Strong Impact of the Environment

Over the course of time, there are patterns, habits, and repeating coincidences that occur. Not everyone notices these events at first, even if they are directly impacted by the event, some still do not notice it. However, the impact is no less diminished by the lack of recognition. What event specifically impacts people without them noticing at first? The implantation of a park in a neighborhood. Karl says great memories are often made in parks.

There are a variety of ways a park can benefit nearby neighborhoods. The following are just a few examples of the great attributes a quality park or parks can have on a community.

Crime Rate

A park with open fields, trees, and an area for people to enjoy, play and relax can help reduce crime. When a park is placed into an urban environment it makes a difference in the habits of people, mainly because there are yes in the park and people almost end up policing things themselves. No longer is there nothing to do, but instead, one can go enjoy a nice day at the park. A child can fly a kite, play tag with friends, lay in the grass and make animals out of clouds all in the safe environment of a park.

Community Building

It happens all too often when a new family moves into a neighborhood, they are in an unfamiliar place that does that not feel like home because they there is no one around them that they know. Parks are a great place to meet people and other families. Parks can be a great ice breaker, especially when people are having fun because everyone wants to be a part of the fun. Adults can enjoy a friendly pick up game of a sport. Children can meet the other little ones around there home on the playground. A local park can help a neighborhood bind together, which leads to a stronger safer community

Karl Fritschen, a city planner and landscape architect, fully believes that parks can truly determine the health and safety of a neighborhood.


Improving Property Values

When property is developed a rezoning usually takes place to accommodate a proposed business. Many times with zoning, there can be some difficulties for applicants looking to plan and build structures in specific areas. In some cases, certain facilities are not allowed within specific places, usually outlined with the local community’s comprehensive plan. For new construction there can be several processes that must be followed to ensure the project is a success, offsite impacts are mitigated, and local codes and ordinances are met. For instance, the following zoning case that happened in the town of Owasso, OK illustrates these issues.

The zoning challenge of this particular case in Owasso, OK presented an interesting situation for Chief Urban and Long Range Planner Karl Fritschen. This case involved a mini storage facility in a location where a newly adopted overlay prohibited them outright.   Being the Chief Planner, Karl worked with the applicant to package a presentation illustrating that the location of the site for the proposed storage units, would be well hidden and with certain safeguards built in, would actually be appropriate.

Given the above, Karl using SketchUP software prepared a three dimensional drawing to physically show how the mini storage facilities would not be predominantly seen, but would be hidden from the view of the main highway corridor. Additionally, Karl negotiated with the applicant to obtained higher quality architecture and landscaping .Though many questions were raised by the City Council about the location mini storage facilities, the Karl as the Chief Planner was able to show how the benefits, especially the benefit of how developing property in the right way can actually enhance property values as opposed to undeveloped property overgrown with weeds. Ultimately the proposal passed, and Karl was actually able to sway one member of the council from a no vote to a yes vote. .

Other significant accomplishments made by Mr. Fritschen that correlate with improving property values, include successfully securing he adoption of several zoning code text amendments. These amendments included a progressive landscape ordinance, a new planned unit development (PUD) ordinance, and two zoning overlay districts. In the short 3 years that these have been in an existence, the results have been impressive with higher quality developments leading to higher assessed values. This also has had the added benefit of increasing property tax revenues.

Planning to Control Urban Water – Karl Fritschen

“I care greatly about the environment and as such, have a great interest in stormwater management. I have taken several training courses on the Phase II stormwater program to better understand how it works, as it impacts our community,” Karl Fritschen revealed, when discussing urban water issues. Karl has certificates of successful training in NPDES Phase II Stormceptor Education, Watershed Planning, and Designing for a Sustainable Urban Region.

Karl Fritschen was project manager for Riverside Village in Concord, NC, which “…proved to be especially challenging, given the larger river stream buffer along the northwest boundary of the site and narrow frontage along Rocky River Road.” The project was approved by the Town Board in 2008. Karl performed due diligence, entitlement work, project administration, site plan and landscape plan for Community Christ Lutheran Church in Cornelius NC, which is of note since the site was within a critical watershed area. Ordinances required special stormwater treatment measures to comply with other stipulations. This project was approved in 2008 as well.

Karl did site and landscape design for the Church of Jehovah Witness in Guilford County, NC, with the particular challenge of access through a 100 year floodplain, and a large creek buffer. Karl was able to help the Church property qualify for a variance, and planned for stormwater treatment areas. Similarly, Karl provided project zoning research, due diligence and site and landscape design for the Church of the Jehovah Witness in Stanley County, NC, providing for native tree retention and an effectively placed stormwater pond.

American Institute of Certified Planners – Karl Fritschen

Karl Fritschen is a rarity; a licensed landscape architect and a certified planner, rare in his profession. Karl is able to use his graphic and artistic skill to sell ideas and illustrate issues particular to an area or space, as well as having great knowledge of plant material and design. Karl is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a Registered Landscape Architect, and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

With a Bachelors in Landscape Architecture from Oklahoma State, and a Master’s Degree in Regional and City Planning from Oklahoma University, Karl Fritschen has more than 20 years of experience working in urban planning and civic development under his belt. Working in both the public and private sectors, Karl Fritschen can claim numerous key areas of experience. Long range planning, planning studies, project management, code writing, streetscape planning and design, open space and park planning and design, redevelopment projects, transportation planning and site and landscape plans are only a few of the skills he has practiced through job experience. Karl has also planned and designed streetscapes, done greenway trail planning and design, and made numerous public presentations.

The last 20 years have only whetted the appetite of this urban planning professional for more challenges and more learning. “My dream job would be one in which I can make a long term contribution…I would love to be involved in urban design and redevelopment of older downtown areas and communities.”

Karl Fritschen – The Impact of Environment

Karl Fritschen is a professional urban planner and landscape architect with many accumulated years of experience in the industry. Over the course of his long and successful career, Karl has seen many fascinating patterns and phenomenon involving both human behavior as individuals, and as a whole. One thing that he has learned over the course of his career is just how impactful the state of your surroundings can be to the function of a neighborhood as a whole. Karl says that for instance the state of a local park facility is often indicative of a crime rate, and the higher quality and state of the park, the smaller the crime rate. Though this is a highly debated topic in the industry and particularly Karl’s field, he sticks to his guns, saying that people are simply creatures naturally effected by their surroundings, and that goes for both the negative and positive ends of the spectrum. Karl says that healing in a community is the same as healing a human body, which it takes time, and you must treat the wound at the source. Karl says that doing things like renovating a local park, a major gathering point for a community, is an important focal point for improving the overall community.

Karl Fritschen has met with much opposition when he debates with other professionals the importance of maintaining a public facility that is safe and family friendly. Though people are obviously not against this, they believe that it will not affect the social well-being of the area, behaviors such as crime rates and neighborhood cohesion. Karl says this is simply not so, and that much evidence supports his belief that adequately maintained facilities and attractive public spaces encourage interaction in a community, which in turn makes it safer and develops communication outlets. In other words government should be responsible for “setting the table” so to speak for business and entrepreneurialism to thrive. In Karl’s mind this includes top notch park and recreation facilities and highly functional public spaces.


Karl Fritschen – The City of Concord

Karl Fritschen has worked with and affiliated himself with a number of private and public, commercial and government funded facilities and collaborations throughout his many years in the landscape architecture and city planning industry. One of the experiences that helped to mold him as a professional the most was his time with the City of Concord, North Carolina. During his time with the City of Concord he became very accustom with multi-tasking, as he was given a plethora of different tasks and responsibilities to tackle throughout his time with the office. Karl says that he flourished most as a professional there because of the unique challenges that working with a high growth city offered, one that forced him out of his comfort zone to begin learning and growing in a way that improved him overall as an employee, and made him better acquainted with the many processes involved with keeping a city running smoothly and effectively. Karl says his time with the City of Concord was unique because of its size, and that the many events, issues, and projects showed him how important it was to manage time effectively.

Karl Fritschen’s experience while he worked and helped aid in the planning and administration at City of Concord molded him into the versatile professional he is today. Karl says that he learned much of the essential planning and administrative skills because of the raw volume of projects and issues that had to be dealt with at the office. Karl says that these experiences are key to any professional in city planning, as they will soon learn that the field can be very demanding, as the public has many needs that must be met in a timely and effective manner.


Karl Fritschen – A Step Above

Karl Fritschen is one of those rare individuals in the professional world who are truly passionate and dedicated to their career. Karl is a landscape architect and city planner who has been in the field for over 20 years, continuing to impress peers and professionals of all kinds, demonstrating that his ability is second to none in the field. Karl has become a really well-known name in the industry, one synonymous with service of an excellent nature, as well as customer guarantees and satisfaction. Karl is simply the kind of individual who is not afraid to go above and beyond the conventional to provide his customers with everything they could possibly want. Kart’s commitment comes from a constant inner drive within himself, one that refuses to compromise for the adequate, and accepts only the immaculate. Karl simply provides service that is a step above of the competition, a result of his dedication as well as his expertise.

Karl Fritschen says that his many successes experienced in the landscape architecture and urban planning field have been the result of lots of hard work, which in his opinion always trumps talent. Karl says that over the years he has learned that the best employee is not one who is particularly gifted, but one who is determined to improve, who is not afraid to constantly and consistently learn and grow or even stretch the boundaries, flourishing in the field and becoming a true professional and expert. Karl holds himself to this very rigid standard of improving every day, and therefore expects his employees and underlings to do the same, as he knows they are most capable. Karl says that a company is only as strong as their weakest link, which is why he only accepts the most dedicated professionals to work alongside.