The Planning Commission and staff are getting serious about deciding the planning rules that will define the “Old Eden” town center, an area about a quarter mile radius around the park. The active idea is an old town feel, circa 1890-1920, walkable center with both commercial and a relatively large number of housing units centered around Eden Park. Here is a link to the presentation the Planning Commission discussed in their March 5 work session.
The General Plan anticipates several “village centers” around the Valley and the planning for Old Eden is the first. Planning staff is starting with Old Town Eden because new construction is imminent there and new rules need to be adopted quickly if it is to match up with the vision for Old Town.
Three key, precedent-setting issues will emerge as this moves forward:
- The Old Eden plan will require a mechanism for transferring housing density from other areas of the Valley (TDR) to create high density in Old Town. Current thinking is this center would need 500-1000 housing units to make it viable, which means transferring development rights from somewhere else, rezoning to higher density, etc.
- This plan will require street, sewer & water infrastructure to support higher density, probably paid for with public financing.
- For sure this plan will upset some people now living in Old Town Eden when they learn the county intends for them to have a LOT more neighbors and the infrastructure to support them. How or if the county and planning process involves and listens to these people is yet to be seen.