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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Downtown Height Limits Revisited

So, after months of talking about grocery stores (yawn), it's time to talk about downtown again. A public meeting will be held tonight (5:30) at City Hall to discuss the CBD's 10-story height limit restrictions, which many (including myself) believe are too strict, and have more than likely killed some projects. The Planning Commission approved the restrictions in 2006, and the city council put off revising the rules during the Spencer administration. Current mayor Tommy Battle seems to be more open to changing the limits, and has made several references to a "signature tower."

Due to a previous commitment, I was not able to attend the meeting. But according to the Times, it seemed to be lively yet productive. The planning department will revise the height limits to include 2-4 story buffer zones in areas that are adjacent to residential zones, a 6-story height limit in the area where this development is proposed, and take out the 10-story limit in the remainder of the CBD. I can live with that.

Here's a new map with the proposed changes. This map is in no way official, and I cannot claim to its accuracy. There are probably some pockets of residential areas that I missed. Hopefully sometime soon the city or the Times will create a better map of the affected areas and put it on the web. But until then, here's the best of what 15 minutes on Google Maps can do:

I've divided the CBD into four zones: Blue Zone, Purple Zone, Green Zone, and Red Zone.
Red Zone: The areas abutting a residential area. Building heights restricted to 2 floors (30 ft.).
Purple Zone: The areas across the street from a residential area. Building heights restricted to 4 floors (60 ft).
Green Zone: A special 6-story height limit for a proposed public-private development (see below).
Blue Zone: The remainder of the CBD, or roughly Greene St. westward. Building heights unrestricted(?).

Areas in question
  • The area of homes and businesses between downtown and the Medical District. West of Gallatin looks like it will be mostly blue. East of Gallatin, however, will be a mix of everything. It would be no surprise to me if this area is redeveloped in the future as a "Midtown" area of sorts with more relaxed restrictions of 6-10 floors.
  • The housing projects northwest of the CBD. For now, they probably fall under red zone restrictions, but with their redevelopment coming soon, I just left them in the blue zone for simplicity's sake.


Brad said...

Good to hear!

Curt said...

If you went to all the trouble to create a Google map, why didn't you just make it public and post the URL?

James said...

If I was sure about the extent of the zoning boundaries outside of the downtown area, I would have created a public map.