Daily Archives: August 10, 2008

If Phoenix is doing form-based coding, can your community?

Form-Based Coding is a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form based on a community vision and time-tested forms of urbanism.  Does your community or business have an interest in learning the basics of this method of regulating development in order to address the character of a development or neighborhood?

Attendees of FBC 101 will learn how this tool is used to define public space/street standards, building form standards, and the relationship between them.  The course will explain how to determine the scale and appropriate form necessary to achieve a predictable public realm.  Other course activities include an analysis of a community’s DNA, regulating plan variations, and understanding legal issues related to FBC.

This course is the first of a three part series to be offered in Phoenix, AZ.  For more information on FBCs, click here(Oh, and for an update on Phoenix’s FBC efforts, click here.)

  • Course Date: Sept 26 and 27, 2008
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Place: Planning + Design Academy, PURL, 234 N. Central Ave., 8th Floor, Phoenix, AZ
  • Cost: “Early bird” registration is $750 for private/corporate and $700 for public/non-profits.  Course is limited to 50 attendees, registration is not complete until payment is received.
  • Benefits: 14.5 AIA/ASLA LEU’s and APA CM’s.
  • Food: Yes!  Program includes breakfast and lunch.
  • For more information and to register, click here.

Instructors

  • Shaine Alleman, Tiffany & Bosco P.A.
  • Victor Dover, Dover, Kohl & Partners
  • Roger Eastman, City of Flagstaff
  • Mary Madden, Ferrell Madden Lewis Associates
  • Dan Sloan, Esq., McGuire Woods LLP

Midtown Phoenix neighbors to hold Aug. 11 planning meeting

A contingent of residents and businesses in midtown Phoenix are working to organize a Midtown Museum District Neighborhood Association.  Proposed boundaries are McDowell to Indian School, 3rd St. to 1st Ave. from McDowell to Thomas, and 3rd St. to 3rd Ave. from Thomas to Indian School.

The group hopes to keep track of public policy issues affecting the neighborhood; hold social events to building a sense of community; partner with local businesses, cultural attractions, and Light Rail; and form a Block Watch to reduce crime and vandalism.

The association is in the formation stage.  Interested parties are welcome to help decide how the group can work together for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in the neighborhood. 

The first organizational meeting will be held:

  • Date: Monday, August 11, 2008
  • Time: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Place: Central United Methodist Church, 1875 N. Central Ave.
  • Parking: Available in the Palm Lane parking lot; follow signs to church’s East entrance
  • For more information, call 602-758-3129 or send an e-mail.

Infrastructure not keeping up with growth, Phoenix officials say

[Source: “Should you pay more to fix Valley’s pipe problems?,” Christina Boomer, Channel 15 News] — There has been a record-setting submission of development proposals to the City of Phoenix to build in and around Downtown.  Developers are targeting older, single-family neighborhoods.  Assistant Director of Phoenix’s Water Services, Ray Quay, says, “There’s a lot of excitement and people very interested in the urban life.  So we’re seeing a lot more development proposals in the inner city area, the more urbanized portions of the city.”

Quay adds what he thinks is fueling the building craze in those areas, “We’ve heard about the Generation X wanting the urban life.  Phoenix is changing; it’s maturing, a lot of things going on in the downtown area.  We have the rail line going in and that’s quite exciting, ASU coming to downtown has sparked a lot of interest, the new Convention Center is going to be huge and that’s sparked a lot of activity.”

But there is a big, costly, item standing in the way of many of those proposals, aging water and sewer pipes.  Quay says, “We want to be sure that the infrastructure is in place for them to build where they want to build.  I mean that’s the key thing, infrastructure is part of safety.  We need to have adequate water supply to provide fire protection of these buildings and meet the domestic needs of these buildings.  We also need to provide sewer service with out having sanitary sewer overflows.  And so we want to be sure that in the areas that people want to build there’s adequate infrastructure to allow them to do that.”

Quay says one of the reasons why the infrastructure is not adequate is that the lines were built decades ago to support single-family homes.  They did not anticipate back then that there would be interest later in creating larger multi-level development projects such as a condominium tower.  “Predicting urban development is something we’ve never been really good at,” said Quay.  “No city is good at predicting urban development.  The infrastructure that was put in 50 years ago just was not sized because 50 years ago people really didn’t anticipate that that kind of development was going to occur there.  A lot of this new development is happening in areas where the infrastructure really was not designed to handle the higher-densities going on and in those areas infrastructure is needed.  If that development is realized in those places some significant infrastructure are going to have to be made at those locations.  It’s the places around town that we consider are becoming urbanized, 24th Street and Camelback, 44th Street and Camelback, Central and Camelback, Downtown.  Generally it’s those areas that are really becoming more urbanized over time.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Community colleges in/near downtown Phoenix seek higher enrollments

[Ron Sanzone, Arizona Republic] — Registration for classes at the Maricopa Community College District’s 10 colleges is well under way and may reverse a downward trend during the 2008-09 school year.  Since higher-education enrollment generally rises when the economy falters, college officials predict that the recent slowdown in the Valley’s economy may translate into more students on college campuses this year.  The district experienced a drop in enrollment of about 3% from spring 2007 to spring 2008.

A few classes begin on Aug. 23, but the majority of classes in the district start Aug. 25.  Students wishing to register online at any district college can do so by [clicking here] or they may register by calling any district college.  Those attending the district’s Phoenix colleges are in store for some changes this year.  Here’s a breakdown of what’s new at [the two colleges in the downtown Phoenix area]:

Phoenix College, 1202 W. Thomas Rd., 602-285-7777

  • Electronic courtroom at the college’s downtown location created by the legal studies program.
  • Webzine from the journalism department, as well as broadcasting and advertising on the campus radio station.
  • New 330-space covered parking lot on the southeastern corner of 15th Ave. and Catalina Dr.
  • Certificate programs in technical theatre (the technical aspects of stage production) and kitchen and bath (in the interior design program).
  • Student Success Center combining all previous learning centers into one.

Rio Salado, Phoenix and throughout the Valley, 480-517-8540

  • Certificate programs in e-learning design (placing training sessions online), bookkeeping, apartment management, and pharmacy technician.
  • Associate degrees in early childhood administration and management and early childhood education.
  • Online classes in sign language and second-year Chinese.
  • Workforce Development and Community Re-Entry program that offers courses and certificates to inmates needing skills to transition back to the community.