Lloyd & Associates

A R C H I T E C T S

St. Michael’s Boulevard
LAA proposes to create a vibrant and economically strong new St. Michael’s Boulevard by increasing the quantity and quality of the pedestrian realm and reducing the vehicular realm while retaining and enhancing the flow for through-traffic. We propose a significant stop for Railrunner and/or local rail with intermodal connections to pedestrian, bicycle, and local traffic, set in a park with a solar/wind “orchard” and through-traffic tunneled under. We envision buildings along the Boulevard built to the edge of the right of way (ROW) establishing a strong frontage and creating economic density with first floor retail and office or residential floors above, served by a wide pedestrian realm softened by trees and shade structures. The Vehicular Realm LAA proposes to substitute roundabouts for stop lights; not the cramped and mean roundabouts now used as speed control in Santa Fe neighborhoods, but large two lane roundabouts, which have a long history in Europe and have been proved safer than other intersection strategies such as stop lights. We eliminate left turns and left turn lanes, reducing asphalt. Frequent roundabouts provide the ability to make local left turns with minimal inconvenience. Through-traffic uses the roundabouts without having to deal with stop lights; at the rail crossing we propose a major intervention: a tunnel under the tracks and pedestrian plaza. The center median of the Boulevard and all the roundabouts are treed and graded to collect rainwater in the center swale. All roundabouts are designated as public gathering spaces and the location for public art installations. The Pedestrian Realm: Plaza/Gathering Space LAA proposes the creation of a major gathering place at the rail stop where intermodal transfers take place in a park like setting. Shade will be provided by trees and tensile fabric shade structures designed to collect rainwater for the trees. The Plaza features a Solar/Wind energy “orchard” generating electricity to power the street lights, using a local start-up company – Bluenergy. The dimensions of the plaza are based on a 5 car Railrunner train parked without stopping local circumferential traffic. The rail accessory structures are contemporary, avoiding the kitsch designs used at the other stations. Local light rail using the same tracks would be a welcome addition; density is the key to a successful outcome. A train stop is imperative for success. The Pedestrian Realm: Boulevard LAA proposes a significant widening and enhancing of the sidewalk area at the pedestrian edge of the ROW. To accomplish the appropriate dimensions we widen the ROW by five feet on either side to a total of 160 feet and include turn out lanes with on-street parallel parking. Eliminating large parking lots between the sidewalk and the building while providing limited parking on the access road encourages street-oriented commercial development and may help small businesses succeed as they have to provide and pay for less parking on their own premises. The Zoning Code: Goals The Boulevard will be a new zoning district regulated by a new Form-based Code. This code approach is less concerned with segregating uses seen as incompatible, but rather strives to mix uses to create a 24 hour occupancy. To ensure economic success of the Boulevard district a
501 Halona Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505 Tel 505.988.9789 FAX 505.986.1165 www.lloyd-architects.com

Lloyd & Associates Architects
significant increase in density and 24 hour occupancy is mandatory. To create the physical environment for attracting pedestrian and local use, clear edge conditions – buildings not parking – are equally mandatory. The Zoning Code: Specifics Some of the means proposed to achieve the goal of a successful Boulevard include: • Buildings required to be built-to the property line, or set back a maximum of 20 feet if a front yard outdoor use is part of the design – café, outdoor retail etc. • Buildings with a 44 foot height limit would allow a ground floor retail of 14 feet and three residential floors of 10 feet each or four floors of office at 11 feet each. Total height not exceeding four floors for individual permits could be adjusted without going through the variance process. Setbacks on the third and fourth floors for generous balconies would be encouraged along the street frontage. • The district will allow almost all uses – even an automobile dealership as long as the building showroom was built to the street edge of the property and the display was in the structure, not on a front parking lot. • Parking ratios stated as maximums not minimums. The Zoning Code: Implementation The proposed redevelopment will have a huge impact on owners of properties fronting on St. Michael’s Boulevard. Not only will established patterns of access from the street and customer parking be completely altered, but all the building fabric will become non-conforming. In addition, increasing the effective pedestrian realm and roundabout installation requires land takings at the front edge of all properties. The zoning code recognizes that securing initial approval for the changes in code and repurposing of St. Michael’s Boulevard, as well as encouraging individual development, depends on incentives. In fact the goal of increasing density and activity on the new street will make all those properties inherently more valuable. Means to achieve the participation of the owners include incentives for increased density in return for incorporating socially desirable uses and reducing development approval time frame: • Base FAR (the floor area ratio times the land area gives the total allowable building area) of 2.0. • Additional FAR allowances up to 2.5 for residential on upper floors. • Additional FAR allowances up to 2.5 for retail on ground floor. • Rewritten architectural guidelines allowing a wider deviation from “Santa Fe” style, encouraging a more contemporary evolution of the basic elements. • Elimination of development plans and planning commission approval requirements; once the district is in place, only building permits will be necessary. • Elimination of variance process for minor deviations from specific district standards if the proposed development meets the intent of the district goals.

501 Halona Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505 Tel 505.988.9789 FAX 505.986.1165 www.lloyd-architects.com

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