PRO AND CON: No on Interbay

The Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council is opposed to the proposed zoning overlay at Interbay, as proposed by the Interbay Neighborhood Association and the particular proponents of play. Our objection is not to development of the Dravus Street corridor in general; rather, it is the kind and quality of the development that we are opposed to.

In regards to the kind of development, we have two objections. One, we object to the proposed density, which presumes that upwards of 1,300 people can be housed in this small area; and two, we object to the visual intrusion that the proposed 125-foot building heights will impose on the area.

The potential visual impact the proposed height limit represents will allow buildings that will be out of scale with the immediate Interbay location as well as the surrounding areas. These height limits will destroy the aesthetics of the landscape and disrupt the balance between the hills on both sides as well as the valley between them.

Not only is the height proposed out of scale with the immediate area; it is out of scale with the multi-unit development currently taking place across the city. Typically, developments around the city similar to this type of setting are at most six stories, with four stories being the most common.

The second element we would like people to consider regarding the kind of development proposed: think of the implications of expanding the Interbay area to accommodate 1,300 residents-not to mention the additional business, retail and service establishments likely created to support those residents. This is a great deal of density to shoehorn into a small business neighborhood footprint, one quite restricted in size and never intended to be a residential zone in the first place.

Those who will live in this dense neighborhood will be faced with severely limited living spaces; they also will be confronted with congestion, both on the streets where they live, from the traffic they themselves create and from the traffic pressures of those who pass along this established thoroughfare.

Additionally, residents of Interbay Village will have to contend with the fact that absolutely no provision has been made for any meaningful common public areas.

Approving zoning that would allow for such an abominably dense version of land-use planning is extremely unfair to future residents. It is patently unfair to people who live near this area now as well.

Dravus Street is one of three main access points to Magnolia. There has been little to no consideration of what the impact this zoning overlay and ensuing development will have on the people that need this corridor to get in and out of Magnolia.

This plan represents a choke point for the residents of Magnolia, and access as well as impact on the neighborhood appears to be the furthest thing from the minds of the developers.

Therefore, for all the above reasons, the Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council is opposed to the approval of the zoning overlay.

Elizabeth Campbell chairs the Magnolia Neighborhood Planning Council.[[In-content Ad]]