October 25, 2010
Re: Ordinance 2010-197 – Demolition of two dwelling structures and construction of office building in residential zone.
Dear Honorable Members of Council ,
For the record, ordinance 2010-197 should be stricken.
First, the applicant should request a rezoning to Residential-Office. While the city charter gives the Council broad powers to grant special use permits that are not detrimental to the public welfare, it is an abuse of power to allow a landowner to circumvent the rezoning process.
Second, the proposed development violates the city’s Master Plan. The plan limits the applicant’s property to transitional uses that protect the existing character of the adjacent residential zone. The applicant’s residential structure at 505 Libbie Avenue has already been converted to transitional office use. The proposed redevelopment would destroy the residential character and transitional buffer intended by the Plan.
Third, Rachel Flynn, Director of Planning and Development Review, misrepresented the facts when she stated in her report that:
The surrounding properties are also located in the R-4 district. Six of these nearby properties are currently authorized by special use permits for office uses. One of these properties, located across Libbie Avenue from the subject properties contains a similarly sized building with approximately 9,100 square feet.
In fact, the two office use properties across the street have buildings with only 2,132 and 2,160 square feet. The average floor area to lot area ratio is .24 (FAR). The applicant’s two properties have existing buildings with 1,850 and 1,163 square feet and a .10 FAR. The applicant proposes to triple the floor area to .32 FAR.
It would be irresponsible, in a residentially zoned transitional buffer area, to approve the demolition of existing single family structures and allow the construction of an office building with triple the intensity. The proposal is contrary to the zoning ordinances, the Master Plan, and the public welfare.
I am attaching a PDF file with photos and illustrations.