Originally Posted by ozone
That's all great but general plans are barely worth the paper they're written on and 15K is still too little. As giddy as I'm about those far-into-the-future/pie-in-the-sky projects IMHO we need a new vision for the central city and a plan of action that is actively promoted by the mayor and city manager. There's a ton of spaces ripe for in-fill. We could start by disincentivizing surface parking lots through taxation and abolishing any required parking standards for new construction.
Done and done! The city revised its regulations for parking lots a couple of years ago--it's now very hard to build a new parking lot. And a new parking standards ordinance went into effect the beginning of this year--in the central business district, you don't need to provide any parking at all for most projects, and in the rest of Midtown, parking requirements have been greatly reduced. New zoning codes are about to go into effect that increase densities, simplify processes, and (my favorite part) include density bonuses and code incentives for conversion of historic commercial buildings to residential use or mixed use.
10-15K residential units equals more like 15,000-30,000 people (assuming 1.5-2 people per residential unit) which would make up that 1950 population deficit. The nice thing about the current plan is that there are already plans on the books for the Railyards and Richards, the Docks and R Street--instead of having to invent something new and drive it through the approval process, the framework is there for a lot of central city growth.
But getting there takes more than just codes, and more than just "vision." It also requires reining in suburban sprawl and unlimited horizontal growth. If it's cheaper, easier and more profitable to build suburbs on farmland, that's what they will do, especially if there are still structural incentives like new freeway construction that drive growth outward.