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Constructive Candor

The Value of Master Planning

Are you contemplating expansion or new development of your institution or facility?   This can be a complicated effort and I’d like to share with you a few benefits of undertaking a master planning process as an invaluable step in making your growth a reality and less of a headache.

A master plan is more than just a pretty picture.  It is like a roadmap, or GPS, charting the course from the current status of your facility, and routing your aspirations and needs so that you arrive at your final location successfully.  The following are 4 tips that are just a few planning tools I suggest to help guide you through the journey.  

Tip #1: Confirm your FInal Destination - Setting Yourself Up for Success

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Got Entitlements?

Entitlements are key when developing or selling large commercial or industrial tracts of land. When a buyer or tenant comes into a market looking for a property, they typically want to move ahead with their project as soon as possible and time is of the essence.  If your property is not generally entitled for the proposed use, then you likely just lost an opportunity due to the unknown schedule and outcome of the entitlement process.

What are Entitlements?

Entitlements for a commercial or industrial development include Site Plan and SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) approvals from the agency that regulates the property. Typical site plans will show the proposed building square footage, parking and drive aisles for both cars and trucks, storm drainage facilities, landscape, buffers and setbacks. In some jurisdictions, SEPA may require a preliminary fill and grade plan.  These approvals also require consultant studies, such as, traffic studies, storm drainage analysis and wetlands.

Site plan and SEPA approvals can be completed for an assumed maximum build-out of the site and the addendums can be approved by the agency issuing the original approvals.  

Addendums allow the property owner to tailor existing entitlements to meet the needs of a development proposal when the opportunity arises.  This saves time and allows more predictability in the process.   

 

What Benefits do Entitlements Provide a Buyer or Tenant?

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4 Steps for Incorporating Inclusive Design Elements into Park Systems

Inclusive design encourages equality of play opportunity for all ages and abilities. Incorporating inclusive design elements within our park systems can provide a better quality of life for our communities. I think a lot of us know this, but project deadlines and budgets sometimes prevent a park from living up to its full potential.

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5 Myths about Low Impact Development (LID) De-bunked

Recently, Bryan Cole wrote a blog post  that defined Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development (LID) and discussed the benefits of Green Infrastructure thinking. Over the years, I’ve encountered a number of skeptics when it comes to integrating Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development practices into design.

What I’ve found is that there are many misconceptions, or myths, about Low Impact Development and a lot of confusion. There are numerous benefits to using LID practices, and today I’ll address some of the most common myths I've heard.

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