BALTIMORE GUIDE 1WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2015
Anyone who has ever visited the Inner Harbor knows the frustration of trying to leave it. The main streets in Fells Point are congested due to commuters, and traffic through the nearby neighborhood moves at a glacial pace. A year-long task force by the Waterfront Partnership is hoping to address these transportation troubles.
Laurie Schwartz, the president of the Waterfront Partnership, said that the non-profit spoke to businesses and employers who operate in the Harbor to get feedback on what causes this congestion. They gathered large retailers like Legg Mason and Under Armour and future developers to find a way to get employees to work, and out of their cars, more efficiently.
One of the biggest goals is to promote the use of public transportation to reduce the number of cars on the street.
One of the reasons we believe so many people drive rather than take transit is that
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Residents combat Fells Point zoning changes with historic overlay
BY GIANNA DECARLO EDITOR@BALTIMOREGUIDE.COM
When Transform Baltimore, a new zoning code, was announced last month many Fells Point residents were unhappy with proposed changes to the neighborhood.
Under Transform Baltimore, the waterfront area, or map 7-D, would be zoned as C-1 and C-2 meaning that buildings in the area could be 60 to 100 feet high respectively.
Over 100 neighbors voiced their disapproval at a Department of Planning public meeting in October. They said such large buildings would block waterfront views and damage the legacy of the historic district.
To combat this, a core group of neighbors have proposed an Historical Overlay to be presented to the City Council Land use Commitee.
We see the need to protect the scale and character of the neighborhood, including limiting the height of buildings to 40 feet, said Marty Bement, who is leading the planning group.
Bement referenced an apartment building that was going to be constructed on 2030 Aliceanna St. this summer. The complex wouldve been 52 feet high with approximately 5 levels. When it was announced, the community fought against this and the plan was eventually scrapped.
In a way, it was more of an eye-opener because the planning staff was talking about how, under Transform Baltimore, that the proposal would have gone forward because of C-1 zoning. There are some good things about this whole idea of Transform Baltimore. The C-1 is flexible and promotes mixed-use. But the big thing is to restrict height, he said.
Bement said creating an historical overlay has been done before in Annapolis. He added that most buildings within the district are zoned residential, with 2 or 3 stories at, on average, 35 feet high.
The overlay would create height restrictions of 40 ft, with some exceptions being historical buildings and church spires.
talking about how, under Transform Baltimore, that the proposal would have gone forward because of C-1 zoning. There are some good things about this whole idea of Transform Baltimore. The C-1 is flexible and promotes mixed-use. But the big thing is
Bement said creating an historical overlay has been
It really affects traffic and density. Everybody lives here and we know this. Bank Street isnt supposed to be a major street but at 5 oclock, its jammed up. We have to be careful about how were developing,
The submitted amendment by this group said the overlays will serve to establish a process to encourage new development to occur in a manner that preserves the physical pattern of the existing historic neighborhoods that have been designated as federal historic districts or CHAP (Commission For Historical & Architectural Preservation) historic districts.
Since the announced zoning changes, many community associations have been passing out flyers that outline the risks associated with C-1 and C-2 designations.
The City Council is considering zoning that will allow buildings to be as tall as 100 feet along and near the waterfront in Fells Point and Canton... killing views, jamming traffic, and destroying the character of our charming, historic neighborhood, states the flyer.
The flyer urges concerned residents to contact their representatives and members of the Planning Commission.
Dont let them ruin our neighborhood without a fight! Be heard! it reads.
Protest fl yer calling for height limitations. | Providedby Pride and Property on Facebook.