In the debate last week, Councilwoman Bass was asked why she has not introduced the legislation for Remapping Northern Germantown.
In the City Council debate last week, Councilwoman Bass was asked specifically why she has not introduced the legislation for Remapping Northern Germantown. She gave a prepared response that referred to “spot zoning” but was cut off when the two-minute time limit limited her response.
Three years ago, Ian Haggerty came to West Central Germantown Neighbors (WCGN) for their input regarding the proposed rezoning of much of our neighborhood. We responded with a lengthy analysis of some 1000 properties under consideration.
We did this because the city’s proposed new zoning categories did not fit well in a historic neighborhood with large homes that have been subdivided into apartments. During the negotiations, we received assurances from Bass that she would support our final recommendations. The legislation as presented to her by City Planning has sat on her desk for several months without introduction to Council.
Her response at the debate, and her subsequent written response in a recent letter to WCGN, refer to the difficulty of “spot zoning.”
To the best of my knowledge spot zoning is a concept, not a law. Its implementation in our neighborhood is very necessary if we are to preserve its historic fabric. The area under consideration was developed over many years and now provides a variety of housing types that offer affordable apartments and elegant single-family homes. Some are twins. Some are row houses. Some are low-rise apartment buildings dating from the 1930s.
It is impossible to preserve our neighborhood, which is a registered federal historic district, if we are forced into zoning an entire block as multi-family because it has one large apartment building surrounded by smaller historic homes. Such a blanket multi-family designation serves as an incentive for developers to demolish our historic buildings.
We are asking Cindy to honor the commitment she made to us verbally and present the legislation as it was submitted to her by City Planning.