In our neighborhood, Design Review applies only outside the landmark district. It doesn't apply in single family zones.
Pointers for making a difference through Design Review
- Familiarize yourself with Design Review. Read this brief and comprehensive overview.
- If you understand these terms and their purposes in Design Review, you'll be a much more effective participant.
- It helps to walk the vicinity beforehand. You may know the place well, but at the sidewalk level you'll probably notice important details about the site and its surroundings.
- Look at nearby buildings that work well. What makes them successful? Is it well-placed entries? Tall windows? Overhead canopies? Creative tilework? A good sense of proportion? Figure out what works, and be ready to tell the Board about it.
- Decide what elements you think are most important to make this new project a good neighbor. Relate those priorities to a specific design guideline, and you've just delivered the Board some very useful and relevant input for their deliberations.
- Use your time wisely. There's generally only 20 minutes for public comment.
- Don't address questions to the design team — their response eats into your time and your neighbors'. You're there to inform the Board about how this design will best fit into your neighborhood.
- You may want to raise your concerns about parking, traffic, and other issues related to increased urban density. Don't — the Design Review Board isn't empowered to consider these issues. Address those issues later to the assigned Department of Planning and Development land use planner.
- Board members are empowered to give guidance and recommendations. Good urban design can involve tough choices, and it makes a difference when Board's directives are bolstered by considered public comment.