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April 09 Planning Commission Materials

April 09 Planning Commission Materials

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Published by robert voigt
Materials for the April 09 Planning Commission meeting to discuss the Subdivision Code Update project
Materials for the April 09 Planning Commission meeting to discuss the Subdivision Code Update project

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Published by: robert voigt on May 14, 2009
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-April 23, 2009
The purpose of the April meeting of the Planning Commission is to:1.)Present suggested code changes for
pedestrian / vehicle connectionsand PRD open space.
 2.)Obtain Planning Commission input on policy issues associated withpedestrian / vehicle connections and PRD open space
3.)Answer Planning Commission questions regarding code language thatwas prepared for the February and March topics (corridor buffers,street trees, stormwater facilities, easement access and streetsections).
1) Suggested Code Changes
Early in 2008, Planning Commission and staff developed ten areas of concernregarding changes which need to be made to the existing subdivision code. Fourof those areas of concern deal with the provision of pedestrian / vehicle facilitiesand their design in land division applications (plats and PRDs). These ten areas of concern were based on analysis staff did about the number of vehicular and non-vehicular connections (or lack thereof) within Oak Harbor and how this effectscirculation patterns within the City. The relevant areas of concern were asfollows:1. Code requirements to:
provide clear direction for improving street connectivity, and
ensure that non-vehicular connections are required through all streetends.2. Design standards for both parks and street ends to promote non-vehicularconnections.3. Standards and requirements to include and integrate non-motorizedtransportation options in plats (through connections, transit facilities, gridingwith walkways and trails, connecting trails to neighboring plats, etcetera).4. Design standards for pedestrian connections and trails.This month, staff has developed new code concepts which encourage / requireapplicants for new land divisions to make necessary pedestrian and vehicularconnections internally on sites and to adjacent uses. Wherever possible, theproposed code concepts encourage these connections by giving applicants openspace credit for providing them, rather than requiring them with no attachedincentive. Relief mechanisms also exist which recognize that existing conditionsmay prohibit connections. The following discussion lays out staff’s proposed codeconcepts and is divided into (1) vehicular connections and street layout, (2)pedestrian connections internal to a site, (3) pedestrian connections to adjacentuses, and (4) general provisions.
Proposed Code Concepts - Vehicular connections and street layout
 A modified grid network is preferred,
meaning that the number of dead-end streets shall be limited, but not prohibited.
Dead-end streets shall only be allowed when there is an exceptionalcircumstance
such as topography, wetlands, or existing developmentwhich prohibits a connection. The Director has authority to approve dead-end streets for safety, turning movements, intersection spacing or otherengineering standards.
If provided dead-end streets must be no longer than 400 feet inlength.
This provision does not vary from the existing code.
The design of dead-end turn-arounds must be approved by City engineer.
This provision is designed to encourage alternative turn-aroundswhich save space, reduce pavement costs and stormwater impacts.
Intersection spacing no less than 125 feet.
This provision matches theexisting code and is a safety feature. Intersections provided at less thanthis spacing can be a hazard.
Block length maximum 800 feet.
The City does not currently have a blocklength standard. Large blocks discourage pedestrian and vehicleconnectivity. Setting a maximum block length will promote greaterconnectivity.
Proposed Code Concepts - Pedestrian connections internal to a site
 Mid-block connections required at 800-foot intervals or less.
Mid-blockconnections are pedestrian connections through the center of long blockswhich reduce trip distance. Applicants may exceed the block lengthstandard specified above, but if they do so they must provide a mid-blockconnection. Mid-block connections extend across streets adjacent to theconnection itself. A key concern for mid-block connections is pedestrian /vehicle conflicts. These must be safe, which means site distance andsignage must be provided at a minimum so motorists are warned thatpedestrians may be crossing the street.
Pedestrian connections required at all dead-ends.
Dead-end streetslimit pedestrian connectivity. Thus, staff proposes that connections beprovided at all dead-end streets, unless there is an exceptionalcircumstance which prohibits the connection (topography, critical area,existing development) or another pedestrian connection exists within 800feet going to the same location or land use.
Proposed Code Concepts - Pedestrian connections to adjacent uses
Pedestrian connections shall be provided to all adjacent uses.
 Generally, pedestrian connections to adjacent uses shall be provided at800-foot intervals on the exterior boundary of the plat or PRD.
Connection to a higher-order street in lieu.
If a connection to a higher-order street bordering the subdivision or PRD will also provide a non-circuitous route to an adjacent use, a direct connection to the adjacentuse may not be required.

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