The City Planning Commission takes up a community-initiated proposal to impose permanent construction restrictions in the Old Town area. A public hearing is set for Wednesday evening.
The restrictions, as proposed by City Planning Director Ian Munce after several community meetings, include a height limit of 25 feet unless strict guidelines are met. New construction could be allowed up to 35 feet if the requirements are met. The city-wide height limit is currently 35 feet.
Other restrictions include a limit on how much of a house lot could be used for structures. Currently zoning allows up to 50 percent, but the proposed ordinance would reduce that to 35 percent, except for lots with multiple buildings. The legislation would also ban triplexes and fourplexes in the neighborhood.
Comments have already come in to City Hall on the ordinance. One letter, signed by nearly 50 people, expressed concern that the process outlined by consultant LMN Architects hasn’t been followed. The letter contents the community has not yet reached a consensus on the objectives and some several issues raised by the consultant havent been addressed.
The letter specifically mentions the aggregation of multiple lots, “cookie cutter” architecture, a requirement that new construction be sensitive to the scale of surrounding houses, among other items.
The letter also suggests that surrounding property owners be notified of new construction and remodels that increase house size. And, the letter asks that an on-going program of public improvements be established.
The Planning Commission meets at 7:30 pm Wednesday at City Hall.