Better Block Code Check


Is your block being held back by outdated land development codes? Check for these signs of overly restrictive zoning in your city with examples from Dallas and then organize a group of your friends to break them over a weekend at your own better block.

AWNINGS & ARCADES

bluegrass-brewing-company arcadeArcades – covered walkways at the edge of buildings, which are partly inside, partly outside – play a vital role in the way that people interact with buildings.

 

Dallas Development Code.  SEC. 43-115.  ANNUAL FEE FOR USE OF PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.

(a)     Except as provided in Section 43-115.1, the annual fee for a license to use a public right-of-way for the following uses is:

(4)     Fee for awnings and canopies:  $1,000 per awning or canopy.

 

CROWDS

warchild_buskers_7

The simple social intercourse created when people rub shoulders in public is one of the most essential kinds of social “glue” in society.

Dallas Development Code.  SEC. 43-129.  CAUSING CROWD TO CONGREGATE ON SIDEWALK.

     No person shall occupy any space on the sidewalk or any space near the sidewalk where the same attracts any crowd or causes any crowd to congregate on the sidewalk or where the patrons or customers must remain on the sidewalk, for the purpose of carrying on any kind of business whether for amusement or profit.  (Code 1941, Art. 143-8)

240px-NYC_-_Fruits_-_0221FOOD STANDS

Many of our habits and institutions are bolstered by the fact that we can get simple, inexpensive food on the street, on the way to shopping, work, and friends.

 Dallas Development Code.  SEC. 43-4.  FRUIT STANDS, STALLS, ETC., ON SIDEWALKS.

     No person shall have or maintain any fruit stand, huckster’s stand or other stall on any sidewalk in the city.  (Code 1941, Art. 139-4)

 

tableMERCHANDISE

A building is most often thought of as something which turns inward – toward its rooms.  People do not often think of a building as something which must also be oriented toward the outside.

Dallas Development Code.  SEC. 43-133.  USE OF SIDEWALK FOR DISPLAY OF MERCHANDISE.

 

     No merchant or owner of a building, fronting on any street, shall be allowed the use of any portion of any sidewalk for the display of goods, wares or merchandise.  (Code 1941, Art. 143-12; Ord. 3707)

 

1490626-sidewalk-cafe-behind-a-fence-decorated-with-flowers-full-of-peopleSIDEWALK FLOWERS

Soften the edges of buildings, paths, and outdoor areas with flowers.  Raise the flower beds so that people can touch the flowers, bend to smell, and sit by them.  And build the flower beds with solid edges, so that people can sit on them, among the flowers too.

 

Dallas Development Code.  SEC. 43-115.  ANNUAL FEE FOR USE OF PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.

     (a)     Except as provided in Section 43-115.1, the annual fee for a license to use a public right-of-way for the following uses is:

          (3)     Fee for landscaping and appurtenant irrigation systems:  $1,000.

cafeSTREET CAFÉS

The street café provides a unique setting, special to cities:  a place where people can sit lazily, legitimately, be on view, and watch the world go by.

 Dallas Development Code.  SEC. 43-115.  ANNUAL FEE FOR USE OF PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.

     (b)     Except as provided in Section 43-115.1, the annual fee for a license to use a public right-of-way for uses other than those listed in Subsection (a) is $1,000 or is calculated in accordance with one of the following formulas, whichever is greater:

(1)     Fee for use of public right-of-way, including but not limited to sidewalk cafes:  area X market value X 85% X 12%.

What we need is bureaucracy free zones to try out a new form of land development and public safety.  What city is ready to try out the Better Block Approach to zoning?

 

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