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Council adopts East Riverside master plan
Friday, February 26, 2010 by Kimberly Reeves
The City Council voted to move forward on the
The vote came in two motions: one intended to declare the eastside urban roadway between Interstate 35 and
Density along the
The Planning Commission, after an extensive subcommittee dialogue with neighborhood residents, added the compatibility standards at the request of the neighborhood planning team. Keeping strict adherence to those standards would require a 540-foot separation between homes and multi-story buildings.
In comments to Council, EROC planning team member Toni House noted that the balance of single-family and multi-family housing along the
EROC members were careful to say, however, that they appreciated the work of staff and a consultant on a
House argued that additional compatibility provisions, such as setbacks and vegetative buffers, should be an integral part of the corridor master plan. Planners Molly Alexander and Erica Leak, however, had suggested shifting specific compatibility standards for the corridor to a proposed regulating plan.
Alexander and Leak answered a number of pre-hearing questions from Council members that appeared to set the stage for the final vote: No, the master plan would not sign away, or even include, entitlements. Yes, density bonuses would still be on the table for discussion at some future date, possibly focusing on the benefits desired by the community, such as green open space. And, yes, a regulating plan would have extensive public vetting and review before a final Council vote.
Asked by Council Member Bill Spelman to describe the regulating plan process, Alexander said that staff would likely start the discussion with some draft code language, conduct a round of public forums on the larger details of that code and then refine the code in very detailed regulations for final approval.
Mayor Lee Leffingwell expressed a strong desire to see more specifics on the design standards for vertical mixed-use development as the
As had been the case in earlier hearings, a variety of urban planners, architects and some community members expressed support for the
Laura Morrison, the Council member most likely to side with EROC, did insert direction to city staff to incorporate additional provisions into the light rail study: finding the density numbers necessary to make light rail work along the corridor and then adjusting compatibility standards based upon that target density.
Council Member Chris Riley, in his support of the motion, noted that the
Still, Riley acknowledged that, with urban rail, the stops along
Leffingwell closed the discussion by saying that compatibility was not a strict formula. In the case of the downtown plan, Judges Hill had needed accommodations that were somewhat different than other neighborhoods in the city. So city staff had worked to come up with a suitable compromise. That would be the kind of goal that would be set out in the
Both motions passed on a vote of 7-0.
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