On March 15, 2018, nine of the 11 candidates running in this year’s North Park Planning Committee election shared their thoughts and ideas on a range of topics brought forward by community members in a forum moderated by Andy Pendoley, Director of Planning and Community Engagement at MIG | MJE, a marketing and PR agency.
Click here for candidate bios.
Four priority areas emerged: community engagement, housing, mobility and infrastructure. Challenges and potential solutions in each area are summarized below.
Challenge: How to maximize engagement, input and participation of residents in decisions regarding community development projects.
- Engage community beyond NPPC meetings to ensure that what’s being developed is what the community wants: hold “listening sessions;” inform residents of pending projects in neighborhood newspapers, on Next Door and other social media.
- Emphasize participation in planning group subcommittees; and
- Bridge the disconnect between residents and developers by encouraging developers to engage with community members.
Challenge: Integrating thoughtful design, community character, quality and affordability into high-density housing developments.
- Offer different housing options at various price points (market rate as well as affordable; renters as well as buyers; single family as well as multi-unit) to attract diverse residents.
- Designs should align with community character and attempt to ease the transition from multi-family to single family homes.
- Development projects should be functional as well as attractive in order to retain residents: include amenities, storage, parking.
- Projects and designs should be community-driven and sensitive to residents’ concerns and considerations.
Challenge: Increasing walkability and safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Easing traffic congestion and parking issues.
- Invest in alternative transportation options (public transit, biking) and make them more accessible.
- Add medians, walkabouts and buffers between traffic lanes, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways.
- Separate biking and parking areas.
- Preserve existing on-street parking.
Challenge: New projects strain existing community resources and infrastructure
- Projects should be thoughtfully planned to mitigate impacts on parking and other infrastructure.
- Developers should be required to invest in street improvements and other infrastructure to support their projects.
SoNo Neighborhood Alliance thanks NPPC Chair René Vidales and the nine candidates who participated.