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How To Ignore A Stampeding Elephant

Responding to the important Climate Change Committee report on reducing emissions from land use and preparing for climate change, I thought it best not to get too aeriated by the tweet from chief executive Chris Stark to the effect that now is the time to start thinking about how we use land. Just f...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 November 2018

Building Better, Building Controversially

I suppose inviting a controversialist to chair anything is a way of securing attention for it but, as a process, it is not without its pitfalls. It is, on the other hand, a good way of diverting attention from some other aspect of the process you wish people to ignore. Professor Sir Roger Scruton, n...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 November 2018

Connected Garden Suburbs

Population growth, housing challenges and climate change are all things we need to take very seriously, nowhere more so than in the location of new development. So it is really disappointing when a well-intentioned and carefully thought-out initiative intended to address these issues comes up with t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 October 2018

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US state capital aims at densification

Added on 12 December 2017

Olympia, the capital of Washington state, has proposed changes to planning regulations that would enable its population to grow by 38 percent by 2040 without an increase in urban sprawl.

The City′s latest comprehensive plan update aims to achieve denser development in urban areas by a series of regulatory changes. It will make it easier to build ″missing middle housing″, including basement apartments, backyard cottages, duplexes and triplexes, town houses, ″tiny houses″ etc..

″Like a lot of cities, we have low-density zoning districts that currently just allow single-family houses with very limited ability to do anything else″ says Leonard Bauer, Olympia′s deputy director of planning and development. ″We have some provision for townhouses, but beyond that, there′s not much for missing middle and those zones occupy nearly three-quarters of the city′s area.″

City planners aim to have the proposals in front of the Council early next year.

City of Olympia

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