***** R E D A L E R T *****
Waiver of Height Limit at 121 Royal
City Council Vote this Thursday 2/8
This Thursday, the City Council is set to vote on a request to spot-zone the property at 121Royal so that its current height limit of 70’ would jump to 120’. The technical nature of the request is to change the text and the zoning map, but the result is the same: the granting of a financially-valuable rezoning for a single parcel of land.
As it has done over the past several years, when variations on this application have been submitted to the City Planning Commission, the staff recommended denial, outlining three reasons that the Commission should not grant the request.
In short, the staff said that the only reason for the request was “to increase the development rights of one specific property, and is essentially a ‘spot-zone by text amendment.’” They also stated that the change would “disrupt the fundamental logic used in establishing the height zones…” Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the staff found that the change would be “inconsistent with the zoning principles outlined within the Master Plan.”
VCPORA holds many things to be important, but (at least) two are sacrosanct: the height limit and the Master Plan.
Waivers of the height limit beget more requests for waivers of the height limit and so on and so on. Every request uses the previous waivers as justification, which is why we have consistently opposed any attempts to grant them. The Master Plan was written and enshrined in the city charter to put some land use decisions beyond the reach of the City Council, and to ensure that everyone had to play by the same rules. If we are serious about protecting the Quarter, safeguarding these protections is crucial.
We need you to call the City Council members and let them know you value the important protection offered by the Master Plan. Urge them to vote against this proposal!
*Councilmembers Head and Guidry have been consistent in their support of the Master Plan, so please be sure to thank them when contacting