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geneva aren faulkner master of urban and regional planning | december 2013 land use & environmental planning concentration university of colorado denver


“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.� John Muir

chapter 1

introduction | 1

chapter 2

graphics | 2

chapter 3

site & subarea planning | 3

chapter 4

articles & writing samples | 7

chapter 5

environmental policy & law | 8

introduction | planning values I operate within a framework that informs my work as a planner. My values undergo continual refinement through both my academic and professional work. However, the core values that initially attracted me to planning have not significantly changed and have provided a basis on which I approach planning challenges. I encourage ecological responsibility in projects through analyzing environmental impacts and possible alternatives. I promote creativity and cooperation between agencies, stakeholders, and the public by treating clients with respect to foster innovative and flexible design solutions. I advocate for developing unique public engagement techniques to involve those who are impacted by development. I believe that sustainable design can lessen ecological impacts and increase quality of life. Above all, I believe it is planners’ responsibility to develop choices that give citizens freedom to decide how to commute, work, and live. Bellingham Bay | Bellingham, Washington | Digital Photography


chapter one

Hyman-Brand Building | Aspen, Colorado | Charcoal

graphics | drawings & photography

13th Ave & Ogden Street | Denver, Colorado

All digital photographs and hand drawings in the Introduction and Graphics sections by Geneva Faulkner LEFT | Current & Future Desired Conditions at 13th Ave & Ogden St | Denver, Colorado | Ink & Colored Pencil ABOVE | Welby House | Welby, Colorado | Digital Photography RIGHT | Denver Architecture | Denver, Colorado | Digital Photography

Otago Harbour | Dunedin, New Zealand

BELOW | Lake Samish | Bellingham, Washington | Digital Photography

chapter two


site & subarea planning | the westminster mall redevelopment Title | Westminster Mall Redevelopment Team | Almuhannad Alhussami, Ahmed Alqurashi, Ashley Dew, Geneva Faulkner, Philip Gritzmacher, Nathaniel Shull, Kent Wimbush Class | Studio I, University of Colorado Denver Date | Fall 2012

Site Context & Inventory


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The City of Westminster, Colorado purchased 102 acres of the former Westminster Mall for $22 million in 2011 with plans to redevelop the site into a vibrant, mixed-use downtown for residents of Westminster and the Front Range. My University of Colorado Denver Studio I group was assigned to create a site plan for the former mall site. Our final plan included a current condition analysis, demographic and economic profiles, visioning and goals statements, land use and massing diagrams, and implementation strategies. A few excerpts of our final plan are included here.

site & subarea planning | the westminster mall redevelopment Our vision and goals, objectives, and policies informed our final site design.

Our vision is to create a new downtown for the City of Westminster and the surrounding communities that is sustainable, accessible, and dynamic. The vision was supported by several goals and supporting objectives and policies. Goals included establishing a diversity and mixture of land uses, integrating a network of trails and open space,

tightening the street grid to provide easier pedestrian and bicycle access, preserving viewsheds, crafting an identity for the downtown area, promoting sustainable building practices, and fostering a businessfriendly environment through economic incentives and development strategies.

Final Land Use and Massing Diagrams

These goals were supported by a variety of objectives and policies that led to implementation strategies that the City of Westminster could integrate in phases over time to achieve the ideal downtown character.

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site & subarea planning | healthy welby: a subarea plan for welby, co Title | Healthy Welby: A Subarea Plan for Welby, Colorado

Team | Matthew Christoff, Michelle Caprioli, Geneva Faulkner, Phillip Supino Class | Studio II, University of Colorado Denver Date |

Spring 2013

Context & Existing Conditions


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Welby, Colorado is an unincorporated area in Adams County. It has developed from primarily agricultural uses in the early 20th century to a residential, industrial, and agricultural area that features significant land use conflicts. My University of Colorado Denver Studio II group was responsible for developing a subarea plan for Welby in conjunction with the Adams County Planning Staff.

site & subarea planning | healthy welby: a subarea plan for welby, co Healthy Welby: A Subarea Plan for Welby, Colorado focuses on potential future development of a buffer zone between mostly agricultural and industrial parcels to mitigate land use conflicts (see map to the left). Our plan also proposes developing higher density neighborhood centers in select locations to attract desired development and create a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment. We worked as a group to identify major land use conflicts and possible mitigation strategies. We also collaborated on the creation of neighborhood centers and discussed desired character, density, and bulk of future buildings. We presented preliminary guiding questions to the Adams Couny Planning Commission on March 14, 2013 and presented our final subarea plan to the Adams County Planning Staff and the public on April 29, 2013.

Neighborhood Center development would be concentrated on arterials and at major intersections, as shown on the maps to the left and the street crosssection below.

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articles & writing samples | APA planning & technology today article Title | Imagine Central Arkansas Project Experiments with Online Engagement Tools Author | Geneva Faulkner Publication | American Planning Association Planning & Technology Today Newsletter Date |

April 2013

Building a cohesive vision for future

growth can be extremely challenging. Metroplan, Central Arkansas’ Council of Local Governments and Metropolitan Planning Organization, is currently in the process of updating the region’s transportation plan and in the process introduced a variety of innovative tools to collect public opinion and ideas. Led by planning firm Gresham, Smith and Partners, the Imagine Central Arkansas project (ICA) seeks input from residents of a four- county region about a variety of transportation-related issues that the region will face over the next thirty years. A range of public engagement tools forms the backbone of the Imagine Central Arkansas (ICA) project. Launched in September 2012 the tools are: the State of the Region InfoGame, Treasured Places, Ideascale, and Choose Your Future. Together, these tools provided central Arkansas residents with creative, innovative ways to voice their opinions on regional priorities and learn more about their region and the challenges it faces.


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The State of the Region InfoGame,

developed by Urban Interactive Studio, provides a unique way for users to learn facts about transportation issues facing the region, presenting information from a rarely read, lengthy report. The demographic information that users enter on the first page generates statistics that show how their living and transportation situations fit into those of the region as a whole. Additionally, users can also test their knowledge of the region through a trivia portion of the game. InfoGames combine infographics, game elements, and personalization in a simple, fun interface. InfoGames is visually appealing, intuitive, encourages users to ponder current conditions, and gives regional context to users’ personal lifestyles.

Treasured Places is an interactive map tool

based on CommonSights that asks readers to submit photos of their favorite places in central Arkansas. Treasured Places is convenient and versatile, with built-in GPS functionality for smartphone users to quickly locate where their photos were taken. Because Treasured Places can be accessed and used on computers, tablets, and mobile devices, users can contribute when and wherever it is most convenient. Treasured Places allows residents of central Arkansas to articulate what makes their favorite places so special, which is vital information for planners in the comprehensive planning process.

Ideascale is a tool that allows users to voice their

opinions in a forum setting. Visitors can post ideas, write comments, and vote others’ ideas up and down. The most popular posts bubble to the top, which shows how the community prioritizes different ideas.

Choose Your Future, the Imagine Central

Arkansas scenario game, provided participants with an opportunity to make tough choices and immediately grasp the impacts of their choices on Central Arkansas. Participants begin by selecting their top five priorities for the future and proceed to the next step. There they answer several questions and see how the choices affect their priorities in real time. At the end, participants can compare your results to others’ and then share them with your friends. To date more than 1000 participants have played the game. The Imagine Central Arkansas project represents a new way of approaching public participation. The way technology was applied was simple and intuitive yet nuanced. The variety of methods of encouraging public input ensure that a wide variety of ideas will be heard throughout the transportation planning process as Metroplan moves forward into the next stages of imagining a better future for Central Arkansas.

environmental policy & law | regulatory takings memorandum Title | Regulatory Takings in Environmentally Sensitive Areas Author | Geneva Faulkner Class | Planning Law, University of Colorado Denver

1) Establishment of enough of a factual context for the court to make an informed decision; 2) There is a no denial of all uses of land or a lack of just compensation; 3) the taking benefits the public interest over the private interest; and 4) it is not arbitrary and thus applies to landowners in all affected areas. As long as these conditions are met, agencies have the responsibility to ensure that ecologically sensitive areas are protected. Facts:

Date | Fall 2012


Dr. Gilbert F. McNeish


Geneva Faulkner


October 18, 2012


Regulatory Takings in Environmentally Sensitive Areas ____________________________________________ Issue/Problem: Does a state have authority to limit the use of land in environmentally sensitive areas by regulatory takings or exclusive agricultural zoning? Conclusion: Yes. Government agencies have the right and responsibility to regulate land use in ecologically sensitive areas, as long four main conditions are met:

Regulatory takings occur when a government entity enacts regulations on land that limits certain uses of the land. Unlike eminent domain, the physical taking of private property for public use, regulatory takings do not involve a title transfer.1 The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment states that private property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation.2 Oftentimes, environmentally sensitive land that may have previously been zoned for more intensive uses is determined to be ecologically significant aquatic and terrestrial habitats, riparian zones, and grassland or wetland areas. This can occur under the designation “exclusive agricultural zoning” which is supported by the Farmland Protection Policy Act of 1981.3 In 1999 fourteen states had statutes which allowed them to establish “agriculture protection zones.”4 Two general forms of agriculture zoning exist; the first strictly enforcing agriculture zones in that only accessory dwelling units are permitted uses. This type of zoning is called “exclusive agriculture zoning.” The second form of agricultural zoning limits minimum lot size to ensure that density remains low and that the agricultural character of the region is preserved. In those cases, lot sizes can be restricted to one house

per 40 acres to one house per 160 acres. Tensions arise when local, state, or federal governments decide to protect the land and in doing so impose new zoning or regulations on private property within the protected boundaries. In the late 1980s the Supreme Court heard a number of cases and issued decisions that were intended to strengthen landowner rights to demand just compensation when new regulations deny them economic value of their land. Landowners can feel that creating special management plans that differ substantially from prior zoning that prohibits certain already-established uses constitutes a taking without just compensation. There are several complex potential problems in regulatory takings cases. Cases such as Gardner v. New Jersey Pinelands Commission and Palazzolo v. Rhode Island et al. highlight the difficulty of requiring compliance with new regulations when property owners own property that for years was subject to old zoning that potentially allowed for higher density uses: “The application of takings principles requires a fact-sensitive examination of the regulatory scheme.”5 Thus, a factsensitive analysis of whatever regulatory scheme that is in places is necessary. All cases that involve some form of regulatory takings address the concept of just compensation and when it is appropriate for landowners to be compensated for economic devaluation of their land. Other prominent issues in takings cases are whether the new regulation that removes uses from land furthers a public, not private, interest.6 Also, the regulation must not be arbitrarily applied, but must be equally and fairly applied to all land within the district.7

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environmental policy & law | regulatory takings memorandum Analysis: Four main elements of the exclusionary zoning and exclusive agriculture zoning problem are prevalent. First is a lack of a fact-sensitive examination of regulatory schemes. The second is denial of all practical use of land or lack of just compensation. The third is the lack of advancement of the public good, and the fourth is arbitrariness in the application of regulations. Of the four, ensuring that regulatory schemes that deny landowners some or all use of their property are fact-sensitive is the most difficult to discern and can be subjective. Gardner v. New Jersey Pinelands Commission addresses the importance of fact-sensitive decision-making. To guarantee that a fact-sensitive decision is rendered, a significant part of the case brief must include facts about the land in question and existing ecological conditions. Gardner v. New Jersey Pinelands Commission contains a section devoted to describing the factual context of the case. Based on this thorough review of the facts, the Supreme Court determined that there was enough evidence to suggest that the newly enacted comprehensive management plan furthered the public interest by stating: “There is not the slightest quarrel that the Act substantially advances several interrelated legitimate and important public purposes.”8 This conclusion is only met by having sufficient evidence to clearly show that the land is better used for public gain when rezoned. Presentation of enough facts ensures that a clearer course of action will be available. Denial of all practical use or lack of just compensation is the main issue with takings cases.9 Three takings cases, Gardner v. New Jersey Pinelands Commission, Palazzolo v. Rhode Island, and Lucas v. South Carolina


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Coastal Council, all examine the nature of the economic conditions and potential for lost property value if environmental or agricultural land use restrictions are placed on properties. Yet these are just three of many other takings cases that all examine the extent to which property is devalued in the government’s taking of private property. Whether or not a regulatory taking renders land economically unviable or not depends on many factors, as discussed in these cases. As a result, several courses of action usually result from regulatory takings cases. In Gardner v. New Jersey Pinelands Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that the comprehensive management plan’s regulations did not constitute a taking in part because Gardner’s land was not fully devalued.10 However, in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, the benchmark case for establishing the “total takings” test, the court found that Lucas’ land was rendered useless due to the enactment of South Carolina’s Coastal Zone Management Act (the Act). Thus, the Court ruled that deprivation of all economic uses of property is essentially a denial of the property itself. Thus, the Court found that the South Carolina Supreme Court erred in finding that Act was a valid as applied in this case.11 Analysis of whether the regulatory taking of private property advances the public interest is a factor in each of these cases. If the land is rezoned for ecological reasons, it must be more valuable as public land than private land. Because of the abundance of evidence suggesting that the Pinelands area would better serve the public good by remaining as low density agricultural land, as well as evidence that the property was not totally devalued, the Supreme Court determined that maintaining the new regulation under the comprehensive management plan did not constitute

a taking.12 The fourth consideration in regulatory takings cases is whether a taking is arbitrary. Regulations, especially new environmental regulations that emerged in the 1970s or 1980s around the time when these cases reached the Supreme Court, must be applied equally to all landowners in the affected region. Singling out individual property owners and only enforcing regulations in select cases is unconstitutional.13 The preferred solution for regulatory takings cases involves determining the extent of economic damages to the private property should the land be more stringently regulated. In most cases, it absolutely makes sense to impose environmental or agricultural regulation on private property, as long as just compensation is provided in cases where all economic viability of the land is taken. If all private land was exempted from environmental regulation, it wouldn’t make sense to enact new regulations that intend to manage and conserve ecological features. As environmental consciousness becomes more prevalent and people increasingly realize the importance of preserving areas of special ecological interest, private property will also be subject to environmental regulations. Compliance with environmental regulations is essential to ensuring that the United States maintains its landscape and resources in the future. Landowner flexibility is necessary in submitting plans that comply with newer environmental and/or agriculture regulations. Unless their land is rendered economically useless, landowners or developers have other options that allow them to comply with regulations and also maintain their property values.

environmental policy & law | regulatory takings memorandum Endnotes


1. Property Rights Alliance, Eminent Domain/Regulatory Takings, regulatory-takings-a2909 (October 15, 2012). 2. U.S. Constitution Online, Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings, (October 15, 2012). 3. Farmland Information Center, Farmland Protection Policy Act, cfm?function=article_view&articleID=29480 (October 15, 2012). 4. Mandelker, et al., Planning and Control of Land Development: Cases and Materials (San Francisco, CA: LexisNexis, 2011), 398. 5. Mandelker, 403 6. Mandelker, 403 7. Mandelker, 406 8. Mandelker, 403 9. Steven J. Eagle, Book Review: Regulatory Takings (Michie Law Publishers, 1996), 497. 10. Mandelker, 406 11. Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council 505 US 1003 - Supreme Court 1992, case?case=659168721517750079&hl=en&as_ sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr (October 15, 2012). 12. Mandelker, 403 13. Mandelker, 405

“Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings.” U.S. Constitution Online. October 15, 2012. xconst_Am5.html.

Land Use Planning in California?” California Research Bureau. Sacramento, CA: California Research Bureau, 2000. October 15, 2012.

“Eminent Domain/Regulatory Takings.” Property Rights Alliance. October 15, 2012. regulatory-takings-a2909. “Farmland Protection Policy Act.” Farmland Information Center. October 15, 2012. cfm?function=article_view&articleID=29480. “Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council 505 US 1003 - Supreme Court 1992.” October 15, 2012. Google Scholar. case?case=659168721517750079&hl=en&as_ sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr Mandelker, Daniel R., et al. Planning and Control of Land Development: Eighth Edition. San Francisco, CA: LexisNexis, 2011. “Palazzolo v. Rhode Island, 533 US 606 - Supreme Court 2001.” Google Scholar. October 15, 2012. case?case=16252252438303095036&hl=en&as_ sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr. Pollak, Daniel. “Have the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5th Amendment Takings Decisions Changed

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Geneva Faulkner's Planning Portfolio  

A portfolio of my urban and environmental planning work, including writing samples and designs.

Geneva Faulkner's Planning Portfolio  

A portfolio of my urban and environmental planning work, including writing samples and designs.