Smile Politely

How big is too big for Old Town neighborhood apartment buildings? City Council votes tomorrow

Two weeks ago, residents of the In-Town district (commonly known as Old Town) presented the planning commission with a petition signed by over 200 neighborhood residents concerned that new zoning regulations to be proposed at City Council this Tuesday, September 18th, would allow a much higher density in some zones than what has been allowed and would place many historic and single family homes at risk of being replaced by apartment buildings.

Residents believe the new regulations would, in effect, allow developers to replace older single-family and 2/3-unit home conversions with apartment buildings that could have significantly more units per building, compared to the 3 units currently allowed.

The areas most affected, currently called the In-Town Conservation District, are seen in green on the map below, and run along Springfield Ave and Church St between Prairie and Prospect, and include areas surrounded, or backed by, by single family zones.

While neighborhood residents support the new zoning amendments as a whole, thanks to the City’s deliberate inclusion of resident feedback, residents are asking City Council to amend the square footage of a building footprint in this district from 3750 sqft. to 2500 sqft. This would still allow for a higher density than what is allowed now, but will keep the size of new apartment buildings down in the hope that they will fit in with the character of the existing neighborhood.

Many residents invested in homes in this area with the security of knowing that the green areas were zoned for low-density. Neighborhood groups encourage the City Council to support the interests of existing residents, some who have lived here for 20 to 30 years or more, by ensuring that the proposed re-write does not negatively impact the neighborhood’s property values and quality of life.

More Articles