Every quarter I pitch in to help deliver the Squire Park neighborhood newsletters. In addition to being pretty great exercise (it gives me a whole new respect for our local postal carriers who go up and down the hills all day), it gives me a good chance to see some of our new neighborhood real estate up close.
After finishing my deliveries yesterday afternoon, I think I’ve come up with a pretty good way to judge whether a building fits into the neighborhood or not. If you can find a way to put a newsletter on a front porch without feeling like you’re trespassing, it’s good. If not, it’s horrible and the developer should be prevented from ever building in the city again.
I’m really surprised at how many of the new townhouse projects on my route have no approachable front entrances. Instead they’ve got tall, foreboding fences and the central car plazas that serve as the main entries to the homes. They’re completely walled off from their neighbors.
I know some of the rules changed last year that should help with fences, etc. But maybe we need a simpler rule: Can a neighbor see and approach a front door to say Hi or drop something off?
Hopefully the answer will always be yes on new projects. For those that don’t meet that criteria, I’m sorry that you didn’t get a newsletter…
Did not end up going through last year, it’s scheduled for work by Council this year.
The Administrative Design Review process will result in better design. But, I think one more thing is needed. There should be a big board with the design alternatives posted on the lot for public comment.
I heard Lt. Hayes mention that as the economy goes down, those hidden courtyards make it very difficult to have eyes on the street…
I understand what you are saying here Scott, however, as a person who owns a house with a locked fence before the approach to the door, I like it. It keeps people from leaving phone books, advertising materials and, yes, newsletters at and very often tucked into my door (jamb) while I am away thus indicating to would be burgulars that I am not home!!!!!~ (Yes, this is a topic that I have an issue with)
Now, as far as banning builders in the area, I am fine with that as the number one builder in the area that builds homes & fences like that of which you describe is: Miklos Kohary and about 14 other divisions of his empire. His homes are slapped together with a lick and a promise and sold for top dollar. They look great at first, but look out! So as far as banning him, Nelson, MZ, etc., etc. I am all for it. But I am also for banning the illegal littering of these news letters on my property when they are not invited. It only leads to burglary. Seriously, Scott.
My wife & I are readers & posters to your blog from the beginning. I wanted to thank you very, very much for telling us that we do not belong because of the type of home we chose! Do we not belong because we are white as well? I would appreciate your opinion.
I can see that my post could be offensive to people who have homes with some of the features I described, and I apologize for that.
But I do feel strongly that development rules should be changed to prevent those kinds of things from being built by developers in the future. In those situations, existing developments are grandfathered in, so no one is forced by law to change existing designs.
I also understand people’s desires for the feeling of security and privacy that large fences and protected entrances provide. But I think in the long term they exacerbate the crime situation by taking eyes off the streets and disconnecting people from their neighbors.
I’ll also forward your comments about potential security issues to the Squire Park board for consideration. I still think that they provide a great community service to let people know what’s going on around them, especially for the large group of people in the neighborhood who don’t have access to things like CDNews. Please also understand that there’s a large group of people that donate a lot of their time and money to organize, print, and deliver the newsletters for the community’s benefit, and not as a part of any commercial venture. The goal is to get more people involved in their community and hopefully make this a better and better place to be over the long term.