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Traditional Neighborhood Design Overlay Zone

Decision Makers: Victor City Council

Topic: Traditional Neighborhood Design Overlay Zone

May 14, 2008

Victor City Council
PO Box 122
Victor, ID 83455

Dear Members of the Victor City Council,

I am writing on behalf of Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) regarding the request for the adoption of a new zone entitled Traditional Neighborhood Overlay Zone. We are in favor of this new zoning.

Our support is based in part on the proven track record of TNDs to weather the ups and downs in the market better than other kinds of development because of its mixed use and mixed price point nature. Adopting a TND in Victor will promote a strong sense of community, encourage infill and economic vibrancy in downtown Victor, create new housing options for working families and the elderly, deter sprawl, cost the city less than developments on the outskirts of the city because of decreased infrastructure costs, and make the city more walkable and people friendly.

Many studies have demonstrated that there is a high demand for this kind of development. For example, the National Association of Realtors/Smart Growth America Survey conducted a national housing preference survey in 2007 that revealed a strong market demand for compact, walkable communities. Over 80% of people surveyed said they preferred walkable communities.

One area that the city may want to consider is how to buffer existing neighbors from the impacts of increased density. For example, the City Council could put language in the ordinances that gives the review body the discretion to require hedges as a screen between a TND project and a non-TND residential use. The review body might also avoid putting TND commercial space beside a non-TND residential space. Finally, the review body could consider how window placement can protect the privacy of non-TND residential use.

Thank you for your consideration,

Lucy Flood
Victor Program Associate

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