February 22, 2001

New Design Guidelines And Standards For Commercial Development Will Bring Manhattan Closer To Boulder

By Jon A. Brake

Developers, builders, landowners in Manhattan need to be alerted to new rules and regulations being developed
by the City. In the future it will cost you more to build, rent, lease in Manhattan. Ah, but Manhattan will be closer
to being "Just like Boulder."

Several City Commissioners and some staff members have put the City of Boulder, Colorado on a pedestal. They
think Boulder is the perfect City and Manhattan should look just like it. This is just another way to "Change the

A Draft "Design Guidelines and Standards for Commercial Development" is being developed by the City of
Manhattan's Planning Division.

It seems pedestrians will take over Manhattan in the near future: "In general, Single Buildings and Small Site
Developments should contribute to a visually continuous, pedestrian-oriented street front with little to no vehicle
use area between the building face and the street."

"Building within Large Multiple-Building Developments should be oriented to create a sense of place for
pedestrian, and relate to and enhance the surrounding streetscape."

"Out-lot building should be clustered together to define street edges and create pedestrian-oriented public
spaces between buildings. Wide-spaced dispersal of out-lot buildings is discouraged, even if along the street

Many of the ideas are going to be very expensive: "Large retail establishments should provide at least two of
the following features:

i. patio/seating area

ii. pedestrian plaza with benches

iii. window shopping walkways

iv. outdoor play area

v. kiosk area

vi. water feature

vii. clock tower

viii. outdoor art/sculpture"

Another feature of the guideline is to help the bicyclist. You know all of those bicycle paths and right of ways, and
lanes that no one uses? Now they will have a place to not go and not park: "A visible and safe bicycle parking
area should be integrated into the site plan."

And each new building will be a monument: "Each entrance of Large Retail Buildings should feature no less than
three of the following:

i. canopies

ii. porticos

iii. overhangs

iv. recesses/projections

v. arcades

vi. raised corniced parapets over the door

vii. peaked roof forms

vii. arches

ix. outdoor patios

x. display windows

xi. public space/courtyard

xii. towers

The new Manhattan will be beautiful and more expensive.