During 2010, the APNA board has had several conversations about developing a written set of development principles to incorporate into our neighborhood plan. The principles would be a starting point for neighborhood conversations with developers who are planning projects within or adjacent to the Armory Park neighborhood.
Below is a draft of principles that have been discussed. We welcome your input/comments.
The purpose of the Armory Park Neighborhood Association (APNA) is to ensure that the neighborhood known as the Armory Park Historical Residential District shall maintain its historical aesthetic qualities and to promote, as well as provide for, desirable neighborhood improvements. To that end, the APNA Board of Directors has developed this document to explain its position on development in, adjacent to, and bordering the neighborhood.
Any development within or bordering the Armory Park neighborhood should follow design practices that promote a livable, sustainable neighborhood. Such projects should:
1. Be Based on Quality Architecture & Urban Design Practices
Development projects should have an emphasis on beauty, aesthetics, human comfort, and creating a sense of place; human-scale architecture & beautiful surroundings that nourish the human spirit; be attractive (in all senses of term).
2. Have Features That Facilitate Community Building
Community-level social activity is supported by well-designed and inviting plazas, parks, streetscapes, and other cultural, educational, commercial and recreational gathering spaces.
3. Promote a Walkable Neighborhood
Projects should incorporate pedestrian-friendly street design (buildings close to street; porches, windows & doors; tree-lined streets; on-street parking or hidden parking lots; garages in rear lane; slow speed streets) with sidewalks and walkable destinations. Traffic mitigation/reduction strategies should be employed to minimize the traffic impact on the neighborhood.
4. Enhance the Neighborhood
The build form should be characterized by elements that create a sense of place; the building type, frontage type, and the arrangement and disposition of landscape and lighting should be appropriate in character and scale for the neighborhood.
5. Activate Space Beyond 9-5
For commercial developments, there should be uses within the development that activate the space beyond the conventional 9 am – 5 pm workday, so that neighborhood residents and other community members are attracted to the space evenings and weekends.
6. Engage the Neighborhood in Planning
Commercial developers should engage Armory Park Neighborhood Association board, members, and neighborhood residents as partners in the planning process. This partnership may include (but not be limited to):
- Negotiating a neighborhood/community benefit agreement with APNA, which includes measurable neighborhood benefits and effective mitigation strategies for any negative impacts.
- Engaging the neighborhood in a community modeling process to identify neighborhood-enhancing, community-building features.
- Having neighborhood representation, appointed by the neighborhood association, on planning boards or committees
Examples of projects for the southern third of the Unisource block, based on these principles:
- Annex/space for Children’s museum
- Plaza/zócalo, with public art, screen for outdoor movies
- Perhaps closing 12th street for plaza
- Artist live/work space with public exhibition/performance/meeting space
- Neighborhood-compatible residences
- Open space, green space that connects to San Agustín
- Community garden/ park