Walter Mencken 9:15 a.m., March 28
Planning Commission Rejects Interim Height Ordinance
Uptown residents encountered a setback on Thursday when planning commissioners rejected a proposal to extend the Interim Height Ordinance, an ordinance that limits buildings in areas of Uptown to under 65 feet.
Residents believe the ordinance is needed to preserve the character of Uptown. "The community doesn't want tall buildings on the top of our hill. Most people like Hillcrest just the way it is," said longtime resident Ann Garwood.
After hearing testimony from residents both in opposition to and in support of the height ordinance, planning commissioners decided against renewing the ordinance, saying the community should consider projects on a case by case basis.
"A large-scale, six-to-seven-story box that fills a site is definitely not the vision you have for Hillcrest. We'd be here arguing how to stop that next," said planning chair Eric Naslund.
Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the recommendations from the Development Services Code Monitoring Team, which supported lower building heights while giving planning groups and commissioners discretion to approve individual projects. The issue now moves forward to the city council for approval.