Friday, August 24, 2018

Daycares and zoning

This is Joseph

This article points out the problem with urban development and the pressures involved:
Neighborhood residents sparred with the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the project developer over the proposed conversion of a 12,800-square-foot building on 22nd and South Streets into a Goddard School franchise.
“One person complained and said, are we going to have to listen to the sounds of kids laughing and yelling?” developer Jason Nusbaum told Billy Penn. “We could have worse problems.”
While zoning board members ultimately voted to welcome the childcare facility into the tony neighborhood, their unanimous decision did not come without a massive argument about noise, traffic and, of course, parking.
 Look, one thing that is very clear is that new businesses always have impacts on existing residents and it is never going to be popular to make life a bit harder.  I know parking is loathed by a lot of urban development advocates, but it is the lifeblood of how we do efficient transit in the United States.  Fixing that is a much bigger issue and involves rethinking transit. 

[I think driverless cars are a distraction as we don't yet know their net effect on congestion and if we need to do new infrastructure to make them work then it's unclear that this is a different collective action problem then making transit work.]

But the truth is that it is indubitably true that a new daycare is going to make the neighborhood more congested.  It is also the case that failing to welcome it will be bad in the long run for everyone in the city.  What would be nice is if we could come up with an incentive system that did not reward maximum obstruction.  Because being nice about development means you get all of it, under the current system and that isn't great either.  

1 comment:

  1. It would have been nice to see some numbers. How many kids are they going to look after and what age spread? How many cars does that equate to?

    If it's 5 kids then the complaints sound a bit much but if it's 100 kids, with approx 80 pick-up/drop-offs, 25 staff (on a 1:4 ratio) then that's a whole different kettle of fish. Parking for the staff alone is going to cause problems.