. Such is the case for the Northern Community Development Corporation of North Carolina, serving the rural counties and….
It is not a crazy notion to imagine Norfolk’s Waterside as a premier restaurant and banquet catering facility. While Waterside has been “the subject of endless studies, surveys and hand-wringing over the years” it continues to sit underutilized and marginally enjoyed, not to mention a financial albatross to the City of Norfolk. Introducing the “Elizabethan….
The website for the City of Hampton, Virginia is low key and …well …neighborly. If you’re curious, click Living in Hampton. I especially like the page for its Neighborhood Office. It is here that a resident can learn about his street community and what identifies its sense of place. This is new urbanism at no additional cost, describing the presence of the features and home styles, already present, that give identity to a neighborhood’s surroundings.
On July 14, 2011 it was announced that U.S. Housing and Urban Development is providing $46.2 million to public housing agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to supply permanent housing and case management for 6,790 homeless veterans in America. It was a low-key announcement. It is a modest investment, especially in….
When the original use of a structure becomes obsolete or is no longer required, as with older buildings from the industrial revolution, architects have the opportunity to change the primary function of the structure, while retaining some of the existing architectural character that makes a building unique. The Captain George’s Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia is….
Redevelopment planners are facing a new challenge for replacing deteriorated single-family houses with new homes that conform to Traditional Neighborhood Design standards, including that prospective buyers cannot qualify for the selling price of the new home. A sagging economic climate has made getting financing to purchase a new home increasing difficult for more and more….
The life expectancy of a 100+ year-old frame houses reaches a point of critical repair or removal that is a challenge for city planners to maintain traditional urban neighborhoods, such as Norfolk, VA. How can city planners control what happens to maintain or restore the original character of these streets? ENTER: The Design Center conveniently operating….
I am kicking off my new blog on the inaugural week of the light rail in Norfolk, Virginia, an appropriate beginning to my “what say you” that is directed at urban planning issues especially as concerns designing houses and residential neighborhood communities, focused on the creation and preservation of what Steve Mouzon www.mouzon.com refers to….