LETTER | Comp Plan 2035: Appropriate Regulations needed for "Neighborhood Business" Zoning

Letter-Stamp Dear Editor:

Early in the new Comprehensive Plan process, citizens need to underscore the urgency around implementing appropriate development regulations for neighborhood business BN zoning.


Reading the City Council packet

2035 Comprehensive Plan process - Community Meeting

"What ISSUES do you hope your city focuses on as it plans for the year 2035?

"  • Allow small stores in residential zoned areas. Like grocery stores with apartments above."


CAUTION 1:  Was this truly a citizen desire "what YOU hope," or staff initiated idea?  Beware of misrepresentation.


CAUTION 2:  This IS the traditional interpretation of "Neighborhood Business." Historically it was a shop(s), where the business owner or a few residents might be live above.  The residential use was the secondary use and providing some useful goods and services to the neighbors remained the primary use.

Somehow, "Neighborhood Business" has became misconstrued.


EXAMPLE:  Witness the Potala Village proposal on a Neighborhood Business property that was approved by the comprehensive plan process as "lowest intensity use." Ask yourself if it meets any of the restrictions for this "LIMITED" commercial use.


From the Comprehensive Plan:


"An individual store, or VERY SMALL mixed use building / center"


"[f]ocused on local pedestrian traffic."



"RESIDENTIAL SCALE and design are critical"


"[i]ntegrate these uses into the local neighborhood."



"Uses may include corner grocery stores"


"[s]mall service businesses (social service outlets, daycares)"






"[s]mall coffee shops or community gathering places"


If the small stores with apartments above are considered, one must think forward to how this concept has been misapplied in the current situation.


ASK CITY to show that this has been a citizen raised issue, or ask them to properly state that this is being proposed by staff.


ASK CITY to provide specific zoning limiting the bulk, lot coverage, height and the residential density allowed.  Somehow this zoning must allow for certain options for a developer, without the opportunity to maximize EVERYTHING at once and thus create something that is 65 times bigger than the surrounding buildings as is Potala.


Karen Levenson