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My post regarding Starter Home Barriers sparked some conversation about the square footage of a starter home, particularly regarding the 2,000 minimum home size discussed in the Builder magazine article. Many of the points about that possibly being unrealistically large for Culver were valid. Since I was paraphrasing the article in the previous quote, it seemed appropriate to stick with their numbers and rationales.
In any case, the discussion prompted me to do a little further research into smaller home sizes. I did find the Zero Energy Design website which included several smaller residential footprints ranging from a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom at 624sf to a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom at 1120sf. (Apparently in a ZED home no one watches TV as they don’t even appear to allow a place for one in their room furniture layout.) While I know the boxy design is the most efficient, I would hope we can be a little more creative in our floor plans.
I also notice that almost all the small footprint homes are single story. I don’t know if that’s because they are often geared towards the elderly and are trying to make them as accessible as possible or if there is just a predisposition to single story now. Going back to a story-and-a-half design could provide some additional efficient space. The boxy design lends itself well to prefabricated construction, but we have had good success with panelized construction which is also efficient where duplication of layouts is possible.
I think the infrastructure issues will be more telling than the house floor plan in what the end selling or renting point is. As with their square foot home size, I think the lot buildout may be more economical here, but probably not by much. Many of the same regulations apply and our Comp Plan pushes more measures such as “complete streets” which add costs.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is conducting a Statewide Ground Water Monitoring Survey. Participation is free and if you are selected for the survey you will receive a copy of the report.
Most of the residences on Lake Maxinkuckee and throughout Marshall County are on wells. The age of the Lake Maxinkuckee wells may preclude their inclusion in the study, but it can’t hurt to ask. I’m sure there are conspiracy theories on why this might not be information you want to share, but in my estimation, most people don’t test their wells as often as they should. This is an opportunity to possibly have the test done for free. Don’t you want to know if there is something bad in your drinking water?
Here’s a link to the study site with a description of who would be eligible and an application for inclusion in the survey. The study is statewide, so it should give an interesting picture of our ground water resources. I signed up for my home which backs up to a golf course. I had the well tested when I moved in, but have only followed up on that once since that time. My bad! This is an opportunity to bring some tax dollars home!
Image Source: indiana.edu
Culver took a step forward with their Affordable Housing Task Force on Wednesday March 11th. Representatives from the Town Council, Redevelopment Commission, Plan Commission, Public Schools, Culver Academies and MCEDC met at the library to discuss the issues and goals regarding affordable housing. With the exception of two with staff positions, all were volunteers from the community stepping up to try and make things better.
At the March Marshall County Development for the Future round table discussion, Jeff Rae made a presentation and included a few charts, one of which I have included to the right. (Click on it to blow it up to a readable size.) It basically shows the entire State of Indiana showing the projected Net Migration by region and by county. By either metric, Marshall County has net out-migration. MCEDC and other groups are working to reverse this. Culver specifically is working to reverse this via their newly formed Affordable Housing Task Force. This is not a problem that will go away on its own. Progressive action will be required.
I was pretty disappointed in the Culver Town Council at their last meeting where they addressed the wind turbine ordinance presented to them by the Plan Commission. It will probably cost Culver any opportunity to expand their Extended Territorial Zoning Boundary, but as so often happens, the voice of the few has outweighed the apathy of the many. So be it. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about Water Towers!
During the above discussion, Ginny Munroe, Town Council President, expressed a comparison between wind turbines and the town water towers. She complained that she considers the town water towers necessary evils that are blights on the Culver skyline. But what is Culver doing about it? Apparently nothing, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some thoughts. Ha! I’m not an engineer, so I’m not saying any of these would work, but here are some ideas Culver could explore: