In October 2008, Mayor Pawlowski released a six-page Summary of Recommendations from the Mayor's Zoning Task Force, which was created in March of last year to review the city’s Zoning Ordinance. Members were asked to perform a strategic review of the ordinance, which was adopted in 2000, and recommend changes to ensure that it facilitated new development while keeping intact the existing character and qualities of residential areas.
Four public meetings will be held to present the recommendations for proposed amendments to the city’s Zoning Ordinance. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 17 at the Fairview Fire Company Social Hall at 927 S. 7th St. The second will take place on Tuesday, November 25 at St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at 417 N. 7th St. The third is slated for Wednesday, December 10 at Christ E.C. Church at 2135 Tilghman St. The fourth and final session has been arranged for Tuesday, December 16 at the East Side Youth Center at 1140 E. Clair St. All four meetings begin at 7:00 pm.
The Task Force recommends creating a Traditional Neighborhood Development Overlay District over most of Center City that would control the site layout and design of new buildings in a number of zoning districts; a Historic Building Demolition Overlay District to regulate the demolition or partial demolition of identified historic buildings within a designated area; and a Hamilton Street Overlay District to regulate the removal or covering of historic architectural features on buildings and new signs on Hamilton Street between 5th and 10th streets.
The task force proposes use changes regarding residential conversions. It wants the city to prohibit the conversion of residential dwellings into additional dwelling units in all residential districts other than the Residential High Density district. Members also want to require approval as a Special Exception use for applications that seek to convert larger former non-residential structures to residential use.
Other proposed changes include permitting an office, retail store, coffee shop, retail bakery, art gallery, tailor or shoe repair as a special exception use in an existing corner commercial property in the Residential High Density (RH) and Residential Medium High Density (RMH) districts; allowing one sandwich board sign for a restaurant, personal service or retail store use in the Neighborhood Business Residential (B/1R) and Central Business District (B2) districts; changing the 19th Street business corridor in the vicinity of Tilghman Street from Highway Commercial to Urban Commercial; and requiring special exception approval for a business use to be open between 10pm and 6am in any residential district.
For more information, contact the Bureau of Planning and Zoning at 610-437-7611.