CodeNEXT Looming!

by Girard Kinney, Chair LUT Committee
Cross-posted from the Flea newsletter

The CNA Land Use and Transportation (LUT) committee continues to work on the process by which we respond to upcoming construction and transportation projects in the neighborhood, but most of our recent activities have been focused on CodeNEXT. We need more participating members; please consider joining the LUT Committee.

We recommended, coordinated and participated in the Special Called Meeting at Maplewood Cafeteria on August 29th where Mayor Steve Adler and Mayor Pro-Tem (and our District 9 Council Representative) Kathie Tovo were our guests; Jim Reed, CNA Steering Committee (SC) Chair facilitated.

An online survey was conducted prior to the meeting with active participation and presented at the meeting. It indicated that about half of the people polled had “limited” understanding of how CodeNEXT would affect our neighborhood and roughly half with “basic understanding.” Participates indicated that the reasons for “limited” to “basic understanding” were related to the frequent changing of the zone maps, confusing zoning terms, and overall poor presentation by the city. The concern was also expressed that CodeNEXT is unbalanced in regards
to incentivizing densification in the interior residential area with minimal incentives for densification along our business corridors.

An estimated 150 attendees heard introductory presentations by our guests, then Q&A from our four person panel, and finally questions posed from the audience. Topics ranged from understanding the new zoning categories to concerns about local residential and corridor impact of CodeNext to where we
are in the process. Both the Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem stated that they could not support the CodeNEXT proposal as currently written, but both acknowledged that our land development code is antiquated, hard to use and needs to be revised.

The Mayor stressed the need for more compact development, more housing choices particularly along nodes and corridors, and adoption as early as April 2018, while the Mayor Pro-Tem inclined toward take the time
to do it right. Our guests promised to return after the next draft has been published and analyzed by the community.

There is consensus among the LUT Committee members that there remain serious flaws in the proposed code with respect to its potential impact on Cherrrywood, and we hope that our remaining concerns will be addressed in future iterations. After the Draft3 CodeNEXT version is published, possibly late Nov, we plan to have an informational Special Called Meeting, where we will attempt to formulate our next organized input into the CodeNEXT process, before requesting another meeting with Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem.

Please review the CodeNEXT table on page 3, which draws comparison of the current SF3 zoning to the proposed R2C/ R3C residential. We urge all Cherrywooders to become involved in the community conversation about the needed change to our City Code. It is undeniable the quality of life in our neighborhood is tied inextricably to this looming change in our Code.

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Photos by Susan Potter.

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Photos by J. Potter-Miller

 

Jennifer Potter-Miller

About Jennifer Potter-Miller

Chair, Friends of Patterson Park, Social Media Chair, Maplewood Elementary School PTA, and Content Editor, Flea newsletter

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