Mayor White has come out against a big high-rise condo project in the Rice University area, and he has promised legislation to deal with projects like this in the future.
Cory blogs about this at Lose an Eye, It’s a Sport, with a focus on future zoning laws.
On the Chron’s City Hall blog, Mike Snyder notes that Mayor White’s concern primarily deals with traffic around the project:
White’s letter gets straight to the point: “I believe that the proposed development of a 23-story mixed-use development with over 450 parking spaces, on the site of the Maryland Manor apartments, will impair mobility on Bissonnet, a two-lane street.” He concludes with a promise to “use any appropriate power under law to alter the proposed project as currently planned.”
So far, however, city officials have not identified any regulation violated by the project as proposed. Work is under way on a new traffic impact ordinance [PDF], but for now the city is powerless to require developers to alter their projects based on the findings of traffic impact studies.
It’s a shame Mayor White isn’t as concerned with the impaired traffic mobility that will wreak havoc on Richmond when Metro tears things up for light rail.
Or how about the concerns of MacGregor Place residents in getting the new Bus Rapid Transit line moved off MLK Blvd.?
MacGregor Place residents played the King card in their efforts to get Metro’s planned Bus Rapid Transit line for the Southeast Corridor moved off Martin Luther King Boulevard.
A Sept. 7 letter, sent at their request by Martin Luther King III to Mayor Bill White, suggests that he use his influence to “maintain the positive character and integrity of this particular neighborhood.”
While the letter does not flatly ask White to overturn Metro’s route selection, it does say that correspondence from residents expresses “valid concerns” for “the wisdom of selecting another location.”
Metro spokeswoman Sandra Salazar said the MLK route was judged best in a Final Environmental Impact Statement and approved by the Metro board. It is also in the federal funding pipeline for construction to start in 2008, she said.
That’s what will happen with the Richmond route, too.
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