Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Zoning Process in Richardson is Broken

Zoning is a subject that puts people to sleep, until they wake up in a start to discover something going in next to where they live like a huge warehouse distribution center. Then, zoning is the most important thing in the world to them. Zoning classifies privately-owned land into different zones — residential, commercial, industrial, etc. It's what controls what can get built next to your house. The most common forms of zoning have been around for a hundred years (e.g., Euclidean zoning) and have worked well, or at least have worked understandably, until recently. Now, zoning has become hopelessly confusing. A satisfactory successor system has yet to emerge. Let's take a current case in Richardson as Exhibit A (or more exactly Exhibit Zoning File 22-11).

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Of AEDs and Zoning

If you squint your eyes, it kind of looks like a city zoning map.

What do automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have to do with land use zoning? Well, nothing, but that didn't stop Richardson Council Member Ken Hutchenrider from going down a rabbit hole November 14 while deliberating a zoning change request (Zoning File 22-11). The trap was laid by City Manager Don Magner and Director of Development Services Sam Chavez. City staff has been hostile to this zoning change request for years. The property owner keeps coming back with revisions trying to meet the City's objections. The City keeps coming up with new ones. The latest is particularly egregious.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Three-Legged Stool of Mixed-Use Development

Mixed-use development rests on three legs. First, residential. Second, retail and restaurants. Third, businesses like hotels that depend on nearby restaurant/retail to attract customers to their own business. Like a stool, all three legs are needed to provide stability. Unlike a stool, you don't have to have all three legs in place for the first leg to serve its purpose. Richardson has a development application that offers a perfect example.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

POTD: Rijksmuseum's Cuypers Library

From 2022 07 03 Amsterdam

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the Cuypers Library in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. The museum is home of thousands of masterpieces by artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer. But the Rijksmuseum is also home to a fantastic research library.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

POTD: Canal House Gables

From 2022 07 03 Amsterdam

Today's photo-of-the-day is of the gables of a row of canal houses in Amsterdam. The story we heard is that the style of these gables evolved over the decades and centuries, with older styles losing favor and new styles arising as the architecture fashion changed.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Miracle Workers (TV 2019)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Miracle Workers (TV 2019): Heaven as a workplace comedy. A slacker God (Steve Buscemi) decides to end the world. The Answered Prayers dept. determines to prevent that. Not a bad concept, but the show runs out of ideas before it runs out of episodes. Won't be watching season 2. C+


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Tár (2022)

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Tár (2022): Orchestra conductor's career is threatened when a former protege commits suicide. I recognize a great movie even though the music theory is over my head and the cancel culture storyline is unresolved. Cate Blanchett is brilliant as the aloof and obsessive genius. A-