Aug. 9, 2009 at 9:25pm

The Sound Transit Berm/Post and Beam Debate

What I've learned...

By now I am sure everyone is quite familiar with this debate, as it has heated up quite a bit as we get cloaser to groundbreaking. Personally I don't care if it's post-and-beam or a berm. What I want is for ST to build a design that takes into account the urban context of the area. Why not hold Sound Transit to the same standards we have for private building developments in other areas of Tacoma. The Holiday Inn in the brewery district is an excellent example, or the Proctor safeway rennovation. How about some sort of process like that, but for structures other than just buildings? Perhaps the dome business district could establish design guidelines for developers to adhere to. I realize that right now we don't have anything like this in place for rail projects. I would suggest that if we cannot get Sound Transit to bend on this particular project, that we learn from it and start implementing policies that will shape future projects.

Maybe we let them have this one last freebie, and next time have policies and design standards ready and waiting. This places those concerned in a much more advantageous position, where we can point to existing policies when opposing poorly designed projects. It also means the guidelines would be well thought-out and documented, allows developers a more predictable planning timeline with fewer interruptions.

I am by no means an expert in this area, and I am sure there are issues/limitations that haven't occurred to me. Feel free to chime in with your opinion, or if you happen to have some expertise in design policies or the like, please share!

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