Saturday, October 31, 2009

Meeting at the Loft

We met Wednesday at the A&P Lofts to discuss how zoning density can work. We toured the award winning property and saw examples of how people can work and live in the same space. We discussed how a development can work with the city and obtain the variances needed to make a project work if all of your homework is done. The importance of having a complete plan before going to the city is imperative. We also discussed the importance of getting the local community on your side before you go forward with a project. Community support can go a long way in helping make your project successful. The final thing that we went over was how to organize the structure of the development whether develop the property as a condominium or to parcel the development out as individual fee simple units. We are looking forward to our presentation Monday regarding the demolition and/or moving of an existing structure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Historic Wednesday

We look forward to meeting with you on Wednesday at the A&P Lofts - it will be an informative session about the historic regulations that the delevoper faced and how those obstacles were overcome. We will look at the A&P from the perspective of design and regulations. We will also discuss how effective the historic regulations were in this area... are we willing to overcome similar obstacles if faced with them at our project site?

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Thought you might enjoy this website about cupolas, and hopefully will find it informative as you begin designing the cupola for the Cloverdale property. Look forward to seeing you next week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Though the current zoning of the property (B-1-a) doesn't have minimum height requirements or architectual limits, we prepared a variance application in case any issues came up with proximal continuity. We feel that a collegiate corner building with a cupola will provide a better transition from Huntingdon college to the retail shops, between which our property sits. Thus, in case there are any issues that we would need to address with the Board of Zoning and Adjustment we took the initiative to get them approved.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rezoning Presentation

Our rezoning application is complete and our presentation to you went well. We look forward to the hearing with the planning commision in the expectation that our rezoning request from Institutional to B-1-a will be approved. Compiling our initial site plan was also exciting and we are looking forward to added detail and further letters of interest from possible tenants.

Next week we will present to you a variance request for 2 issues that need to be addressed for the planned development. See you then!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rezoning Request

We look forward to our meeting with you this afternoon - we have gotten some very positive feedback from the prospective tenants, and we will petition the City for the zoning change as soon as we finalize the details today. We think that you will be very pleased with our new ideas. See you soon!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How Hampstead Does It

Hampstead has wide sidewalks, narrow streets, unique lamp posts, and unique use arrangements. The narrow streets, wide sidewalks, and unique lamp posts all deal with how the developer wants to structure control of those areas. Typically, rights-of-way are deicated to the city in order to forego maintenance costs and liability. However, one must also give up control of how that area is used to the city. Hampstead dedicated all the streets, sidewalks, lamps, and trees to the city except the sidewalks, trees, and lamp posts at the entrance and the cobblestone street area also near the entrance. Hampstead wanted to maintain closer control of the look and feel of the sidewalk areas near the entrance because that is the first impression visitors get when they come to Hampstead, thus only the street and associated street parking were dedicated to the city there. Also, the small cobblestone street near the entrance was not dedicated because Hampstead wanted the ability to freely close it off without a permit for events such as farmers' markets. Such closings require permits if the street is dedicated.

Overall the residences and businesses are governed by the Hampstead Residential Association and Hampstead Commercial Association respectively. There is an operating agreement between the two to ensure that they work together on certain issues. These agreements are where restrictions are implemented to control how residents and business owners use their property be it enforcing pet regulations such as leashes or music regulations at bars such as when and how loud the music may be played.

Hampstead is a great example of how a complicated list of issues can be controlled in a clear and efficient manner to ensure that uses normally in conflict can mesh comfortably into a single community development.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today we visited Hampstead in order to study how mixed use developments are managed in order to promote the type of community desired. Hampstead offers several amenities and legal structures that promote its purpose as a stand-alone live-work community where everything you need is at most 5 minutes away.

There are amenities that include a restaurant and bar, gym, farm, lakes, and dog park. Later we will discuss how some of these features are distinct from other communities and how they are legally implemented.