Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Zoning Ordinances Passes City Council

This vacant former tire shop at Huntingdon and W. 28th will now be eligible for business use. 

By Molly McCullagh, GRIA Board Member

GRIA recently sponsored a successful bill before City Council to amend the zoning on twelve of our neighborhood properties. In the last four months, you most likely talked with a GRIA member at your door during our door-knocking campaign. During our outreach, we collected signatures from 266 households in support of the rezoning.

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, more than 25 supporters made their way to a City Council hearing to speak on behalf of the rezoning. City Council heard testimony from neighbors for and against the bill and voted unanimously to approve the zoning change. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has expressed support for the measure and is expected to sign it into law.

One month after the mayor signs the bill, the properties will be able open as business or change from their current use (three of the twelve are current corner stores, Ron’s Market, International Market, and Daniyal Market ). For a full list of properties, visit www.griaonline.org.

These properties have been rezoned to “B-1-2,” allowing banks, florists, art supply shops, tailors, barber shops, art galleries, drugstores, bicycle shops, and more. Restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and liquor stores would require additional public hearings before the Board of Municipal Zoning Appeals and Liquor Board if they intend to serve alcohol. Taverns and bars are not permitted in B-1-2 zoning. GRIA will survey our neighbors about what they would like to see in these spaces and promote these ideas to the building owners. Let us know what would serve you best!

City Council is in the process of reviewing the new city-wide zoning code, which creates new definitions and standards for some uses. Under the new zoning code, all “B-1-2” properties will be rezoned to “C1.” If you are interested in providing input as to what the C1 category should allow, we invite you to continue to engage at the GRIA monthly meetings, talk with your neighbors, and send your feedback to your City Council representative. ◘