Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Putting preservation on the map

Part of the Sacramento General Plan Update went before City Council on Tuesday--the map for the land-use element. This map included proposed maximum building heights, densities, preferred uses and other land-use designations, but the initial drafts (produced just a couple weeks ago) included things like a land-use designation that would have allowed silly things like 24-story buildings in Boulevard Park. Since this map becomes the central guide to the rest of the General Plan, many in the preservation community considered it very important to ensure that the land use map reflected Sacramento's preservation districts.

After a multitude of meetings, including Planning Commission, Preservation Commission, a couple of meetings with city planning staff, and last night's City Council meeting, the map has changed dramatically: a new set of designations, including "urban corridor high" (2-7 stories) west of 19th Street and "urban corridor low" (2-4 stories) east of 19th, explicit delineation of historic preservation districts on the land-use map, and, as of last night, instructions to staff to pursue policies that will preserve the historic character of neighborhoods on the General Plan land-use map. The next phase is an EIR based on the current map, so there are still changes due down the pike, but it's a valuable step. One recommendation by Preservation Board was to explore the establishment of Historic Preservation Overlay Zones, used in cities like Los Angeles. I'm still learning about these, but it seems like a combination of Sacramento's current mode of "historic preservation districts" and a neighborhood association, with just a dash of tax incentive to encourage preservation. I'm eager to learn more...

3 comments:

tracy said...

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Keep up the good work!

wburg said...

Thanks--terrific site you've got there! I have returned the link.

tracy said...

Splendid - thanks for the link!