Thursday, July 25, 2013

Talaris Upzone Proposal Removed From Comprehensive Plan Amendment Changes

The owners of Talaris'  (4000 NE 41st Street) proposal for upzone, was rejected yesterday by City Council's Land Use and Sustainability Committee to go through a Comprehensive Plan Amendment which would have moved the issue forward on the docket for continued review by the Council.

Here are emails received from Councilmembers Conlin and Burgess:

From: Councilmember Richard Conlin
Chair, Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee:

Thank you for your message about the proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment that would have advanced the study of a zoning change for the Talaris Property adjacent to Children's Hospital and the Laurelhurst neighborhood. This proposal came before my Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee today, and I moved to delete it from the list the amendments under consideration. The Committee agreed, and this proposal will not be on the agenda for the 2014 Comprehensive Plan amendment process.

I do think that a master planning process is appropriate for this property, and also think that a combination of various housing types and open space might turn out to be a reasonable proposal. However, there should be a full environmental review conducted that would consider possible alternatives. Until such an environmental review has been completed, the issue of the best use of this land is not ready for the Council to consider.

From: Nate Van Duzer
Legislative Aide, Councilmember Tim Burgess:
Thank you for your email to Councilmember Burgess about proposed changes to the Talaris/Battelle site. Councilmembers Burgess and Conlin decided in committee today that there was not enough information about this proposal to initiate the process at this point. They passed an amendment removing the Talaris/Battelle proposal from the list of possible Comprehensive Plan changes so there will be no formal movement by the Council on this proposal now. I’ve included more detail below.
The  Council’s Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee met this morning to consider proposed changes the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map (FLUM). One of the proposed amendments was to change the FLUM on this property so that, further down the line, an application for a rezone of this property would be possible. The Council’s decision today was about whether or not to have staff analyze this proposed amendment over the coming months and prepare the Council to make a final decision early next year. (As you may know, land use changes often require multiple layers of process.)

Tim expressed concerns at the committee table about increasing density in an area that is not one of the City’s designated urban villages or urban centers and not along a major transit corridor. If the City were to head down the road to making the policy choice to do that, he would want to see a lot more information about the potential positive and negative impacts of such a change. The councilmembers requested a fuller environmental review be completed first so they could have this information. 
I realize these processes can be complicated; please let me know if you have any questions.

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