City Hall

Council Likely to Adopt 65-Foot Heights in Roosevelt

By Erica C. Barnett December 8, 2011

The chair of the city council's land-use committee, Sally Clark, says she's come around to Mayor Mike McGinn's and city council member Tim Burgess' point of view on the appropriate density on the so-called "high school blocks" near the planned Roosevelt light rail station. Burgess and McGinn both proposed increasing the maximum height on those blocks to 65 feet, from the current maximum of 40 feet. Neighborhood residents argued that buildings taller than 40 feet would endanger kids at the high school, harm views to and from the school, and damage the character of the neighborhood

Although Clark was initially receptive to those concerns she says she now believes 40-foot limits will limit the neighborhood's future development.

"I just don't see how 40 feet gets them what they want in terms of the future development of the neighborhood," Clark says.

At a meeting of Clark's committee a week ago, five of seven council members present expressed support for the taller limits. (Bruce Harrell and Jean Godden said they supported lower limits, noting that they believed in "listening to the neighborhood.") Of the two council members who weren't there, one, Nick Licata, has not yet returned an email seeking comment; the other, Richard Conlin, says he now supports the taller limits. "It seems to me that we've got a solution that meets the development opportunities at 65 feet but also meets the view concerns," Conlin says.

The committee will take a vote on the Roosevelt rezone next Wednesday, and the full council will vote on the proposal sometime in January, Clark says.
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