Neighborhood Model – revisited?

This is potentially big news … and a bit exciting. Courtesy of WINA.

Citizen advocacy groups and some Albemarle Supervisors believe the new year will bring a renewed focus on the county’s Neighborhood Model. There are vocal critics of Albemarle’s approach to suburban sprawl who says it’s time the model got tweaked. … Loach is citing the county’s own surveys, which show dwindling support for the current approach.

I am curious to know which citizen advocacy groups they are referring to. In light of the BoS meeting earlier this month where two of the Supervisors expressed real reservations about the Neighborhood Model’s direction, I look forward to seeing how this shakes out. 2006 should be a big year.

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  1. Jim December 29, 2005 at 12:00

    Generally, I support the Neighborhood Model as well.

    I think that the biggest problems with the Neighborhood Model are that

    1) it is considered the “end-all, be-all” and does not have the necessary flexibility; not all developments are or should be the same.
    2) Most people don’t want inter-connectivity between their neighborhoods. The resulting traffic flow would take away from the “neighborhood-ness” of their neighborhoods. People like cul-de-sacs.
    3) There does not seem to be sufficient planning for infrastructure. Christian Schoenwald had a great description of what is happening here – we are developing little cities that will develop outward from themselves until they are all “mushed-up” together.

    I think that it does need to be revised, with more public input. There are those who blindly follow the Neighborhood Model because they are so personally invested in it and its conception; they are not helpful. The theory is good; implementation has been lackluster.

  2. Duane Gran December 29, 2005 at 11:47

    I’m curious if there is a better alternative put forward. Based on everything I’ve read about the neighborhood model, I consider myself in support of it. It is meant to discourage development in rural areas and to keep Albemarle 90% rural with a dense development ring around the city. Additionally, developments are required to permit traffic to flow between them, thereby relieving traffic from the main roads.

  3. Ray Hyde January 2, 2006 at 00:31

    “It is meant to discourage development in rural areas and to keep Albemarle 90% rural with a dense development ring around the city.”

    As much as we like rural areas, this is a really dumb idea. If it is enforced it will make homes in town very expensive (due to scarcity) and land in the countryside virtually worthless. The result will be that people will flee the city for the countryside or agitate to change the rules.

    If you want to save the countryside, you have to find a way to make it as valuable as the city. At present the city is not only not paying it’s own way, it is sucking the life out of the countryside, and using it to dump its trash. In New Zealand there is a progrm under which rural stwards of the land get paid for their services. And that is in addition to farm subsidies.

    The difference between a developer and a conservationist is that a developer is willing to pay for what he wants.