Here are some questions I have about the zipper zone idea of Frank Ricks, profiled in Sunday's Commercial Appeal:
- How were the outlines of the zipper zone determined? Most notably, why was the major part of Union Avenue (it appears from Watkins to Cooper) in Midtown left out? Why develop smart on Poplar but develop stupid 2 blocks away on Union (by perhaps knocking down more character-rich buildings)?
- If "special design and zoning guidelines -- possibly similar to the Medical Center zoning overlay -- should be established to promote smarter, more sustainable growth", then why shouldn't they be applied city-wide? If this is indeed smarter growth (and I believe it is), it stands to reason we would have stupider growth everywhere else. I believe Memphis should be smart everywhere.
- Why would the "new guidelines spook some developers"? Are there extra development costs associated with the special design and zoning guidelines proposed? And anyway, should we really care about a developer spooked by smarter growth? Considering our present pockmarked commercial landscape, with vacancies and random ugliness easy to find, it looks like someone more important -- the retail entrepeneur and customer -- is already spooked. Stupid growth doesn't seem to be working.
Well, maybe one or two rhetorical questions.