August 25, 2022
Site Review criteria update as part of the Community Benefit code
|PRIMARY STAFF CONTACT|
Karl Guiler, Policy Senior Advisor
|BRIEF HISTORY OF ITEM|
The Site Review Criteria Update Project is part of the overall Community Benefit project which commenced in 2018. Phase 1 relative to additional permanently affordable housing requirements for projects including height modifications to build 4th and 5th stories or floor area above the maximum in specific areas was adopted in 2019. Phase 2 relative to affordable commercial was tabled by City Council in 2021 due to the complexity of the proposed regulations and opposition in the development community.
During the course of the project, staff has also been working to update the Site Review criteria to better implement BVCP policies and tighten up the criteria, consistent with direction from City Council, to be more predictable, less subjective and redundant, and more successful at achieving better design outcomes in private and public development projects. Staff brought a proposed ordinance to Planning Board this year and the board did not act on the ordinance. The development community expressed concern that the proposed regulations are too prescriptive and the board’s thoughts on the matter were mixed. The board requested specific changes to the criteria and referred the criteria to the Design Advisory Board before staff brings a revised ordinance back to the board. Given the concerns on the ordinance, staff felt it prudent to bring the ordinance to a study session discussion to check in with City Council on the ordinance to discuss the original goals and objectives of the project which were established before the current sitting council. The input from council will be helpful before revising the ordinance and returning to Planning Board. The ordinance will ultimately come before the current council for decision.