Wednesday’s night’s community discussion on a second phase of rules for development and preservation in the Pike/Pine neighborhood drew officials.
We documented the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District Phase II proposals here. You can also review the plan and supporting documents:
Among the officials and community reps in attendance Wednesday were City Council member Tom Rasmussen, P/PUNC representative Chip Wall, Capitol Hill Design Review Board Chair Sharon Sutton, and DPD planner Dennis Meier. Approximately 10 community members attend including the Capitol Hill activist Dennis Saxman and Hill all-star developer Liz Dunn.
One agreement reached during the discussion of the proposed City Council legislation related to amending a clause in the Design Review portion of the current Pike/Pine ordinance that attendees felt wasn’t proscriptive enough when it comes to requirements for presenting alternative concepts or design options during the review process. The nuts and bolts of the revision would give the Capitol Hill Design Review Board the decision-making power to grant or not grant any departures from normal methods of incorporating character structure into a new building. The result, said some in the conversation, would force developers to work more closely with neighborhood stakeholders.
While presenting another element of the new ordinance that requires developers “to describe the key architectural elements of a character structure and how the new project will maintain those elements,” Capitol Hill Design Review Board Chair Sutton said, “I would like to have more than a description, I’d like to see an analysis of what is important and not important about the buildilng.”
Transfer of Development Potential (TDP) Approach was included on the agenda, but time did not permit any discussion on the topic.
An interesting topic that was sidelined in favor of talking about the design review process was the issue of creating incentives for not demolishing a historical site. According to the current guidelines, developers are given ten additional feet of height for not demolishing.
“In some cities, demolishing more than 50% of the interior is considered demolition,” said Dunn. “Are we just considering the exterior when we give this additional ten feet?”