At City Council’s upcoming zoning meeting this Monday night, a public hearing will he held on the first phase of the proposed Residential Design Guidelines (RDS). These proposals, which you can review HERE, will address setback flexibility, breezeway regulations, restrictions on lots with high-voltage utility transmission structures, and the elimination of an option to request a side-yard reduction to from 5 feet to 3 feet.
REBIC worked successfully with city staff over the past few months on these proposals, and nearly all our concerns with the ordinance language were addressed. Our only remaining issue is the proposal to eliminate the option to reduce side yards to 3′, which we believe would serve as a disincentive for larger SWIM buffers and could raise the cost of housing in some cases.
The more objectionable aesthetic design provisions in the RDS package, including a prohibition on blank walls on corner lots, a “Snout House” prohibition and a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay, will go back to Stakeholder review in the next few weeks, and are expected to come before Council early next year. Committee members felt that the City should move forward with these provisions in light of SB 731’s inability to get a floor vote in the State House. REBIC will continue to voice our strong opposition to these design provisions as they move back through the Stakeholder process.
If you’re interested in speaking on the Phase 1 proposals, the hearing will begin Monday night, September 19, at 6 p.m. in the Council chambers. But be prepared for a long wait, as this item is the last on a rather lenghty zoning agenda.