Safe, Vibrant & Healthy Communities: Mayor Baldwin (Chair), Councilor Forte (Vice Chair), and Councilor Patton. Councilor Jones was absent and excused.
Subject: Rezoning Z-54-22 – Assemblage at Peace and West streets, next to Smokey Hollow proposed City park.
Request: Change from 12 story IX to 30 story DX – CU with UG frontage
Approved by Planning Commission: 8 – 0
Justification: UDO Table: LU-2, which permits up to 40 stories in a Core Transit area along a projected Northern Corridor
Opposition: Glenwood / Brooklyn Neighborhood
Complaint: Too much height in a historic neighborhood setting
Observation: Jane Harrison (District Councilor) present and huddled with Mayor and Councilors prior to meeting but was not permitted to speak when requested by Councilor Patton because, according to the Mayor, it would establish a new precedent. However this is not true as Councilors have spoken before at Committee meetings where they were not official committee members.
Residents raised several valid points:
- Encouraged Council and Mayor to do what is best for the community before granting excessive height
- Area has been the subject of height rezoning in the past and previous Council decisions confirmed that 12 stories was the appropriate height for the area
- Council should follow guidance of the Comprehensive Plan which supports current zoning and provides for a predictable zoning process for the area.
- Note that applicant had several renderings showing build out and comparative height against City landscapes. They said they had also completed a shadow study, but did not share those results.
- Residents objected to claims that the project is near a future Transportation corridor and possible BRT route. City staff confirmed that there aren’t any BRT stops planned for Peace and West streets.
Councilor Patton questioned why there was no provision for affordable housing for a development that sits on a frequent transit corridor and is adjacent to a City park. Strongly suggested that conditions be added for affordability before further consideration.
Final point raised by applicant and administrative staff (Ken Bowers) – Working on a developer partnership to develop Smokey Hollow Park. Despite Parks Bond and estimated budget cost of Park development at projected cost of 12 million dollars, external infusion of money would be needed since City does not have sufficient funds to build out park. Initial discussion included pay back schedule to developer for financial infusion to park. Agreement is projected to take another six months. Suggest that Council delay decision on case for an interim period to complete agreement.
Committee voted to hold case in committee for another month without reporting any details of discussions at upcoming Council meeting.
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