City Hall

Harrell Appears Open to Taller Buildings Near Roosevelt

By Erica C. Barnett December 14, 2011

City council member Bruce Harrell, rumored to be one of at least two city council holdouts on a proposal to increase maximum heights on three controversial blocks near Roosevelt High School to complement light rail in the neighborhood, indicated on his blog yesterday that he may be open to increasing maximum heights from 40 feet to 65 feet on the blocks.

City council member Nick Licata has proposed limiting heights on those three blocks to 40 feet, arguing that the council should listen to neighborhood residents who have objected to taller buildings on the blocks. The Roosevelt Development Group wants to build housing, including affordable housing, on the properties, which are currently occupied by several dilapidated houses owned by controversial landlord Hugh Sisley.

Harrell wrote:
It is my understanding that throughout the long process of neighborhood planning, the surrounding communities consistently made it clear that these three blocks should be protected from 65 foot heights. Can the same aesthetics and density goals be achieved when designing a 40-foot development? An inventory of some 40 foot buildings in the City suggests that some exist, but I would be the first to say that more design flexibility is produced at the 65 foot limit.

Ultimately, I will weigh these issues and vote accordingly.

The council's land use committee will discuss and vote on the Roosevelt zoning proposal this morning at 10:30.
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