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January 3, 2019, City Council Regular Meeting
13. Motion to Deny Proposed Amendment to the CIV Zoning District (Petitioner: Philip McCorkle for Lat Purser & Associates, Inc.)
Strategic Priority

Philip McCorkle for Lat Purser & Associates, Inc., Petitioner (File No. 18-005956-ZA) is requesting approval of a text amendment to permit ground-floor commercial uses in the CIV district within Mid-City along arterial streets. 

There is growing interest in redeveloping many sites along north-south corridors within the Mid-City historic district, particularly along Bull Street. Many of the most attractive parcels are currently church-owned parking lots or City-owned properties. Most of the anticipated development along the corridor — if permitted — will take the form of residences or neighborhood-scale commercial development. The petitioner represents a client who wishes to construct a multifamily residential building with ground-floor retail on the block bounded by Bull and Drayton Streets between 31st Street and 31st Lane. The ground floor commercial component of this project is currently prohibited by the Mid-City Ordinance.

The amendment as proposed would undermine the intent of the CIV district, which aims “to provide for civic and institutional uses serving a large area.” The language of the amendment as proposed could result in additional problems for implementation. In particular, “on a street” is insufficiently precise. While it is likely inappropriate to permit commercial uses in all CIV districts as implied by the proposed text amendment, there is a clear case to be made for some ground-floor commercial uses in the CIV districts along Bull Street, which is a significant civic corridor that already has a great deal of commercial activity in other sections.

The MPC proposes language that mirrors the intent of the proposed amendment (File No. 18-006931-ZA), but restricts its scope to the Bull Street corridor and further clarifies the meaning of “on a street” to only include parcels fronting Bull Street: (d) Commercial uses allowed in the TC-1 district shall be allowed on the ground floor of lots fronting Bull Street; such uses must be contained within 110 feet of the Bull Street centerline.

The Planning Commission recommends denial of the request to amend section 8-3215(2)(b) (Principal Uses) and introduce Section 8-3215(2)(d) to permit commercial uses on certain streets in the CIV district. The MPC recommends an alternate amendment to permit commercial uses currently allowed in the TC-1 district in Mid-City on the ground floor of lots fronting Bull Street in CIV district.

On December 11, 2018, the Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of the requested amendment.  


Denial of requested amendment

Bridget Lidy, Planning & Urban Design Director
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Planning Commission Recommendation RE CIV District.pdf
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