BY COUNCILOR GILBERT:
The city of Duluth does ordain:
Section 1. That Section 50-100 of Chapter 50 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 50-100. Height, area and bulk regulations.
Every building or portion thereof in the C-4 business center commercial district used for dwelling purposes shall comply with the side and rear yard and lot area per family requirements of the R-4 apartment residential district.
(a) No building erected or structurally altered after July 14, 1958, shall exceed the cubical contents of a prism having a base equal to the area of the lot and having a height two times the width of the street on which the lot abuts; provided, however, that a tower with a base not exceeding 25 percent of the lot area and with no side greater than 60 feet in length and no wall within 20 feet of any lot line may be constructed without reference to the above limitations;
(b) If the lot abuts on two streets of unequal width, then, for the purpose of calculating the cubical contents, the wider of the two streets shall control for a distance of 200 feet measured at right angles back from such wider street; provided, that such 200 feet shall be within the C-4 business center commercial district;
(c) Lot area per family requirements shall not apply to dormitories, fraternities, sororities, clubs, hotels or apartment hotels where no built-in cooking facilities are provided in individual rooms or apartments.
Section 2. That this ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days from and after its passage and publication.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The current ordinance requires... “every building or portion thereof in the C-4 Business Center Commercial District (BCCD) used for dwelling purposes shall comply with the side and rear yard and lot area per family requirements of the R-4 Apartment Residential District.”
The proposed amendment removes the requirement for the side and rear yard setbacks.
These limitations not only limit conversions of existing buildings to provide residential uses, including hotels, but inhibit new construction for residential uses in the Business Center Commercial District.
Is it reasonable to expect that residential buildings in the C-4 BCCD, the core of the city, be subject to a higher standard than its commercial neighbor? When considering form of a structure rather than function of a structure in the heart of the city is this standard appropriate? Staff believes, and is apparently supported by the board of zoning appeals, that form is the applicable standard and should be applied consistently.
The Duluth city planning commission unanimously approved this zoning change following a public hearing held June 22 and July 12, 2005 (reference Planning Commission File No. 04120).