Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Builder apologizes for not holding community meeting on rezoning request earlier

According to the Salemtown Neighbors elist, Robin York (the developer whose rezoning request I blogged on a few days ago) sent his regrets to the association tonight for not holding a community meeting on his request sooner. However, he is holding an open, public meeting for interested neighbors this Friday, February 3 at 4:30 at Morgan Park (which I assume means "Morgan Park Community Center").

I guess short notice is better than no notice. There are also sure to be people who have work and child-care obligations who won't be able to make it that early.

Also the elist reports that the purpose of the of the rezoning request is to allow 5 units instead of 4 units across the 2 properties at 1628 and 1630 6th Av N. No word on whether the developer will have concept drawings so that we can get an idea of what is product will look like, but he is calling them "Baltimore brownstones".

Since the development does not seem to have a website to peruse, I spent a couple of hours searching online for remarkable examples of Baltimore brownstones and I sent out a request on Twitter for images of Baltimore brownstones (which got me help from someone with a first-hand knowledge of Baltimore architecture), but I could not find very many. The term "Baltimore row houses" yielded exponentially more images (brownstones are after all a form of row house).  "Brownstones", I am told, are more consistently found in New York and Philly. But as I understand it, row houses in Baltimore are periodically called brownstones.

Here are some Baltimore images of row houses or "brownstones":

Given that we live in an age when branding matters more than substance and evoking a mood counts at least as much as creating enduring quality, developers can basically label their product anything irregardless of historical context, so I'm not necessarily assuming that Mr. York's development will resemble these images. I hope that he has drawings so that we can see how close to semblance it comes.

I took a closer look at the properties earlier today. and neither one seems to have access to the alley, which is unusual for our neighborhood. A house on Garfield looks like it obstructs the property from the alley, unless its driveway can be used by the two other properties. If they cannot install alley access, but have parking in back, that means a driveway will have to go streetside somewhere, again unusual for Salemtown.

This is an important, highly used corner. We should start to see on Friday whether the rezoning request is as significant as the corner itself.

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