Tweaking HALA Legislation Necessary For Future Downtown Livability

Tweaking HALA Legislation Necessary For Future Downtown Livability

           PLUZ/City Council MHA-HALA Briefing for Downtown/SLU– February 24, 2017

My name is John Sosnowy, and I’m here to speak today on behalf of the Downtown Residents Alliance, a group of over 500 concerned downtown residents. We enthusiastically supported the Housing Levy and we support the financial objectives of HALA. However, the ordinance you are being briefed on today needs some tweaking.

While the proposed legislation is a step in the right direction, because it establishes a precedent for granting height departures in lieu of extra girth, it does not solve existing livability problems, especially in DOC2, caused by inadequate tower spacing and alley loading/unloading and circulation issues.

Consequently, you have situations where neighboring residents will have to keep their lights on all the time for much of the year, not healthy or energy efficient.

An achievable, reasonable, and permanent solution is to couple the allowable height departure under HALA with a height departure in Design Review for DOC2 (in exchange for tower spacing and alley setbacks).

This way, the City can have it all…livability, health, and safety protection for downtown residents, no reduction in development capacity for developers, and generate the necessary funding for affordable housing.