Message from the Mayor:In the next three years, more buildings will be constructed in Castroville than in 178 that preceded them. These structures will be the visual backdrop for our lives and will outlast us by many generations. Their appearance and layout will shape how we interact as a community, the traffic we encounter, the businesses we frequent, and the types of residents we attract.Some American cities have experienced rapid growth while maintaining their unique history, architectural styles, and strong social ties. Others have passively let a nearby metropolis overrun them with asphalt, congestion, and seas of low-end tract homes. We, as a community, have a small window to take charge of our destiny.The City of Castroville, in partnership with the Castroville Conservation Society, is engaging a best-in-class team to provide their experience and insight into avoiding suburban sprawl. Through a series of public lectures and forums, these professionals will explore how we as a community can shape growth to enhance our unique town, sharing successes and failures from others around the United States. We encourage you to join us in this journey to strengthen our heritage and take control of our future as we prepare to re-write the city’s zoning ordinances and building codes.
TOPIC ONE: WHAT’S COMING? WHEN? HOW DO WE SHAPE IT?
Steve Oubre — architect and city-scale master planner specializing in alternatives to classic tract home developments.
Topic: Who is coming? Why are they coming? What will they do if we do nothing? What can we do to stave off suburban sprawl and mitigate the impact of the short-term-focused developers? If growth is inevitable, how do we shape it to manage traffic congestion and be visually attractive?
Thursday, August 25
TOPIC TWO: WHAT IS THE ARCHITECTURAL STYLE OF CASTROVILLE?
WHY IS IT UNIQUE?
Kathryn O’Rourke — architectural historian and professor of art history at Trinity University
Topic: What is Castroville's vernacular architecture and what are the architectural features that define it? Why is it important? What can we ask of new development to honor that vernacular, and what would that look like in a representative set of building types?
Thursday, September 1
TOPIC THREE: HOW DO WE PRESERVE THE HISTORIC CHARACTER OF CASTROVILLE?
Vince Michael — Executive Director for the SA Conservation Society Topic: What are the implications of historic districts and zoning? How do we implement a historic ordinance that preserves the character of the existing area, but doesn’t prohibit or impede new? What has been the experience in San Antonio? What works, what doesn’t?
Wednesday, September 7
TOPIC FOUR: WHAT ZONING ORDINANCES DO WE NEED TO FOSTER ALTERNATIVE MODELS FOR GROWTH?
John Anderson — experienced town planner and small-scale developer
Topic: How can we build in a manner that reflects the walkable, intimate town that is Castroville? What does that type of development look like? What is the 'Missing Middle'? How do we encourage developers of this property type and discourage low end tract homes? How do ordinances shape the outcomes of development?
Wednesday, September 14