City attorney Andy Howard laid out the options for moving forward: the committee could move the proposal to the full Council with the recommendation that it be approved; they could move it to the full Council with the recommendation that it be denied; or they could consider some "hybrid" solution to the situation.
Committee chair John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward) suggested he would prefer the "hybrid option" and a public hearing. Committee member Rich Volo (Fourth Ward) said he was not OK with Craig Haigh's suggestion, which would make commercial uses permitted conditional uses, subject to approval from the Planning Board, everywhere in the city except for the R-1 district (the R-1 district is primarily the mid-20th century neighborhoods off Harry Howard Avenue); he was not inclined to go forward with the overlay; and he was not OK with "knocking down six housing units." He said he would be OK with asking Stewart's for another proposal.
Howard suggested that, instead of asking Stewart's for another proposal, he could draft a zoning amendment that would address the Stewart's situation and also the problem the previous Council was hoping to remedy with the ill-fated Local Law No. 9 for 2017--the problem of buildings with historic commercial uses ending up in residential districts. The committee--Rosenthal, Volo, Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward), and Shershah Mizan (Third Ward)--agreed to have Howard proceed with the "hybrid option." Howard's draft for a new zoning amendment will be ready for discussion at the next Legal Committee meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 23, at 6:15 p.m.
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