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JULY 14, 1997

Local News

On-site rec space shrunk: 55-foot limit for Sirkin property

by Andrew Walgamott

   On-site recreation requirements for certain new buildings continue to shrink as the city council draws closer to final adoption of its development regulations. At the July 14 City Council meeting, staff is expected to propose that new industrial and office development provides recreation space for employees at a proportion of 100 square feet of space per 1,000 square feet of building. The maximum required space would be one acre.

   Previously, staff and the council had looked at a 5 percent minimum on-site recreation space requirement for new commercial, industrial and office developments. That number shrunk to 3 percent after business owners argued that 5 percent would prohibit full economic development of properties.

   Recreation spaces will be "encouraged" to have trails, picnic tables and open grass areas, but the code allows the space to include storm water facilities, landscaping and building setbacks. Staff is also zeroing in on height restrictions on the R-48/Office (residential, 48 units per acre, office use) zone following the council's unease with the 65-feet proposed by attorneys for a landowner in the special zone. "I just can't see it (65 feet)," Deputy Mayor Don Brocha said last week.

   Staff has returned with language that allows building heights to be increased to 55 feet, only if the structure is located 200 feet from arterial streets and meets aesthetic impact criteria. Also, hotel/motel was inserted as an allowed use in the R-48/Office zone. The council had first reading of the development regulations ordinance July 7 and is expected to have second reading July 14. The regulations must be updated as a requirement of the state Growth Management Act.