According to Salemtown Neighbors president, Freddie O'Connell, tonight's association business meeting will entertain proposals from three developers on Specific Plan rezoning requests under consideration at the municipal level. Since all three seek Specific Plans, they are all required to incorporate community feedback consistent with neighborhood character into plans before getting final approval from Metro Council.
The first proposal is one that generated controversy and argument between SNNA and council member Erica Gilmore at the last association meeting. Members questioned whether CM Gilmore was interested in including Salemtown in on rezoning requests that affected them. CM Gilmore brashly questioned whether SNNA legitimately represented Salemtown. Of course, I felt compelled afterwards to rejoin Erica Gilmore, who seems blissfully unaware of her own contradictions.
That disputed proposal comes from Aerial Development who has their own track record of destabilizing neighborhoods. Aerial is lately being sued by a former partner for allegedly failing to share the profits for their projects on 5th Av., North. Aerial's proposal before SNNA is called "4th Avenue Cottages."
Metro Planning's development tracker gives the full details:
A request for final site plan approval for property located within the Salemtown Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District at 1706 4th Avenue North, approximately 175 feet north of Garfield Street, zoned SP (0.40 acres), to permit six single-family detached units, requested by Civil Site Design Group, applicant; Aerial Investment Properties, LLC, owner.
Residents were particularly upset that CM Gilmore has spoken for Aerial on the cottages development without consulting them. They were also angry that Aerial pushed ahead without consideration for the conservation overlay passed recently. Metro Planning staff recommended approval of the development because it fits with their own higher density goals.
|Are the 4th Avenue Cottages already on the market? (click-on to enlarge)|
One would think that Aerial should be in full PR drive damage-control tonight if last month's meeting is any indication of popular dissatisfaction. Hopefully, they will be open to listening. The issue here is not that urban residents will not accept higher density, but that we do not appreciate being blind-sided on rezoning requests that should have had our input.
Another proposal under consideration tonight concerns properties about half-a-block south of the Aerial real estate. I have perceived no unpleasant, unnecessary drama about this proposal as yet, but little is known about it beyond what Metro Planning divulged to the community:
According to Metro Planning's development tracker, here are the complete details of the request to rezone on this property:
A request to rezone from CS to SP-R zoning for properties located at 1614 and 1616 4th Avenue North, approximately 115 feet south of Garfield Street, (0.4 acres), to permit up to seven detached residential dwelling units, requested by Dale & Associates, applicant; T & J Holdings IV, LLC, owner.
I am curious to know why the developers are proposing seven instead of six homes across two properties. Are they trying to squeeze as many people as possible on real estate to maximize their profits or is this a reasonable request? Given what we learned about flooding along 4th Av in 2010, I'll be interested to see what their plans are for dealing with stormwater run-off.
There is no plan for 1614/16 4th Av. up yet on the Planning's website, which puts the neighborhood at a distinct disadvantage to developers as usual. But if you want a sample of real estate Dale & Associates (owner is former CM Roy Dale) develops, especially in Salemtown, I've blogged on several. Maybe we will learn a host of details tonight and the developers will express an openness to future meetings if needed.
I don't have any details on the third SP proposal to be considered tonight. Surprise, surprise.
UPDATE: Jump to my follow-up with clarification and correction of the information above.