Durable Growth

Are local developers worth supporting?

McNear Building in Petaluma

In the discussion within the Petaluma community about the proposed Red Barn project, several criticisms have been directed at the applicant, Davidon Homes. Some criticisms were legitimate, some were based in a lack of understanding of the process, and some were just plain wrong. (If you need a refresher on […]

Durable Growth

Red Barn: Concluding thoughts

Red Barn Site

In my last two posts, I wrote about the proposed Red Barn project in Petaluma. In the first post, I wrote that the StrongTowns theory about financial sustainability of land uses shows the current proposal to be flawed. I also wrote that the compromises proposed by many in the community would […]

Durable Growth

Red Barn: What the option should have been

Vista of Red Barn Site

In my last post, I argued that the public good isn’t always served by compromise. I used the pending Red Barn project in Petaluma as an example, with the StrongTowns theory as a measuring stick.

StrongTowns argues that, for many forms of development, the long-term infrastructure maintenance costs outstrip […]

Durable Growth

Red Barn: Sometimes a compromise isn’t the right answer (part 1)

Red Barn Site

I know a land-use planner whose judgment I respect. During our years of working together, she often said that a compromise is appropriate if it equally disappoints people on both sides of a disagreement. She wasn’t the first person to say this, but she said it frequently enough that I always […]