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Friday, June 30, 2006

Letter to Our Council

This is an exceprt of a letter was written by one of our members

There is a misconception that I have heard voiced, both by Councilperson Miduras office, and in the ABC TV news story on the proposed Walgreens at the corner of Carrollton and Claiborne, that I would like to correct. The public and neighbors who are in opposition to a proposed 150 foot setback variance for the building, have been told that if the Carrollton Overlay is adhered to (ie. No setback from the street), no design review will be given to the actual design of the building itself. That is a misleading, and utterly false statement. The Zoning Ordinance clearly states that :

The overall building design (including its height and bulk) should be compatible with the neighborhood and shall provide for a pedestrian environment (through) the use of visually active ground level treatments by incorporation of overhangs, arcades, balconies and galleries, (and) architectural details, material, colors, textures. The design vernacular and site development shall adhere to the character and scale of the surroundings.The City Planning Commission has the authority, and indeed the duty, to review the design (including the facades) of the proposed building, and the power to recommend changes if they find the design lacking. I would hope that a neighborhood committee could be allowed to be part of that process as well. This was obviously not done at the Walgreens on Claiborne and Napoleon, and resulted in a nondescript block of a building. But that, I fear, was due to the City Planning Commission not following the design review recommendations of the Zoning Ordinance, and not a fault of the Zoning Ordinance per se.

It is important to set the record straight for those who may have been confused by any unintentional misinformation disseminated by the media or Ms Miduras office on this matter.

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