Wednesday, December 7, 2011

AAA: Zoning, Landmarks & Sustainability

AAA Building - Lindell Blvd


Today at 1:30 in Rm 208 of City Hall there will be a public hearing by the Board of Adjustment on Rezoning the AAA property on Lindell Boulevard so that CVS can build a new store on the site, the plan for which currently includes demolishing the iconic AAA "space ship". The public is invited to speak their opinions at these hearings, so please attend if can.

This brings up a host of questions about how and who should be making these kinds of decisions. The problem here is and is not zoning. Changing the property to Zone H is not the issue in what it allows. In my opinion the entire length of Lindell should be zoned to a allow 20 story towers if someone wants to build one. The problem is what Zone H does not prohibit. It would not prohibit a cookie cutter fake stucco CVS box set 75 feet back from the street. This is why we need comprehensive zoning change including form based zoning city-wide.

Then there is the issue of landmarking. How is it that our City has a Cultural Resources Office and this building is not protected in any way shape or form?

The City is starting the process of taking a leadership role with an Office of Sustainability, which happens to be hosting a public Summit on Sustainability tonight at the History Museum. Part of this new leadership in sustainability needs to involve the built environment including preservation, walkability, TOD, construction standards, etc.

Finally, no Alderman should be making these types of decisions. Yet Alderman Kennedy has discouraged Landmarks Association from attending 18th Ward Block Unit public meetings where the future of the AAA building and site are being discussed!

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