August 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm #173551
Yes, you are both right about the regs – I worked in planning for years..I geuss as a transplanted New Yorker I am surprised by the lack of regs in California…I find there to be much more attention to detail going on on the east coast..and strangely, much more sensitve conditions here in california…anyway, good discussion, I always learn something..Thanks!August 3, 2009 at 5:51 pm #173550
Can you provide for us some examples of the attention to detailing and increased regulations that you speak on, you have repeatedy express disdane for how things are done in California specifically, but you seem to have isssues with a large portion of the Landscape Architecture field outside from the east coast. Your opinions have seemed very general in a “we are better than you” sort of way, and I am interested to find out how you see the non-east coast catching up to your high standards.August 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm #173549
Yeah, sorry Bob, not impressed with California. I find, as I said before, that LA”s don’t want to do environmental design here.. I think it is that attitude that I find so different – the regs are actually similar, although east coast is more dependent on local regs, Ca. more on state..But for example in Southampton, NY, you would not think of planting a non-native landscape..And we were happy to do it..In general, I also have huge disdain for the regs – I do not see BMP requirements on either coast as resulting in any benefit, just as I do not see how a ‘mitigating factor’ of providing holes in a central barrier to a highway will help the kit fox..The whole chesapeake bay program for TMDL’s just collapsed on itself, after twenty years, the have had to admit that they accomplished nothing.)… I geuss it is just attitude..I see LA;s in CA see themselves much more as decorators, and much less as stewards of the landscape..What do you think – are you familiar with anywhere east? I lived in New York and virginia…and Philadelphia..What do you think? Here on this coast I am familiar with San Diego and Fresno..August 3, 2009 at 8:40 pm #173548
Okay so you give us one city on the east coast which requires native plants, and you have ripped a major project on the east coast, and again with the Kit fox thing. As for stewards of the landscape perhaps you are not looking in their proper areas, after numerous fires, the landscapes put back into the local hillsides of southern California are native chapparel communities, slope mitigation is composed of, coastal sage scrub plantings, local wetlands in the Bolsa Chica coastal areas are being reworked with native and non-invasive species, the Great Park in Central Orange County (which will be larger than Central Park) is in the process of integrating massive areas of native plantings, wilderness trails, and exploratory landscapes. All of these projects are done with the help of local Landscape Architects. Some of the reasons you cannot see these great works is that they use boring colorless, non-greenie plants the blend in and look as if nothing has be done, it looks natural. these are great uses for these types of plantings, if I took these same plants into a home owner and proposed them for the front yard half would laugh in my face, do not blame local Landscape architects, learn what they are doing and where you can see there work, the problem is the general public not our profession.August 3, 2009 at 8:51 pm #173547
Yes, hopefully I am not looking in the proper areas, and there is just as much commitment here as anywhere..sorry to use same examples, it is just easy. I spent twenty years in planning in various cities on the east coast… twenty years of projects…I will look for the good, as you say…August 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm #173546
As to specific examples of what landscape architecture is in Southern California, I am currently working on project located in a native oak canyon south of Los Angeles. The developer will do massive amounts of grading to the canyon to carve in 48 homes on 80 acres of land. Of this 80 acres 51+ acres of the project will be replanted with 365 native Coast Live Oak and a mixture of native grasses, coastal sage scrub shrubs, and riparian species (requiring 500-600 lbs of seed). The first 15′ of all lots will be a native grass and wildflower mix. The planting is guided by local city and fire design codes as well as assistance by local biologists. These open spaces will require irrigation to promote establishment of the plant materials. Once completed the site will look like an undisturbed native habitat (in roughly 40-80 years). The debate can be raised that this project should not be undertaken because it disrupts and disturbs too much native habitat, I do not disagree, but the project will get built one way or the other, so the ethical question is do you get involved with a project like this one and try your hardest to make the project the best that it can possibly be, or do you hand it off to the next LA to do the work? That is what Landscape architects in Southern California have to decide everyday. So please get off this trip about how in California they only do greenie planting and on the east coast we are so much more knowledgeable, it does not help the situation.August 3, 2009 at 9:51 pm #173545
Wow, sounds like an exciting project with plenty of opportunity to improve it..But that is a good example – in virginia you cannot build on steep slopes. End of story. Over 20% slope, forget it, 15-20% require special permission. To me, here where the land is mostly sedimentary, it would be so much more important to restrict building on steep slopes..there just seems to be no resistance – and I am not saying it is your job or your fault to transform that project enough so slopes are not impacted.
There is a Walmart proposed in Virginia NEXT TO the Wilderness Battlefield of the Civil War – which is formally in an ‘undeveloped ‘ state, which means it is 2000 acres of scrub oak…and this WalMart is causing another civil war..Maybe I am wrong. You move to virginia and tell me what you think..Or New York..Or Maryland..or Pennsylvania..At least they didn’t approve oildrilling off the coast in the latest budget..August 6, 2009 at 8:33 pm #173544Sherman C. Runions, ASLAParticipant
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