Interstate Development Plan

Development along the Interstate Max line has not met expectations thus far, so the City asked Planning staff to look at the current zoning to stimulate it.  Staff held an open house in the fall to provide a first look to area residents.  Gary [ENA Chair] and I both attended separately.  However, we both came away with the same impression, namely there was not a lot of support for the proposal.

What I find interesting is that large areas between the freeway and Interstate are zoned EX.  The EX zone has been a boon to development elsewhere as it allows just about any kind of light industrial, commercial, or residential development with few restrictions.  However this area along Interstate is primarily small homes.  Homes the current residents and neighbors apparently want to preserve.

The staff plan preserved almost all of that zoning and increased zoning density elsewhere.  My own personal view is that staff should have reduced the allowed density in the viable residential areas and increased it along the rail line so as to focus density and development at key stations and intersections.

The plan was developed under the shadow of Measure 37.  Now that it has been partially lifted, the staff may feel they have more freedom to “down” zone from EX to a more appropriate, but arguably lower value, residential zone.  Eliot has argued for a similar “re-look” at zoning in Eliot as part of the revision of the Central City Plan.