The Perils of Design Standards

By: Mr. Wilson on August 26, 2008
I don't think I have commented lately (if at all) on the question of whether the Antelope Valley Project needs design standards for buildings that will be built in the area. The proposed design standards have been developed in order to ensure a sense of consistency and, for lack of a better word, "neatness" in the area. The standards would control everything from parking to lot layout to building materials. I can certainly understand why a community would want to develop design standards for an area into which a tremendous amount of community resources have been (and will continue to be) thrust. Who wants to put a good fraction of a billion dollars into a region only to see it immediately cluttered by a bunch of bugly buildings, poorly planned parking lots, and so on? On the flip side, I hope we don't really want to spend all that money to end up with block after block of cookie cutter designs. We have Williamsburg for that. Such inorganic development reeks of artificiality and has less staying power than a more dynamic environment. I have a lot I could say about all of this, but not much time. So I will simply toss these questions out to you. What do the design standards get right? Where do they go too far? Should the City even be involved in regulating some of these issues?


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