Infill guidelines & toolkits provide ideas, examples and pattern books to influence quality design for infill projects.
Benefits & Problems Addressed
Facilitate good design: Preferred design guidelines can reduce work for developers & homeowners. Visual guidelines are readily understood by a range of stakeholders.
Limit impacts on the front end of design: Pre-thinking design elements can limit impacts through site design, materials & architecture.
Incrementally add density with lowered impacts: Guidelines address competing needs such as (1) lot coverage versus stormwater infiltration; (2) small lots versus parking requirements, (3) parking versus pedestrian-friendly street frontages.
Housing variety & affordability: Adding neighborhood friendly housing types (in addition to single family homes) can help with affordability.
Tips & Techniques
Goals: Work across departments and with neighborhoods on design preferences. Note local infill development pressures (e.g., parking, stormwater, poor quality).
Choosing preferred design elements: Work with the public to develop design themes with regard to vernacular architecture, sustainability, local materials and/or priorities. Use design contests and invite the public to weigh in on proposals.
Part of overall planning program: Infill guidelines & toolkits are typically not binding; combine with incentives (expedited permitting, financial incentives).,small area plans, parking and transit planning, Align stormwater planning and affordable housing planning.
How to present guidelines: Present drawings, cross sections and floor plans (which help humanize design for people). Use augmented reality to envision design prototypes for vacant lots or replacement housing in situ.
Hot Buttons: Parking, loss of community character with new design, density impacts (height, sound), stormwater runoff.
Infill Design Toolkit: Portland, OR US
Image: Portland OR