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August 25, 2008


Fred Keller


You’re beginning to make a believer out of me with this “Traditional Neighborhood Design” thing. I would imagine a few TND developments in Franklin would go a long way towards attracting new businesses, as well.


People can debate the "authenticity" of these faux-traditional developments, but the fact is that people are looking for something different than the typical cul-de-sac-choked subdivision, and communities that boast Traditional Neighborhood Design and multi-use zoning get positive attention and attract the right kinds of businesses.

HOWEVER, that forward-looking developer we need could be scared off by Franklin's selective enforcement of zoning violations as seen in the Fox and Carstensen cases.



Is there a definition of "Traditional Neighborhood Design" that spells out exactly what this means? I understand houses closer togther, sidewalks connecting areas, streets that go through, but what else? The other thing is, what if I don't want to be on top of my neighbors and involved in frequent social activities with them? I have some nice neighbors now, but also some nasty ones. I appreciate being able to have space from them, and interact with them as I please, not because my porch is 10' from theirs.


Raymond, the important factor to keep in mind is that one of the main ideas behind Traditional Neighborhood Design (TDN) - - indeed, this applies to old-style neighborhoods as well - - is the whole concept of "low impact interaction" that is possible when useful public spaces exist. You may choose to go beyond "hello," or simply return the "hello" and go about your business. It's possible to be friendly without being invasive in a world where we are able to walk on public walkways and share public spaces.

Furthermore, having a TND nearby gives you the OPTION to buy a house there. The countless conventional subdivisions currently in existence will still be there. It's an OPTION, not a lifestyle requirement. A person can choose to be as friendly or private as they wish.

Here's a link to a longer explanation of TND:


John --

I'm curious to know if you've spent much time in Greendale, particularly the original part of the village (south of Grange, between Loomis and 76th) and if you have any opinions on how things have been done there. As a Greendale resident for twenty-plus years I'm surely biased, but it sounds like Greendale has many of the elements that you're hoping for Franklin to develop -- a cohesive downtown area, sidewalks throughout the community for walking access, streets that slow down traffic, walking access to schools and soforth.

John Michlig

No question about it, Greendale represents a great example of Traditional Neighborhood Development - - it was, after all, one of three "greenbelt towns" planned and built with TND attributes in mind. I feel fortunate to have such a fascinating historical location so close.

Over a decade ago I lived in an apartment complex just off Loomis that abutted the "originals" neighborhood and, unfortunately, moved right before the main street was revitalized. I still ride my bike over to Greendale quite frequently and visit the coffee shop and Ferch's.

Nice as Greendale is, If Southridge decides to ditch the enclosed mall concept and completely re-do the property as a Bayshore-type outdoor "town center," Greendale will be that much more desirable.

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