Last week's article, "Board approves zoning district, despite objections" (Nov. 8), lacked key information.
Council Bill 36 would authorize a new Community Enhancement Floating (CEF) overlay district which removes all limits on density, maximum building heights, minimum setbacks, etc. It can be approved by the Zoning Board at any time. Once approved there is almost no basis for any citizen opposition since CEF allows almost anything.
Under similar zoning in Baltimore County, a neighborhood-breaking seven-story office building with tiny setbacks and large continuously lit signage across from residential property is being proposed. Its neighbors fear their loss of serenity and property values. This is just one example of neighborhood infringement that can take place with this type of zoning.
This bill is being rushed with short public notice right before comprehensive rezoning with subjective, unquantifiable wording making it able to be given to almost any two-acre or larger parcel. As written, it allows a total change of zoning type. It should be deferred to comp rezoning and needs limits on how far it can deviate from existing bulk regulations (density, heights, setbacks, uses) to ensure blending with existing neighborhoods.
If approved, CEF will open the floodgates to massive piecemeal rezoning and undermine orderly planning. Given its incentive to graft, it should require unanimous approval of the Zoning Board to give to a developer.
Please come to the only legislative public hearing on Monday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the George Howard Building and express your opinion.
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