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Feb 17

Planning in Crayon

Posted on February 17, 2021 at 12:26 PM by Allison Duncan

Understanding the history of development trends that have influenced an area is only the first step.  Understanding how much of an area is likely to change over time is essential to anticipating what may come in the future.  Once something is built, it is often there for a very long time.

Computer technology has allowed unprecedented data visualization.  However, before hat can project a map of the area, you have to know what is on the ground. And sometimes it is easiest to accomplish that with an old-fashioned, hand-drawn sketch.  This image shows a portion of the study area and indicates a preliminary analysis of where we anticipated change; where we didn’t anticipate change; and where we weren’t certain. A complete presentation of these sketches are available here.
Preliminary analysis_SW quadrant

Specifically, greenfield opportunities were examined as a part of this study.  It is an indicator of the capacity of an area to accept new growth.  This sites are the areas in orange below. New development has the potential to bring new residential, commercial and professional uses to an area.  New businesses will need to customers to support them, and new housing can deliver on those new customers.  Looking at the balance of residential and non-residential land uses is essential to understanding the potential of an area to change.

Most of the areas identified for potential changes in land use corresponded to a different variable.  Analysis of environmental considerations substantial areas in the floodplain.  Douglas County prohibits construction in the floodplain, and further imposes buffers around streams or creeks that often feed those areas of floodplain.

So when we accounted for these areas, our final analysis suggested that there was only a modest amount of land in this area that would be susceptible to significant change in the future. This informs recommendations for changes to the Douglas County Future Land Use Map.


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