The City Council voted 7-2 (Harrell and Godden in opposition) this afternoon to approve the Roosevelt rezone proposal. The final legislation mandates landscaped setbacks at the ground level to achieve wider sidewalks and wider view corridors to the high school, further setbacks between 35 and 45 feet to create building modulation and an even wider view corridor, incentives for workforce housing, a requirement that any off-street parking that may be offered go underground, residential units only on Northeast 66th Street facing the high school except at the corners of the buildings and preservation of appropriate scaling to the east across 15th Avenue Northeast which has an existing 40 foot height limit.
The protection of view corridors to and from Roosevelt High School is especially important and we achieved that with today's vote. After this bill passed out of committee, neighborhood representatives met with the developer and made a joint proposal for further setbacks to protect views, which the Council adopted in its final legislation. Under existing zoning across from the school, a builder could build a 40 foot high structure from lot line to lot line, essentially blocking all of the views to and from the school. Our final legislation, while allowing some higher height, opens up and protects views from 15th Avenue Northeast and along 14th Avenue Northeast. (Because the blocks across from the school are not level actual building heights are guided by alternative measurement methods. Review potential heights in this illustration.)
There is much in the legislation the neighborhood can be proud of and pleased with. The rezone package prepares Roosevelt for the changes that will inevitably come with the arrival of light rail. It will create attractive, pedestrian-friendly green streets, allow for more affordable housing for individuals and families and encourage the growth of a vibrant neighborhood business district.
What we adopted today is a pro-neighborhood package of changes and incentives that will achieve the core values identified by the neighborhood, advance our city’s concentrated density strategy and lead to a family-friendly quality of life for the residents, students and workers of the Roosevelt neighborhood.
You can read my blog post explaining my vote for this legislation in committee here.
By the way, I went out to Roosevelt last night and walked and drove around the neighborhood, then had dinner at Pies & Pints on Northeast 65th Street. Great food! Check it out.