Almost three years after it was originally proposed, the recommended zoning change for California SW between Hanford and Hinds (and a bit beyond, on the west side) is moving ahead. We got first word from one of the property owners who first proposed it in 2007, Mike Gain. It’s not reflected yet on the project’s Department of Planning and Development webpage, but DPD’s Bryan Stevens confirms to WSB that the notice is about to be published:
DPD’s recommendation on the rezone request will be published for public viewing on Monday. There will be a 14-day appeal period which initiates upon publication and a required hearing with the City’s Hearing Examiner to review the department’s recommendation. The date for the hearing has been tentatively scheduled for August 18th at 9 am. After the hearing, the Hearing Examiner will issue findings and make a recommendation to City Council to help inform their decision on the rezone proposal.
According to Gain: “The Director’s Report supports the rezone of the 3200 block of California Ave SW from NC1-30 to NC2-40. This essentially would return it to its previous zoning while allowing for one additional floor and increased flexibility in the size and/or type of ground floor retail.” He adds:
This rezone has undergone a lot of review and received substantial public comment. We are pleased with the decision. Several benefits to this that will occur over time are that it will:
· Help enhance the California Ave “corridor”
· Encourage job creation and business vitality
· Maintain and enhance neighborhood character
· Provide more and a better mix of housing options
· Increase the number of goods and services that allow people to shop locally
As you are aware, in the 1980’s this area was zoned for 40’ and is consistent with surrounding building heights. For some unknown reason and no notice the city down-zoned this area. Since that time there has been little reinvestment – many businesses have come and gone – while some storefronts remain vacant for lengthy periods of time. This rezone will help to change that.
When the proposal was first made, it stirred a fair amount of controversy, which we covered extensively – as archived here (reverse chronological order). Gain and partner Roger Cayce had not put forward a specific project proposal for the area, but at one point along the way, discussed their ideas with WSB. We will be continuing to follow this process, including any proposals they may bring forward in the future. MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: We’re writing a separate story, but in the meantime, here’s the link to the DPD page with the “director’s report,” officially published today as expected.