Mixed use ground floor – Ouddorp example

This post gives an example of ground-floor living as part of a local/neighbourhood/suburban-sized shopping centre. The South Holland village of Ouddorp provides for a local population of about 6,000 people. The village centre has a good number of shops on the streets surrounding its central church. It also has a similar number of ground floor residential dwellings side by side with these shops and restaurants.

Hamilton’s Operative District Plan has ground floor use rules for Suburban shopping centres that state “No residential activities shall be undertaken at ground-floor level” and “Only retail activities and restaurants shall be located at the ground floor level of buildings within the Primary Frontages” (see Delft post)

Village (suburban) shopper habits can never be taken for granted: consumers can drive to big parking-field box retail stores; or stay at home and shop online; or, in Ouddorp, bike 10 minutes to the village of Goedereede. There will be times when retail floor space demand will increase and decrease. In the mid-1970s, Hamilton city planners wrote:

“a contraction of such centres [Local Shopping] is anticipated … In an effort to speed this process residential dwellings of a similar type to those in the adjacent residential zone are to be permitted [in commercial zone 1: Local Shopping]” (ref 1 for context).

Ouddorp appears to “allow maximum flexibility in land use so that buildings get renovated and economic activities take place to pay the taxes to maintain a high level of services” (ref 2).

The outcome of Ouddorp allowing residential dwellings on primary frontages made photographing the more mixed primary frontages a bit odd. Normally it is easy to snap a quick photo in a public place and move on, which I did in the above photos. However, when I tried this in Ouddrop’s most commercial frontages, the residents there lived with their curtains fully open, so I was taking photos of people more than of the building. These residents ‘people-watch’, just the way people sitting at a cafe table eating and drinking do.

Getting back to the Hamilton ODP, here is a question for city leaders: when does ground floor residential detrimentally affect retail business?

Ref 1 (my emphasis)

Hamilton City District Scheme (Section 1 & 2) first review – Supplementary Report on Commercial areas August 1975 – ref s 711 552 200 931 151 Ham 124+ pages (hard covered book)

Page 21 – Commercial 1 – Local Shopping

  • Objective of the Zone

“This is a zone designed to provide for shops that will be able to meet the day to day shopping requirements of localized areas that are within easy walking distance. In view of the structure of the proposed hierarchy, provision has only been made for those retail activities providing the basic everyday services.

However, in recognition of the existence of some non-retail service activities in proposed Commercial 1 zones, provision has also been made for a limited number of auxiliary service facilities such as hairdressing salons.

It is anticipated that with the development of Commercial hierarchy, the role of this zone [Local Shopping], and service which it will offer, will be able to be taken over in many instances by the single unit dairy grocery.

The Commercial 1 centres [Local Shopping] will service a population of approximately 1,000 within a 400m radius. It is intended that a gross retail floor-space of between 100 and 200m2 will be the typical scale.

It is recognized that a number of centres having a floor-space greater than that which has been established, are zoned Commercial 1. For various reasons such as location in relation to a trade area, proximity to other centres, lack of land for expansion, and the existing character of development, these centres are not seen as warranting a higher zoning. In the long term, as is already being experienced in some cases, a contraction of such centres [Local Shopping] is anticipatedIn an effort to speed this process residential dwellings of a similar type to these in the adjacent residential zone are to be permitted. … Page 22 … The Commercial 1 [Local Shopping] centres are small but widely dispersed throughout residential areas. It is intended that such centres should blend in as well as possible with adjacent residential areas, and therefore the range of uses permitted has been balanced against their potential incompatibility with the residential neighbourhood. For this reason it is proposed that hours of operation be restricted. This is seen as mainly affecting take-away food premises.”

Ref 2 – Zoned in the USA, by Sonia Hirt. Chapter 3 – How others do it – France – page 71 Quote “from French colleague.” 0 Light L

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